Tata Communications Launches World’s First Cloud-Based Broadcast-Quality Video Transcoding and Delivery Service

Tata Communications has launched the world’s first cloud-based broadcast quality video transcoding and delivery service.

tata_globe_communications_lockup_2727The new content transformation service has already been selected by Viacom18, a joint venture between Viacom Inc. and the Network18 Group, to provide high-definition (HD) content transcoding and delivery via the cloud. Developed in partnership with Harmonic, the service allows Viacom18 to maximise its return on investments made in creative programming and to tackle piracy by enabling simultaneous syndication play-out anywhere in the world.

The new service offers content creators, service providers and media professionals an integrated end-to-end workflow for moving content files to the cloud and transcoding them into broadcast quality formats ready for immediate delivery and transmission globally. This drastically reduces the delivery time compared with traditional solutions that rely on the physical transport of media.

Viacom18 is currently using the service for the daily transcoding and delivery of HD Masters of leading Indian soap programmes to its customers in Pakistan for same-day syndicated play-out. Before, Viacom18’s customers had to broadcast content from previous soap seasons, leaving a gap where some viewers could only obtain content from unauthorised sources to stay up-to-date with their favourite shows. Same-day distribution of play-out eliminates this problem, and maximises the value of the content for the broadcaster. In addition, this increases the value of the rights owned by Viacom18, allowing it to maximise the revenue generated from each show.

“Tata Communications’ cost-effective and intuitive service has meant that our shows are picked up and transcoded to formats as required by our international customers, all delivered in a seamless manner,” says Rajasekharan Harikrishnan, Chief Technical Officer at Viacom18. “Authorized content available for simulcast in HD format has resulted in more revenue for us while also discouraging piracy.”

Viacom18 submits jobs to the content transformation service by using accelerated connections on Tata Communications’ network, and monitors their status in real-time via a simple browser user interface. The agreed transcode uses the source file to create a TX-ready variant for Viacom18’s broadcast partners in Pakistan who receive the file over another accelerated connection. Using this workflow, it is able to insert local advertising breaks and broadcast the content immediately.

“Content creators, service providers and media professionals are under tremendous pressure to maximise the return on their investments, as pirated content can be so easily accessed on illegal websites,” says Sameer Kanse, Business Head of Tata Communications’ Media Services. “By speeding up monetisation of creative content through more efficient production and distribution of digital content globally, we are helping the industry to bridge the gap between broadcast and the Internet, and to remain competitive in the rapidly evolving digital media economy.”

The cloud-based content transformation service has a pay-as-you-go pricing model, making it highly scalable, cost-effective and it eliminates the need for dedicated new hardware. Unlike many other cloud-based transcoding services – which can be used for transcoding video files into low-resolution versions for playback on devices such as smartphones, tablets and PCs only – Tata Communications’ service makes it possible to transcode HD video for broadcast purposes. The service leverages Tata Communications’ global data centre facilities and expert understanding of the media ecosystem requirements to deliver an optimal solution.

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