ITV and Channel 4’s terrestrial Freeview channels have moved to cloud-based processing after signing a deal to use BT’s new smart broadcast network, Vena.
The “multi-million-pound” deal between the telecoms giant and Digital 3&4, a joint venture owned by ITV and Channel 4, will see the channels adopt start-to-finish cloud processing for regionalised TV content.
A product of BT’s Media and Broadcast division, Vena enables broadcasters to benefit from applications that sit on top of a high-grade software-defined media network, simplifying content production and distribution.
D3&4 will use the network to deliver digital coding and multiplexing, combining multiple content streams into one before distribution regionally.
Benefits from the switch include improving overall operational efficiency, cutting costs, lowering energy consumption, and enhancing flexibility for both production and distribution.
The new network also leverages Ateme’s virtualised software video processing and delivery solutions, which bring a new level of flexibility, evolving to meet future needs and offering built-in resilience.
In a statement the two companies say “the development marks a landmark move away from legacy hardware to a smart broadcast network” and is the “first time that cloud processing of digital terrestrial TV channels has been completed on this scale.”
Faisal Mahomed, Director of BT Media and Broadcast & Portfolio Businesses, said: “This launch marks a major development for the TV industry as a whole. It will offer more possibilities for broadcasters to connect and interact with their audiences. We have seen remarkable innovation and collaboration across BT, D3&4 and our partner Ateme to get to this point.
“The service, built on Vena, is only the start of what’s possible on BT’s smart broadcast network – as we continue to drive digitisation, and to innovate solutions to support TV delivery in the UK and across the globe.”
Greg Bensberg MBE, Managing Director at Digital 3&4 Limited, said: “Our partnership with BT has enabled us to take a giant leap forward in delivering Freeview TV for 18 million regular viewers across the UK.
“This was a challenging project that required meticulous planning and execution, and we’re proud to have worked with a company that shares our passion for innovation and excellence.
“We look forward to continuing our collaboration with BT and driving the future of broadcasting in the UK.”