Advanced Television

Synamedia unveils ATSC 3.0, cloud initiatives

May 7, 2020

By Colin Mann

Video software provider Synamedia says it is the first in the market to develop an ATSC 3.0 receiver, leveraging the company’s newly-unveiled Media Edge Gateway software-based integrated receiver/decoder (IRD) (see below). The solution can function as both an RF and IP receiver, and will enable cable operators to capitalise on the next-generation distribution market as it evolves to new forms of software-based and cloud-native receivers.

While the transformational potential of ATSC 3.0 is currently mostly touted for over-the-air (OTA) broadcasters, the availability of a dedicated receiver will allow multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), who deliver a majority of broadcast transmissions, to receive ATSC 3.0 signals. As one of the first applications of Synamedia’s Media Edge Gateway, the ATSC 3.0 receiver enables cable operators to trial ATSC 3.0 signals and deploy on a smaller scale with cost-efficiency and flexibility, selectively incorporating features at their own pace. The new solution empowers operators to augment broadcasters’ ATSC 3.0 business ambitions and allows consumers to test drive new types of content afforded by the new standard.

Synamedia’s existing video network solutions, software IRD functionalities and ancillary hardware have positioned the company to create an ATSC 3.0 receiver that will enable cable operators quickly to capitalise on the ATSC 3.0 market. Furthermore, for cable networks that are built on ATSC 1.0 technology, this receiver acts as a bridge between the two standards with ATSC 3.0 to MPEG Transport Stream output to help ensure cable operators can receive signals correctly from broadcasters.

“The promised benefits of ATSC 3.0 including high-quality video and audio, cross-screen capabilities, targeted advertising and interactivity are closer than ever to becoming a reality,” said Julien Signes, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Video Network at Synamedia. “Cable operators are well-positioned to augment the value of these new services, and the availability of an ATSC 3.0 receiver for MVPDs is the key to unlocking widespread adoption for ATSC 3.0. The winning combination of our portfolio and deep roots in the cable industry put us in an optimal position to be the first to develop this technology that will further enhance viewing experiences and transform infinite entertainment.”

Synamedia says the Media Edge Gateway opens new routes to monetisation, software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based business models, hybrid deployments and much more, and can reduce go-to-market schedules from weeks to mere minutes using automation, the resulting benefit of its software-based architecture. This approach creates more value for end customers while offering video service providers new monetisation paths. Additionally, it enables customers to experiment or launch varying business models including SaaS options and subscription-based packages.

“Never before has there been a stronger need for cost efficient delivery of the high quality viewers expect, and never before has it been as simple to do as it is with our new Media Edge Gateway,” said Signes. “By adding our newest edge gateway to the mix, video service providers can truly optimise every single part of their network, and do so while being more efficient in today’s software-driven world.”

Separately, Synamedia announced an ATSC 3.0-ready cloud solution for the US and international markets in partnership with Thomson Broadcast and Triveni Digital.

In a crucial step for carrying the next-generation broadcast standard forward, the companies have validated configurations for an ATSC 3.0 channel in the cloud, in a joint effort to meet the needs of station operators who are looking for a fast, cost-effective way to trial and deploy ATSC 3.0 with minimal disruption to their existing stations before investing in on-premise equipment. In addition to simplified trial deployment, the cloud-based configuration allows providers to leverage cloud operations for disaster recovery which can eventually be used in conjunction with their permanent solutions, and to seamlessly switch between on-premise and cloud equipment.

Synamedia’s encoding and packaging capabilities from its video network portfolio; Triveni Digital’s GuideBuilder and Broadcast Gateway; and Thomson’s tower transmission products position the three companies to pave the way for widespread on-premise and cloud-based deployment of the latest broadcast standard. Furthermore, with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)’s adoption earlier this year of the ATSC 3.0 standard as a recommendation for countries around the world, this channel-in-the-cloud solution now has potential for worldwide implementation. International customers will benefit from Synamedia and Thomson’s global presence and combined worldwide support services.

“We pride ourselves on being the only one-stop-shop for end-to-end video network needs, and are thrilled to be working with Thomson Broadcast and Triveni Digital to help speed up ATSC 3.0 adoption,” declared Signes. “The new broadcast standard promises to revolutionise the way people consume video content, which aligns with our ongoing commitment to transform how people are entertained and informed.”

“Operators are increasingly recognising the operational efficiencies of the cloud, and we’re proud to be at the forefront of this industry shift alongside Synamedia and Triveni Digital,” added Aby Alexander, President, USA at Thomson Broadcast. “’Channel in the cloud’ enables broadcasters to synchronise and orchestrate over-the-air transmission and cloud applications with an ATSC 3.0 signal, enabling a compelling, interactive and immersive experience.”

“The ability to trial ATSC 3.0 channels in the cloud will be a gamechanger for station operators in terms of capex savings, beginning with deployments of ATSC 3.0 lighthouse configurations using the cloud,” suggested Mark Simpson, President and CEO for Triveni Digital. “We’ve been working with Synamedia and Thomson Broadcast on ATSC 3.0 solutions for some time now, and this extended three-way partnership brings together the best of the best in cloud technology and video processing expertise.”

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