| Subcribe via RSS

Imagine Communications’ Vogt Sees Disney/ABC Deal as Tipping Point for IP-Based Broadcast

April 14th, 2015 Posted in Headlines By Brandon Costa

Disney made waves at NAB 2015 this week with the announcement that it will transition its linear broadcast operations — global programming-playout, delivery, and network operations — to a unified IP cloud architecture.

It’s a big move, marking the first major broadcaster to adopt this technology, and could be a significant first domino to fall in an industry that has been discussing the move to IP- and cloud-based networking for several years.

Few people in the industry have been pushing IP and software-defined networking and the move away from baseband infrastructures harder than Imagine Communications CEO Charlie Vogt. On his arrival in 2013, the company established an advisory board of industry CTOs from such entities as ABC, CBS, the NFL, and Major League Baseball. Awareness of these types of infrastructures is there, but Vogt agrees that the ABC announcement could be a watershed moment.

“We’ve been talking about the need for the existing legacy networks to evolve,” he says. “So I think everyone, at least the larger networks and broadcasters, are certainly there. I think everyone is waiting for that really big shoe to drop; who’s going to be the first really big TV network to go do this? So I think this is a tipping point.

“I think everyone knows that this is the direction that they need to take,” Vogt continues. “Like anything else, you need that first really big company to prove it in and validate it because nobody wants to take a step in these new waters without its being 80 degrees. I believe this is going to drive a lot more acceleration towards IP-based, cloud-enabled, and software-defined networking.”

According to Imagine Communications, ABC will deploy VersioCloud, Imagine’s fully IP-enabled integrated playout-in-the-cloud platform. This technology advances the evolution of legacy broadcast operations, including master-control functionality.

The VersioCloud solution is powered by Zenium, Imagine’s software-defined workflow-management platform. Zenium’s modular and flexible architecture provides the capability to plug in content-augmentation functions for affiliate-branding platforms: triggers, live caption data, loudness control, externally generated crawls and tickers.

“By leveraging evolving IP and cloud technologies, we are able to move beyond what’s currently possible with traditional proprietary ‘Big Iron’ broadcast infrastructures,” says Vince Roberts, EVP, global operations/CTO, Disney/ABC Television Group, in an official release. “Imagine Communications’ IP solutions enable us to automate and deliver workflow processes and technologies to a more agile and scalable environment. Our shared vision and close collaboration will enable Disney/ABC Television Group to take a uniquely innovative approach to the next generation of television and media-distribution platforms.”