This article is the second part of the “upgrading the broadcast industry” article, which was released in three episodes in the InBroadcast magazine.
With the massive shift from television to digital media, the broadcast industry future was set to decline. But broadcasters evolved, adapting to the new digital world, and shifting from “TV” to “Screen” broadcasting.
Continuously innovating and delivering new solution for the media world, Broadcasting Center Europe (BCE) gives an overview of the industry and describes, in three episodes, how it managed to tackle the market with solutions answering both the linear and non-linear video worlds.
In its previous article, BCE explained how it was addressing the rising content demand. In addition to multiple advanced services, the company developed innovative solutions including BCE’s MediaCMS, this advanced content management system is linked to the ingest platforms, as well as the recorders and live to VOD systems. With an intelligent metadata workflow, the users can identify immediately the right content, modify the format, send to the postproduction for fast editing, distribute among their partners as well as publish it online, reducing drastically the time-to-air.
With BCE’s ClipUp, the users can automate the complete promo and trailer production. With the integration of the channel branding, the metadata from the traffic systems and soundtracks, the solution automatically creates promos and trailers which match the broadcasting schedules as well as the OTT platforms formats.
Live makes the difference
Whereas it is on TV, radio, social media or streaming platforms, live video popularity is rising for better brand engagement and reach to consumers. The increasing adoption of smartphones coupled with faster internet are driving the growth of live video. While solutions are exponentially increasing, this technology rise drives complexity, with compatibility complications, continuity interruptions and security issues.
With more than 20 years of broadcast expertise, Live is one of the core values of BCE operations. From satellite transmissions, to DVB, 4G, internet and now 5G, BCE has always paved the way to the best viewers experiences for its customers through constant innovation and integrated solutions.
“While our playout solutions all embark live broadcast services, we have developed numerous solutions to further enhance our customers workflows and the viewers experience.” Explains Stéphanie Schaeffer, Sales Account Officer at BCE. “From remote production to live editing, automated live workflows or even live viewer interaction, our solutions make the difference and clearly give an upgraded broadcast experience.” Adds Stéphanie Schaeffer.
With the successful launch of its OTT Sports videos platform, L’Equipe provides massive live content to its subscribers. Thanks to Holovox, BCE’s remote voice-over solution, L’Equipe was able to breakdown the production workflow, allowing commentators to work from their preferred place, and to easily switch from one live event to the other.
“For us, it is obvious that sports production must reinvent itself. Voice-over is one of them. The BCE solution is easy to use, fun and reliable. All it takes is an internet connection and a computer. We have been using the system since the launch of the Live platform and all our commentators are using this remote voice-over solution.” Comments Jérome Aubin, Production Director at L’Equipe.
To create unparalleled experiences for viewers online, BCE created an OTT solution which gives the streaming editor a complete control on the interaction with the viewers. In addition to the scheduling and management of events, the editor can add live chapters, enable DVR or file download, social network sharing but also add graphics and pictures, to focus on a particular action or to mark the break during the show.
“Any action taken on the platform changes immediately the live streaming, allowing the viewers to see in real-time the updates, without having to refresh their page.” Underlines Olivier Waty, Technology & Project Director at BCE. “Social Network sharing is at his best, giving the possibility to the viewers to select the exact moment they wish to share, thanks to a smart in/out selection”. Adds Oliver Waty.
This OTT solution goes even further, as it is a complete Live and VOD management system. As a matter of fact, the live events can be edited on the fly for the purpose of creating new versions of the event thus more VOD content for the viewers, ideal for Youtube, Twitter, etc.
But managing live events can be a rather complex task. Self-production systems are rising but a one camera shot of a studio can bore the viewers. Automation plays a key role in keeping the audience loyalty, with the right mix between live automated production, graphics management and enhanced content playlists it can deliver added-value programs while engaging less resources.
“BCE’s StudioTalk is an amazing solution, it completely transformed our way of working. The solution takes care of everything, we can concentrate on our content and live shows. From a simple touchscreen interface, we can manage the full solution, add graphics, titles and even take the control over the system, in case of special guests or breaking News!” Explains Gerard Floener, Head of Digital Development Radio & Deputy Head of Radio Programmes at RTL Luxembourg.
The last mile is the importance of focusing on costumer experience. Freecaster, a BCE subsidiary, created and advanced video player which let the viewers select the camera they wish to follow during live events. This feature changes completely the production workflow, obliging each camera to remain active during the complete event. Paired with the DVR option, users will never miss the action again.
“While live plays a predominant role in today’s Screen broadcasting, it is important to ensure the operations continuity. To secure these workflows, it is paramount to avoid the multiplication of providers, which could make the communication between each product complex. As a system integrator, we ensure the perfect concatenation of modules with external solutions.” Concludes Frederic Lemaire, Chief Operating Officer at BCE. “In addition, our Network Operations Centre oversees and secures all our customers playout operations”.