The Media & Entertainment Industry Drives Cloud Innovation

The Media & Entertainment Industry Drives Cloud Innovation
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The Media & Entertainment Industry Drives Cloud Innovation

This week in Las Vegas, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show will once again demonstrate how the Media and Entertainment Industry has created and pushed the boundaries of new technology.  From the dawn of “moving pictures” to radio, television, non linear editing, animation, Computer Generated Imagery (CGI), DVD, 3D and HD video, the technology developed by the industry has changed the world. The content produced by Hollywood has also given birth to much of the consumer electronics industry.  People bought radios, record players and now tablets and 4K TVs to be informed and entertained by the content delivered through them.  Today, it is cloud innovation that is being pushed by the needs of media and entertainment companies. 

There are three predominant media and entertainment use cases for the public cloud and no doubt those attending the NAB Show will see new ways to capitalize on the cloud.

Digital Distribution

Streaming and downloadable digital products created the almost insatiable need for online speed.  Consumers have high performance expectations for their streaming video such as Video On Demand (VOD) rentals, online gaming, news and live events.  No one wants their movie to stutter in the middle of a climactic scene or to have their video game character die at the hands of aliens because of latency.  Spikes in online traffic due to new releases, popular live events or time of day can affect the user experience.  As broadband speed and penetration have increased, so too has the desire of consumers to watch or play on both larger living room screens and smaller mobile screens.  The requirements to dynamically scale up and down to maintain a quality user experience without breaking the bank have increased the demand for cloud technologies like load balancing, auto scaling and Content Delivery Networks (CDNs).

Collaboration

Movie and TV production is by nature a creative and highly collaborative process that requires the frequent exchange of digital media assets from script changes to still images and raw footage (dailies).  The value of these assets can be literally in the millions of dollars and Hollywood is the poster child for the “time is money” refrain.  This has driven the cloud to develop encryption and identity management technologies to provide secure access to work-in-progress content without slowing down the creative process.  As a matter of fact, users now expect the cloud to speed up production workflow by providing access to content anytime, anywhere, on any device, whether it was created at a remote location or in a mid-city edit bay. 

Post Production in the Cloud

The virtually unlimited capacity of the cloud to deliver computing power and storage on demand has become increasingly attractive for CGI, animation rendering and video encoding applications.  This has pushed the inner workings of the cloud to provide ever faster ways to transfer and crunch data and process massive files.  It has also helped bring further innovations to the cloud in the form of faster drives, advanced networking, and high performance computing.

Bridges to the Cloud

One of the newest cloud technologies making collaboration and post production easier are hybrid storage devices.  These appliances act as local gateways to the cloud that allow you to transfer encrypted files to and from the cloud yet still be able to modify the files without sacrificing performance  thanks to their local storage cache.  If you are interested in this approach you can get up to 110 Terabytes of HP Cloud storage free for a year.  You can find more details about that here.

There is no doubt that the demands placed on the cloud by the media and entertainment industry have influenced the capabilities of the cloud and how it’s being used for so many other applications every day.  The growing volume of professionally produced online content at ever higher resolutions will continue to inspire cloud providers to deliver the services needed to power a bigger, more immersive and expansive entertainment universe. 

If you are attending the NAB show in Las Vegas next week, I will be on a panel, 2013 Changes in Cloud Computing, where I expect we will touch upon this topic. Also, be sure to stop by the HP booth SL9605 for a demo of the HP Public Cloud or to continue the discussion about the many media and entertainment industry contributions to technology.

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