STN, or the Satellite Telecommunications Network, has experienced rapid growth since its founding in 2004. The privately owned teleport located on the outskirts of Ljubljana, Slovenia is now recognized as a global provider of broadcast and media solutions, with top ranking from the World Teleport Association (WTA). STN has extensively expanded in the past 11 years and provides high quality services for over 650 TV channels and 300 radio channels for global clients.
STN is gearing up for further expansion to build on this strong foundation to support its next phase, to enter new markets and to diversify its services. According to Anver Anderson, General Manager, STN, the teleport is considering several new opportunities – geographic, vertical industry and services to take advantage of innovative ways of using technology to advance within an ever-evolving industry.
Geographically, STN is uniquely positioned to cover the globe with access to all commercial satellites. The Middle East was one of STN’s first markets outside of Europe and it continues to grow. With regard to vertical industry expansion, Anderson cites opportunities with enterprises that span a variety of industries from oil and gas to education to banking as well as offshore ventures.
Overall, there is growing worldwide demand for a broader range of services including IPTV, over-the top (OTT) and direct-to-home (DTH) video delivery. The strategy at STN is to provide more – more services and more capacity – so the company can enable new technologies while using fewer frequencies. These include innovations such as 4K Ultra HD (UHD) content delivery, which takes advantage of high-efficiency video coding (HEVC) while keeping end user costs to a minimum.
Using a unified headend powered by Elemental video processing to deliver both broadcast and OTT TV content allows STN to operate in a way that aligns with the company’s “utilize technology, maximize possibility” philosophy. A unified headend enables operational efficiencies on a massive scale. The flexibility, reliability and scalability of software-defined video solutions from Elemental ultimately allow STN to deliver the highest quality video experience to customers around the world.
The broadcast industry has traditionally been powered by advertising. As broadcast content is increasingly consumed via IP-connected devices, new approaches to monetization are taking hold to optimize online revenue opportunities. In the last three years in Europe alone, online video revenue has increased a tremendous 1700 percent, topping more than $422M.
In this webcast, Lionel Bringuier, Director of Product Management at Elemental, and Ashique Anwar, Senior Product Manager, Live & VOD Platform at Ooyala discuss the differences between client-side ad insertion (CSAI) and server-side ad insertion (SSAI), in light of the effort by content providers to personalize ads while maintaining a high quality viewing experience.
There are several challenges in deploying CSAI including device proliferation, which creates the need for a universal platform that supports all devices with respect to ad insertion. This is an expensive proposition, especially when upgrading becomes important. There is also the need to create a unified viewing experience across devices, and to create a seamless user experience between content and advertisements – free from buffering and degraded quality resulting from differing aspect ratios.
SSAI, though not yet the de facto solution, may provide increased opportunities for content providers in meeting these challenges as long as it is able to track user views and enable personalized ad content. During the webcast, Bringuier and Anwar demonstrate an Elemental-Ooyala solution for SSAI, which is available in both on-premises and in cloud deployments for ease of use and resiliency.
Video customers in South Korea have come to expect the highest quality viewing experience, and for good reason. The country was the first in the world to broadcast UHD when pay TV channel U-max began broadcasting 4K documentaries, live concerts and cartoons in April 2014. Since then, South Korea has consistently topped charts as being the most 4K-ready nation in the world. According to Akamai’s State of the Internet Report (2015 Q4), which is updated quarterly, South Korea remains firmly in the global lead for internet connection speed, averaging 26.7 Mbps, a 30 percent increase over Q3’15. This is considerably faster than second place Sweden (averaging 19.1 Mbps) and well above the world average of 5.6Mbps.
This speed, coupled with virtually 100 percent penetration in the pay TV market shared by two market leaders, KT and SK Broadband, is key to promoting UHD video delivery. The UHD TV market in APAC more than doubled in the last year, according to research firm GFK, and South Korea is the largest UHD TV market in region and the second fastest in terms of growth.
The largely young, urban South Korean population is accustomed to sophisticated multiscreen services, and is already benefitting from the innovation offered by market leaders KT, one of the leading in-country telecommunications companies, and SK Broadband, which is investing heavily in content creation. As they both move to keep pace with the South Korean market demand, the companies are expanding their use of Elemental high-efficiency video coding (HEVC) software to make 4K UHD a key part of their offerings. With software-defined video solutions from Elemental, both KT and SK have the processing capacity and bandwidth to deliver a great UHD viewing experience, and a highly efficient, scalable video infrastructure as the South Korean market expands.