What industry has millions of users worldwide using all kinds of devices, and is seeing mobile adoption grow at an ever-increasing rate? What industry owns significant infrastructure that its consumers get to use for free or with a minimal subscription fee? TV, of course! Given the parallels, though, you could certainly have been thinking cloud computing or the internet. Yet despite the apparent similarities, television has been an industry reluctant to adopt cloud/SaaS solutions to help solve their technical challenges.
When the broadcast industry mastered concepts like uptime and redundancy, computers were still glorified calculators that took up entire rooms. TV engineers preferred discrete, industrial-strength hardware for each task; filling rack-upon-rack with the perfect stack of equipment to bring you Howdy-Doody on schedule and at the highest possible quality. Early "IT-based" solutions weren't always reliable or imposed limitations that deterred TV stations from using new tools for decades at a time.
While broadcasters continued to hone their craft and add pixels and features (color, stereo, closed-captions, etc), computing was progressing too. By the 1980s, computers had infiltrated parts for the TV industry, except for engineering, production and master control. In the 1990s and 2000s, some systems became computerized, but it was still basically discrete industrial stuff that was incredibly expensive.
With the internet came the spread of internet-based solutions. Computer engineers started to fill racks with discrete industrial hardware to support the public's thirst for information. Tired of the ridiculous cost of maintaining expensive proprietary hardware, many companies who built their businesses on racks started to look for solutions. They began by leasing equipment from others, then by running it themselves. For all their benefits, these solutions still required the management of end-to-end stacks.
At the same time, companies like Amazon and Google were tackling massive computing tasks and discovering better technology options. Google realized that old proprietary hardware would cost millions, add complexity and probably sink their projects. To combat this, they turned to commodity, off-the-shelf computing power—what would later be recognized as “the cloud.” With the "stack" no-longer an issue, companies were able to do amazing things without having to buy a server. Web 2.0 revolutionized the tech industry, and internet-only broadcasters appeared.
Despite all of this progress, the core technology needed to create compelling content for television is not available to the majority of content creators. Demand for new content is increasing at an almost insatiable rate, but modern means to create it are woefully absent. The cloud is changing this. Vidpresso is making the tools that will be used by the next generation of content creators to wow audiences, tell stories, and inform the public. It's not just about creating the content once and re-running it occasionally; it’s about connecting with your audience and involving them in the process.
We think producers should be able to harness all of the power of the internet, the cloud and their audience to create experiences we haven't even imagined yet. If you haven't seen what Vidpresso can do, sign-up for a demo! Keep an eye on us, we're sitting at the nexus of TV and the internet, and the future looks bright!