Quickstream Gives a Boost to Cloud Delivery for Broadcast Video

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4Q 2020 | IN-5977

The pandemic has changed the broadcast landscape and is driving additional value to cloud solutions. This is generating opportunities for companies like Quickstream that can navigate unexpected changes to content demand, content contribution, and streaming needs.

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Quickstream Releases Quickstream Cloud for Cloud Delivery of Broadcast-Quality Feeds


Polish company Quickstream, which was built out of the company 4vod to target live broadcasts, announced its Quickstream Cloud product for the broadcast industry. Quickstream Cloud builds upon the company’s Quickstream Node gateway solution, serving as a global video exchange network or stated differently, functioning as a central management system. Quickstream’s targeted audience (i.e., broadcasters, content producers, etc.) still relies, in many cases, on dedicated hardware and leased lines to make connections for contribution and playout to partners/recipients, and while there was some reluctance to switch to the cloud, the pandemic has changed these perceptions and misgivings. Quickstream is not alone in this market; Zixi, for example, is a leader in live broadcast over Internet Protocol (IP), but the company’s approach to the market, which is more akin to a cloud provider (open to anyone to sign up and install Quickstream solutions) than a typical video solutions provider (with traditional sales staff, support, etc.), is unique. The process to establish connections to partners is relatively simple and straightforward, and to credit the company’s pitch, it is not significantly more complex than sharing other content like documents.

If the customer does not need to encode/transcode its feed, Quickstream’s Node gateway and Cloud solutions can be deployed using off-the-shelf Personal Computers (PCs), reducing the necessary Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) and expense to secure leased lines. The nodes can connect to each other using different technologies and protocols (e.g., USB, SDI, UDP) but Quickstream highlights SRT to provide ultra-low latency transmission; direct links can be established using cloud providers like Google, Amazon, or Microsoft.

Growing Importance of the Cloud-Accelerated by the Pandemic


Over the course of the last few years, cloud solutions and content distribution have garnered increasing attention. Cisco, for example, spun off its Service Provider Video Software Solutions business (now Synamedia), in part because it did not see rapid enough adoption of its Infinite Platform and, initially, Synamedia reemphasized its legacy customers (and Foundation Platform), who were still working with on-premises hardware and were not ready to make the leap to the cloud and IP distribution. Step forward nearly 2 years and now the shift is back to Infinite Platform and IP and the cloud. While these large-scale video platform providers and others like Zixi are helping the upper tier players make these transitions, there is a long tail of players that are either not key targets or are not best served by these larger companies. The pandemic has also created a need for broadcasters to become more flexible and support team members across larger distances who may not be able to gain access to on-premises hardware due to social distancing and/or travel restrictions.

The changing landscape, in many ways accelerated by the pandemic, is generating more opportunities for companies like Quickstream and driving additional value to the cloud. The transfer of expenditures from CAPEX to operating costs also allows companies to become increasingly adaptable when navigating unexpected changes to content demand and streaming needs (e.g., support additional partners or channels). There are also typically integration cost savings between partners when cloud solutions are used versus connecting hardware and software that are sourced from different vendors. The limiting factor for the cloud has historically been existing investments and workflows that are reliable and proven, versus a new alternative that, in some cases, is less trusted for quality of service and/or security. The rise of Over-the-Top (OTT) and Direct-to-Customer (DTC) solutions certainly gave the transition to the cloud a shot of adrenaline, but the pandemic forced many companies to rethink their strategies.

The Cloud Will Be Mainstream Sooner Than We Think


In a recent group panel discussion, one panelist asserted that the pandemic accelerated the cloud, as a mainstream distribution channel by 2 to 3 years; instead of 2025 to 2027, the target was now 2023 to 2024. This extends to more than just video contribution and playout, but overall distribution of content (i.e., the shift from traditional pay TV to DTC and OTT). As these shifts occur, broadcasters and media companies need to remain agile and prepared for the unexpected, and the cloud helps address these needs. While this pandemic will eventually end, there will be indelible impressions and changes to workflows that will persist. While some of this might stem from a concern for the next “pandemic-like” scenario, companies have also seen remote workforces not only keep businesses running, but do so in a cost-effective manner; in other words, the current pandemic has opened many eyes. This does not mean the industry will make a wholesale move to the cloud in the near future, as there is still quite a bit of legacy, but it will play an increasing role in both content contribution and playout, along with continued growth in delivery. Companies like Quickstream are helping open up the cloud to a wider range of companies and applications.



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