Sushant Rai to drive growth for TVU Networks in the broadcast market

Sushant Rai is the Vice President, Sales – South Asia, Middle East and Africa for TVU Networks, a technology and market leader in cloud and IP-based live video solutions. Sushant will lead strategic sales efforts across all three major regions with sales and solutions teams consolidating under his leadership.

Prior to joining TVU, Sushant held multiple senior executive roles in well-respected technology and solutions providers in the broadcast industry. Sushant Rai reveals how he plans to drive growth for TVU Networks in the broadcast markets in an exclusive interview with Broadcast & Film.

Q You have recently taken charge at TVU as Vice President Sales for South Asia, Middle East & Africa region and been in the industry for over two decades. How do you look at your new role and your journey over the last two+ decades?

In this exceptional period, our customers are facing business continuity challenges, which require them to rethink the way of operating and managing broadcast tasks. In order to provide the media content that audiences expect broadcasters must seek more cloud and IP based solutions to overcome the current constraints affecting the workflow of physical studios. TVU can help all broadcasters to transit their workflows to cloud and IP based solutions, which will help minimize disruption and maximize the advantage of efficiency. TVU is in a good position; I will lead our team and show our ability to help our customers achieve IP transformation in the near future.

In my 24+ years in the media industry, I have focused on providing the best, cost-effective, value-for-money solutions to my clients. I have strived to offer better workflows and practical broadcast quality technologies keeping the client’s budgets, and timelines clearly in focus. I am fortunate to have ridden a few technology waves – Analog to Digital; SD to HD; Mono to Surround; Tape to Monetisation; CapEx to SaaS; On-Prem to Cloud; SDI to IP during these years and it is still fun.

Q. The Covid 19 lockdown has impacted the business worldwide. How do you see the impact of this on the business and how soon will the companies be able to get over this and bounce back?

The influence of COVID-19 on the media industry is very serious. Due to the isolation measures in India, many media companies are unable to operate with any business normalcy. Those companies that are unable to rapidly adjust their business model to the new restrictions will not be able to compete and are at risk of closing down.

Although the whole industry is facing an unprecedented crisis, , there are also many opportunities for those willing to move quickly to cloud and IP-based solutions such as At-Home production workflows, mobile live broadcasting, remote video conferencing collaboration and so on. With years of technology accumulation, TVU is a leader with rich experience in At-Home production and mobile live broadcasting. TVU has been providing professional and free production solutions to the larger broadcast community during the pandemic.

In the post-COVID era, I think the media industry will recover rapidly because people's consumption of media content is eternal, and with the increasing use of mobile devices, TV screens and small mobile screens will develop simultaneously. However, production methods will be changed forever because of the necessity to adapt to more remote production caused by the pandemic. This includes developing content for new modes of vertical screen programming for mobile live broadcasting.

Tell us something about some of the prestigious projects undertaken by TVU in India recently?

We have many recent large-scale projects in India. One of the most well-known is for ANI. ANI is the only news agency in India and one of the biggest news agencies in ASIA. With ANI, we signed a long-term agreement where we will help in setting up their technology to distribute their video (24x7) to all their affiliates (nearly 100+) across the country. This includes all news channels and certain sports portals and print companies. We have started deployment of TVU equipment and will complete the entire project by July 2020. This is a major milestone for India’s broadcasting industry in changing the traditional workflow with TVU delivering tremendous value through lower cost, higher efficiency and simple convenience.

Q. How has the growth been for TVU in emerging markets like India? How do you compare the growth with markets in other parts of Asia?

TVU has been and continues to rapidly grow in emerging markets. A dozen TVU offices in the world are located in developing countries and regions. We have established strong partnerships with major media customers in these regions.  India is a core strategic market for us. TVU entered the Indian market more than 10 years ago with TVUPack, our original portable cellular backpack device. Over the years, TVU has grown its customer base in the region and now work with ZEE, ANI, ABP News, ETV Bharat, Asianet and many others.

India and China are two of our fastest growing regions of business. TVU has been able to gain many new customers in these countries because we are able to help Indian and Chinese broadcasters increase the reuse of media content, reduce costs, improve production efficiency and expand distribution.

Q. Tell us briefly about some of the new products that TVU plans to launch and their USP?

TVU continues to introduce new solutions and add new customer requested features to existing solutions that are designed to empower the media supply chain for broadcasters. We have new product introductions or enhancement across our entire TVU ecosystem from media content acquisition to production to distribution and management.

TVU One with embedded 5G modems — Our 6th generation TVU One 1080p HDR and 4K HDR mobile IP video transmitter is now shipping with embedded 5G modems. TVU One transmits simultaneously over multiple aggregated connections, including cellular 3G/4G/LTE/5G, microwave, satellite, BGAN, WiFi and Ethernet. Remote production enters a new phase with a TVU One solution that now delivers HEVC/H.265 efficient video compression, patented TVU Inverse StatMux Plus (IS+) algorithm for superior transmission reliability, true 60 FPS frame rate, 10-bit HDR support and the ability to send at 100Mbps over a 5G cellular infrastructure.

TVU Producer 3.0 – TVU Producer was designed to allow anyone to produce professional quality multi-camera live video regardless of their level of experience. It is a powerful Cloud-based video production solution that uses a web interface from any standard browser and requires no hardware or software. The new TVU Producer 3.0 introduces integrated TVU Partyline, a Real Time Interactive Layer which enables production crews, talent, and equipment to interact with each other in real-time, as if they are in the same physical location. We call this Social Production. In addition, TVU Producer 3.0 delivers robust features including patented zero-latency frame-accurate switching technology, professional graphics/overlay capabilities, instant replay, PIP/dual/quad multi-view and the ability to simultaneously output directly to social media platforms and CDNs as well as SDI through a TVU Receiver. It also has a separate audio mix interface with independent input channel level control, pan, mute and solo monitor functions.

TVU Partyline – TVU Partyline, a revolutionary development for Social Production, enables all members in a remote production environment to communicate seamlessly as if they were all in the same physical space. It enables production crews and talent to use production tools and collaborate remotely in real time with full HD video quality, perfectly synchronized audio and video and mix minus one feedback. Collaboration within Partyline is made possible through the use of a Real Time Interactive Layer (RTIL). With a simple shared URL, participants can join Partyline to watch all program feeds live and interact, discuss, control and participate in a production in real-time with undetectable latency. TVU Partyline offers integration with the entire TVU ecosystem including TVU Producer and TVU Anywhere currently.

TVU Anywhere - As reporters and anchors have had to report remotely from their homes due to lockdown restrictions, the TVU Anywhere mobile app has been the go-to choice globally for live reporting. TVU Anywhere turns your phone, tablet or laptop instantly into a transmitter capable of streaming high-quality live video and robust features often associated with professional live video equipment. It aggregates your device’s cellular wireless connection and available WiFi to transmit live video through a TVU receiver. Some of the features available in the TVU Anywhere mobile app is Picture-in-Picture, split screen, video return feed, metadata tagging, bi-directional VoIP and remote camera adjustment. With TVU’s token system, any remote interview subject can go live instantly by scanning a QR code. It also features TVU’s patented Inverse StatMux Plus (IS+) technology for outstanding picture quality and uses H.265 for efficient data usage. The TVU Anywhere app is available for iOS, OS and Android devices.

TVU Grid - TVU Grid has been used successfully in different parts of the world recently for broadcast pool feeds. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, local governments in countries such as the US are providing daily public updates on their efforts to combat the virus using TVU Grid for remote live video pool feed sharing with TV stations and on their website. It was also used earlier as a part of a global pool feed for media organizations remotely covering the first manned commercial space launch in the US.

TVU Grid is a scalable point-to-multipoint switching, routing and distribution of live video distribution over IP. TVU Grid is used by news agencies and media organizations around the world to share and exchange reliable live broadcast quality video feeds with virtually no latency. It makes it possible for broadcasting stations to transition toward an entirely IP-based infrastructure by using a standard internet connection to deliver high-quality, low-latency video from one place to many others, resolving the need for traditional expensive fiber and satellite. TVU GridLink provides a video preview from hundreds of news agencies and has embedded rich metadata to help with live content search.