The UK’s ITV and Channel 4 terrestrial television channels have moved to cloud-based processing, in what is seen by industry insiders as a vital move for traditional TV channels if they are to survive.

In a multi-million pound contract between British Telecom (BT) and D3&4, a joint venture of ITV and Channel 4, the two TV channels are now completely, start-to-finish, processed in the cloud.

According to the companies, the benefits of processing digital terrestrial TV in the cloud include cost cutting, lowering energy consumption and enhancing the flexibility of production and distribution. 

“Streaming services are unsurprisingly the go-to choice for many when wanting to watch, and developments such as this are vital if traditional television is going to survive, never mind thrive,” Michelle Stark, sales and marketing director at domains and hosting providers Fasthosts, told Verdict.

“This has the possibility to reinvigorate the television industry, moving into the digital age and shedding their hardware restrictions to become a much more fluid and dynamic service,” Stark added.

BT’s new smart broadcast network, Vena, allows Channel 4 and ITV to deliver digital multiplexing and coding into its broadcasts. The channels are essentially combining multiple content streams into one, before distribution regionally, according to BT.

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By GlobalData

Content from six playout centres can be distributed to nations and regions across the country securely and reliably, with the help of BT’s datacentres. 

According to BT, the company will be providing end-to-end, round-the-clock monitoring services from its international media operations centre.

“This launch marks a major development for the TV industry as a whole,” says Faisal Mahomed, director of BT’s media and broadcast businesses.

It will offer more possibilities for broadcasters to connect and interact with their audiences,” Mahomed added.

The news comes as investment in the cloud continues to grow, driven by the pandemic which accelerated adoption of cloud computing.

Remote working, online education and extra demand for digital payments are just a few of the factors that drove cloud investment during the pandemic.

The value of deals made in the cloud industry in 2022 totalled at $47bn, an increase from $31bn in 2021, according to GlobalData.

This is a huge increase from just five years ago when the amount of investment into the cloud industry in 2016 stood at just $9bn.

GlobalData is the parent company of Verdict and its sister publications.