Avid SRT Hub

Avid’s Move to the Cloud Deepens with SRT and SRT Hub

Editor’s note: Haivision’s ecosystem of SRT Hub partners is focused on creating easier ways for broadcasters to connect multiple systems in a unified workflow. In this SRT Hub ecosystem series of blog posts, we’re interviewing our partners to get their unique take on how SRT Hub is proving to be instrumental in their cloud-based workflows. 

Editor’s note: When this interview was published in September 2019, Haivision Hub was known as SRT Hub. This post reflects that.

Avid is a storied name in media technology. Founded in 1987, their Media Composer product won a technical Emmy®  six years later. That turned out to be the first of sixteen to date; which explains why the company needs little introduction!

But diving into open source with SRT? That’s a big move for any company, but Avid’s stature in the hearts of creatives everywhere makes it extra noteworthy. Ray Thompson, the company’s Director of Broadcast and Media Solutions Marketing explained it this way.

“It’s not long ago that OTT apps and social media were nice to haves. We’ve engaged in plenty of proof of concepts with our customers. But honestly, when you look at the dollars, the spending, it wasn’t a front-burner item. Today, there is so much change in our business. And I would say, we’ve been feeling that ramp over the past 12 months. It’s much more a feeling of being an absolute requirement, with customers pretty much demanding it.”

That wave described by Ray is the same wave that landed the company into a major strategic partnership with Microsoft Azure in April of 2017. Azure’s commitment to the media and entertainment vertical – including cognitive and media services – was a decision driver for Avid.

“Our partnership with Azure is deep. For our customers, their primary asset is their content and they need to store and access that content in a very thoughtful way. We’ve done a lot of specialized integration work with Avid NEXIS as a result, it’s not just a lift and shift.”

Indeed, the company recently launched Avid NEXIS | Cloudspaces at NAB in April. It’s an impactful release for Avid’s customers, who now have a simple way to access their existing Avid NEXIS projects in the cloud. According to Ray, that storage and file layer is the foundational building block for the company’s cloud strategy.

Of course, once you have that foundation, the next step is to get content in and out of the cloud and around the globe as needed.

“So that’s where Azure’s embrace of SRT and Avid’s embrace of Azure have really just come together in a really positive and organic effort. Not only SRT but also SRT Hub are important expressions and natural evolutions of that core partnership struck in 2017 and this shows it’s strong and growing. Now our customers can not only get content into a production environment, but they can then take that live stream for example and get it out on digital platforms in new and interesting ways. The earlier you can get content on digital platforms, the more revenue you stand to make on that content.”

One clear hallmark of the SRT Alliance membership community is how important the idea of a partner ecosystem is. In the past, Avid had not been seen as a company that was particularly open. So I felt it was fair game to ask Ray about open standards and open source. 

“Yes and I’m glad you asked. We have become a much more open company. Take Avid MediaCentral. There, too, we have a tight integration with Microsoft Cognitive Services. We add our phonetic search capability into that. And a key component to Media Central is exactly what you brought up, that it’s an open platform, anyone can build on top of it. And many customers are doing that. They’re hiring a development team and making some unique tools and workflows for their producers and journalists. It’s very much like what Haivision and Microsoft and Avid many others are doing with the SRT Hub.”

Having so many media solutions companies connecting to each other in the cloud, using standard, open source tools, it’s just about as exciting as it gets in video and TV tech. Don’t miss Avid Technology at IBC2019, stand 7.B55. 

SRT Hub at IBC2019

Heading to IBC? If you’re a broadcaster interested in learning more about SRT Hub, register to attend our panel: Broadcast Production in the Cloud and discover how delivering breaking news and live events can be accelerated using SRT Hub and Microsoft Azure cloud services.  If you’re a developer or integrator and want to find out more about SRT Hub’s open partner ecosystem, join us at the SRT Hub Technical Overview.

Not going to IBC? Register to attend either panel discussion and we’ll send you a recording after the show.

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