A hybrid of expertise results in Arqiva’s hybrid “OTT Live” solution

The experts at Arqiva, Media Excel and Garland worked together to meet one customer’s demand for UHD and HD HEVC encoded streams, and now business is booming

 A sign of excellence in collaboration and industry leadership is the ability to take an already acclaimed solution and continue to make new and exciting enhancements that will open up new business. Such is the case when three renown organisations  with expertise in IP streaming — Arqiva, Media Excel and Garland — who worked together so Arqiva could build their ‘OTT Live’ fully managed hybrid OTT Service offering

Arqiva, a leading communications infrastructure company, has been using Media Excel’s HERO encoders/transcoders to support its IP streaming solution for almost three years. They had originally been looking for a flexible and robust IP streaming platform to deliver a broadcast-quality service at a competitive cost per channel.

Digital video solutions provider, Garland, who have been supplying technology to Arqiva for eight years, worked closely with Arqiva to supply the HERO solution. Media Excel’s HERO is a multi-format, scalable transcoding platform that combines the ability to do live and file-based workflows in the same platform. Coupled with powerful management and redundancy systems, it provides the flexibility, density and high-quality transcoding required by today’s media companies.

Arqiva’s IP streaming solution can be easily integrated into its media management and occasional use service, so broadcasters can either deliver the content directly to its consumers, or use the solution as a confidence feed to securely monitor existing services, to ensure a high quality managed service. Additionally, with the Media Excel solution, Arqiva now has the flexibility to build and virtualise real-time ‘Live to VoD services’, plus layer in advanced quality-of-service and monitoring features to give its customers new commercial models and greater audience reach.

Arqiva’s global reach and diverse customer base dictate the need for a versatile architecture that can scale in terms of density, workflow type and form factor without compromising the quality of experience.

“The speed at which our industry is evolving dictates the need for a versatile product as well as for a responsive partner, says Nikos Kyriopoulos, Product Director at Media Excel. “Several unique features in Media Excel’s product portfolio originated from partner/customer input. Arqiva’s scientists and sales team have contributed substantially to our product development roadmap,  for the short and the long term.  A good example of this is the UHD HEVC ingest capability for our HERO multi-screen transcoder.”

“The Hybrid OTT Service Arqiva can now offer is an on-premise plus virtual infrastructure (the”hybrid”) that allows them to deliver highly redundant workflows with disaster recovery sites, says Lorna Garrett, Commercial Director at Garland.  “This satisfies even the most-demanding and high-profile services anywhere. By leveraging Media Excel’s central management architecture and APIs across all encoders, however deployed, the service provides operational efficiency. Arqiva now have the versatility needed to deliver services confidently and quickly for Live, VoD, Live-to-VoD, and VoD-to-Live workflows.”

The results are already apparent — Arqiva’s OTT ‘Managed Service’ business is increasing especially amongst International customers. These include sports rights holders, multi-platform media companies and multi-channel broadcasters.

“Today, when you hear the word ‘hybrid,’ many think of a car that can run on more than one source of power,” says Alex Pannell, Media Services Director at Arqiva. “Our collaboration with Media Excel and Garland is similar in that it runs on the unique power each group brings to the table with their unique skill sets. The result is our successful and growing Hybrid OTT service.”