IP Broadcast Solutions - Distribution
In the current environment, broadcasters are confronted with many challenges: transitioning from traditional hardware-defined legacy distribution models to software-based solutions; adopting more economical public networks for transport; maintaining broadcast-quality continuity with remote production and engineering; and delivering content across an increasingly complex supply chain to a myriad of endpoints. Zixi can help them overcome these challenges.
Zixi provides a cloud based and on-premise Software-Defined Video Platform (SDVP) that enables reliable broadcast-quality video delivery over any IP network, any protocol, any cloud provider, and any edge device. The company offers technologies for broadcasters, enterprises, over-the-top video providers, and mobile service providers around the world, making it easy and economical for media companies to source, manage, localize, and distribute live events and 24/7 live linear channels in broadcast QoS, securely and at scale. Zixi provides enhanced control in large complex networks with ZEN Master, a live video orchestration and telemetry control plane that provides visual tools to configure, orchestrate, and monitor live broadcast channels and events across industry protocols. Over 10+ years, the Zixi Enabled Network (ZEN) has grown to over 200 OEM and service providers and serves well over 700 customers representing most of the top media brands around the world with 20,000+ channels delivered daily.
The SDVP is the unique integration of four main components: Protocols, Video Solutions Stack, ZEN Master and the Zixi Enabled Network. Each part of the SDVP provide unique capabilities and solutions that make live video distribution with Zixi unparalleled.
The SDVP accepts over 17 industry protocols and containers, advancing the market leading Zixi protocol while adding additional value to tangential offerings from other vendors, standards, and open sourced initiatives, including NDI, RIST Main Profile, TCP BBR, SRT, Multipath TCP, and WebRTC. Most customers rely on the Zixi protocol for transport as it is congestion and network-aware and can dynamically adjust to varying network conditions and employ patented forward error correction techniques for error-free video delivery. With DTLS and AES encryption for best-in-class security, the Zixi protocol can conduct protected multicast, alleviate encoder back pressure and create 30%+ bandwidth efficiency. The Zixi protocol can handle up to 45% packet loss and deliver with ultra-low latency as low as 300 ms, ensuring consumers receive the best picture in real time.
Zixi’s Video Solutions Stack provides essential tools and core media processing functions for broadcast-quality transport that corrects for packet loss and jitter. Patented Hitless Failover techniques provide 99.9999%+ reliable transport between sources and receivers. The Video Solutions Stack also provides broadcasters with enhanced tools to streamline workflows including protocol switching, robust analytics, live 4K and 8K transcoding and repackaging, recording, time shifted delivery, and auto-slating. The Video Solutions stack also employs machine learning techniques to provide a real-time estimated PSNR (ePSNR) with no reference video required, helping the user determine if content providers are meeting SLAs for contribution stream quality.
With Zixi’s ZEN Master control plane, users can cost-effectively manage and monitor complex deployments at scale and configure and orchestrate live broadcast channels across protocols and the Zixi Enabled Network. ZEN Master allows for control of the edge, network, and cloud with full telemetry visualization of network streams. ZEN Master provides essential monitoring and management tools, such as workflow visualization, providing extensive visibility into and control over workflows that go across Zixi-enabled multi-party supply chains. Users can leverage alerting, extensive history graphs, automated toolsets, and scheduling and reporting capabilities that abstract complexity to reduce engineering requirements and allow media organizations to leverage operational resources, providing democratized access with geographic agility. ZEN Master integration allows remote access to UIs of Zixi-integrated devices and software across the Zixi Enabled Network for optimal monitoring and control from one centralized control plane.
The last component of the SDVP is the Zixi Enabled Network of over 200+ integrated partners from cameras, encoder/decoders, forensic watermarking systems, editing platforms and playout systems. This unrivaled network allows Zixi users to integrate seamlessly with hundreds of software and hardware partners (including Pixellot, Synamedia, AVID, EditShare, Vimond, Net Insight Blackbird and more) providing live video solutions, with the ability to monitor and manage the UIs of integrated systems from within ZEN Master.
The SDVP is used by more than 700 media organizations in the world, including Bloomberg, NBC Universal and NBC Sports, Amazon Prime Video, Warner Media, Blizzard, FuboTV, and many more to monitor and manage their live video broadcasts.
In the past year, many content and service providers use the SDVP to deliver HD video from sports venues over unmanaged Internet connections, leveraging Zixi’s ability to maximize available bandwidth through network bonding which gives even greater stability to the feed for the best Quality of Service. Most recently Zixi was used for the World Cup (June – July 2019), the Indian Premiere League Final which broke a global record for 18M concurrent viewers (May 2019), European Premier League games (Jan – May 2019), the NFL’s 2019 – 2020 season, the NHL restart (August - September 2020), and for the recent product launches of OTT streaming services Bloomberg TV+ (July 2019) and NBCUniversal’s Peacock (April – May 2020).
As a leader in distribution over any IP network, Zixi is constantly innovating for the future. Zixi is currently teaming with Verizon and AWS Wavelength Zones for real-world production implementations over 5G networks. Announced in mid-September, Zixi is currently working with a major broadcaster so that their 4K live broadcast feed can be delivered over Verizon 5G using AWS Wavelength, allowing distribution of live streams across broadcast media workflows at super-low latency without the need for satellites. With the SDVP on Verizon 5G Edge and AWS Wavelength, customers will have the ability to provide at scale end-to-end workflow management and the quality of experience that consumers demand. View the project video here.
There are many market requirements that the SDVP addresses. First, at its core, the problem Zixi solves for its clients is how to conduct broadcast-quality live video monitoring, and management with secure and reliable contribution and delivery over IP networks. The SDVP does this by bringing hardware, software, and cloud solutions under one platform, enabling broadcast-quality live video workflows to be intelligently and centrally provisioned, deployed, managed and monitored using software and integrated devices, regardless of the underlying network infrastructure.
The SDVP also helps customers transition from legacy, hardware-based models of distribution, to virtual cloud-based, software-driven solutions. When shifting to software-enabled deployments, it is crucial for customers to build flexible infrastructures that can interoperate. The unparalleled interoperability of the SDVP means it can ensure broadcast-quality live video across any protocol, any IP network, any cloud provider and any edge device, making it easy and economical to source, manage and distribute live channels with low latency securely and at scale. Because it is software-defined, as new technologies emerge, the SDVP evolves with them, iterating to fit the business needs of its customers and partners. With the SDVP, customers can stand up and deliver streams in a matter of minutes instead of weeks, which means they can get into market more quickly with their content, deliver across a wide range of networks, in any format required.
In today’s current climate, the shift towards remote working means it is more important than ever to monitor, manage and deliver reliable, broadcast-quality video from homes and remote facilities. Using the Zixi SDVP, remote production workers can have visibility and access to their entire video supply chain, from content acquisition through media processing to delivery to social platforms, OTT targets and traditional IRDs across the distribution landscape. Zixi’s SDVP enables content producers and distributors to easily migrate their workflow control points from on-premise infrastructures with local operational and engineering resources to remotely managed workflows that leverage existing infrastructures and extend those capabilities to the Cloud (public and private) while allowing the agility, flexibility, scale and security with the Quality of Service that professional broadcast requires.