Fox TV Network Putting Master Control In The Cloud

Clyde Smith, Fox SVP of engineering

Clyde Smith, Fox SVP of engineering

The Fox TV Network is skipping channel-in-a-box solutions altogether and moving their master control into the cloud.

The network is partnering with Snell on the project that will deploy in 2014, says Robert Rowe, Snell managing director of live TV. Once it goes live, Fox’s master control will be virtual and completely scalable, allowing operators to access master control from anywhere globally.

“We are taking the broadcast playout system and putting it into the cloud, and we’ve been actively working on that,” says Neil Maycock, Snell chief architect, in a press conference Sunday morning at the NAB Show.

Clyde Smith, Fox SVP engineering, said he wanted to virtualize its master control infrastructure to adapt to the evolving market conditions. “It will be used across our network, including the new Fox Sports 1 network.”

Once deployed, master control could be operated from a traditional control room, or from a tablet, says Rowe.

There are a few kinks that need to be worked out, says Smith, including dealing with baseband video requirements and latency issues. A task force was created last week whose vision is to “enable new business opportunities through the exchange of professional media across networks, taking advantage of the benefits of IT-based technology at an affordable price.”

That task force will be charged with making cloud-based master control a reality.

A virtualized playout setup will be demoed at Snell’s booth this week at NAB, booth N1820.

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