- Governments and companies must look for ways to find solutions to reduce the sector’s carbon footprint.
- Every hour of television produced leaves a carbon footprint of 9.2 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to the annual consumption of two households in Europe.
Bilbao, June 2nd, 2023 – In a world increasingly aware of the importance of preserving the environment, technological innovation has become essential to reduce the carbon footprint. Both governments and companies in different sectors must look for ways to solve this problem. In this sense, the media and broadcasting sector is not exempt. To give us an idea, according to data from the Royal Television Society, every hour of television produced leaves a carbon footprint of 9.2 tonnes of CO2, which is equivalent to the annual consumption of two households in Europe. That is why Agile Content, a Spanish company and provider of Internet TV and broadcasting solutions, wanted to analyse ways to reduce the environmental footprint and the five technologies that will be key to achieve this goal.
Essentially, the environmental footprint is made up of the materials that must be extracted and processed to manufacture the necessary goods and products, as well as the pollution and CO2 emissions generated by the energy used to produce, use and move the equipment. Energy does not necessarily contribute to the footprint if it is 100% clean and renewable. However, most energy is consumed from a “grid” in which there is a mix of clean and non-clean energy, and it is therefore reasonable to associate an environmental footprint impact based on this average to all energy.
In this regard, the company highlights two ways to reduce the environmental footprint:
- Limit the technical equipment that needs to be manufactured
This needs to be addressed in three dimensions. The first with the ambition to group applications so that as many as possible can use the same hardware platforms and thus reduce the amount to be manufactured simply due to the accumulation of these. The second dimension is to make each application as efficient as possible and, consequently, to be able to get the most out of each piece of equipment manufactured. The third dimension is how the platform can be used in multiple application areas in a staggered manner over time, minimising downtime and optimising performance.
- Avoiding moving resources
If in practice it means that new technologies can reduce the number of people to be moved, that will have a positive impact. The same goes for equipment. Moving equipment consumes energy and reduces the performance of that equipment (as it is not used while it is being moved). Therefore, reducing the number of devices between which a signal must be sent reduces the energy consumed. Saving the power required within a device for an application means designing the application in such a way that the number of reads/writes to memory and the number of times data enters and exits the CPU can be limited. For bandwidth-intensive applications, such as graphics-rich video games or videos with very high resolutions, there is great potential for savings if this bandwidth is optimised from the user’s perspective.
What technological applications are key for the sector to achieve this goal?
- Change to COTS (Commercial-Off-The-Shelf), cloud and Internet: replacing dedicated devices means that more applications can run on the same platform, which drastically reduces the amount of equipment needed; moving to the cloud allows for significant performance improvements, as multiple applications and even users can use the same underlying infrastructure; and using the Internet instead of dedicated links follows the same principle of sharing a common infrastructure.
- Enable efficient remote and distributed production: When working collaboratively from different locations, key specialists can work without the need to travel, thus reducing the movement of equipment and personnel.
- Efficient application architecture that minimises reads/writes: today’s computers in the cloud, especially if equipped with GPUs, are an excellent combination when it comes to pixel processing. Since they now have considerable internal memory, a large amount of processing can be done with high throughput and very limited electron movement.
- Make applications adaptive and configurable: so that the qualities used can be adapted to today’s needs and are not static, the result of a standardisation meeting that took place many years ago.
- Moore’s Law: the magic of silicon is that every two to three years there will be a doubling of performance. If applications are well designed, this performance translates directly into increased energy, so creating applications that use the latest technology on the market will have a positive impact on sustainability year after year.
Understanding the nature of the problems and addressing them in an efficient way is key to making the broadcasting and TV sector more sustainable. In this sense, Agile Content has Agile Live, a tool that encompasses all the technological applications mentioned above and with a unique concept of Proxy Edition for remote and distributed production. This allows latency to be introduced to improve quality, but also to obtain a high-quality range when using higher performance networks such as the internet. In addition, everything is GPU-based, which means fantastic performance and very low power consumption.
“Broadcast media have an important role to play in moving towards a more sustainable society. This includes keeping the public informed of industry and policy developments towards the -1.5 degrees target, but also taking steps to reduce the environmental footprint of television. Our results show that significant savings in reductions can be achieved by adopting more common web and IT technologies and infrastructures” points out Johan Bolin, Chief Business Officer from Agile Content.
About Agile Content
Agile Content is a leading provider of TV technology solutions and services for pay-TV infrastructure and operations, covering all customer and partner needs. Through its Agile TV platform, it offers a competitive end-to-end portfolio of scalable products and cloud-based services for telecommunications and media companies.
The company has 300 employees, a presence in 25 countries and more than 50 million households. It also has offices in Bilbao, Barcelona, Madrid, Stockholm, Oporto, Hong Kong, Mexico and Sao Paulo. It is currently one of the top 5 fastest growing pay TV groups in Europe, ending the first half of 2022 with almost 800,000 subscribers to its pay TV platform.
Founded in 2007, Agile Content has been listed on the BME Growth market since 2015.