Leveraging cloud infrastructure, software and services from HPE, ARK Multicasting is delivering content to homes that lack sufficient broadband connectivity
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has announced that ARK Multicasting, a leading television broadcaster, has selected HPE to power its next generation ATSC 3.0 broadcast internet network. ARK is leveraging edge-to-cloud infrastructure, software and services from HPE to move its broadcast stations from a physical environment to a virtualized one, which enables ARK to move data at high speeds to the consumer edge.
ARK’s new network delivers television pictures and data files using internet protocol (IP) and ATSC 3.0 broadcast technology to help to bridge the connectivity gap in the rural United States.
Traditional linear broadcasters have faced a major challenge from the growth of streaming services. The new ATSC 3.0 TV standard gives broadcasters like ARK the opportunity to convert traditional television signals into wirelessly delivered IP content. This enables ARK to transform from a TV broadcaster to a wireless data delivery platform that can offer connected car services, streaming services, distance learning, gaming, and cloud services. To take advantage of the new standards, ARK needed to transform from traditional proprietary broadcast appliances to a cloud-based architecture that enables dynamic spectrum management and the creation of new channels in minutes, rather than days.
For the first time, ARK now has a full production environment that’s capable of serving all kinds of broadcast internet services. HPE software solutions enable ARK to manage the entire end-to-end environment, including HPE Service Director, HPE Virtual Headend Manager and HPE Media Workflow Master. HPE has provided ARK with an edge-to-cloud architecture where HPE software running on HPE infrastructure at traditional edge locations is centrally orchestrated by HPE Service Director. It orchestrates complex infrastructure and services in a simple, codeless way to optimize operational processes across connectivity, compute, application and network functions. HPE Service Director enables ARK to onboard new customers and dynamically manage the spectrum allocation between multiple customers ensuring the maximum utilization of spectrum possible. It also enables the creation of new channels in minutes and for ARK admins to fully monitor activity across all customers, while customers get the ability to monitor their usage, billing, and charges in near real time.
“Last mile connectivity remains a big problem, but by leveraging HPE, ARK can fix the connectivity gap and bridge the broadband divide,” said Josh Weiss, CEO, ARK Multicasting. “The power of datacasting can close the connectivity gap significantly faster and in a cost-efficient way.
HPE helps us stay nimble and agile so we are open to any customer who wants to get their data from one source to many end users employing the largest unencumbered network in the country. For example, ARK can facilitate distance learning, where even students without any connectivity can connect and receive content. This will also be a tremendous augmentation to 5G networks providing broad coverage low-latency connectivity for autonomous vehicles.”
“Tackling digital inclusion and connectivity is one of HPE’s corporate objectives, so we are delighted that ARK Multicasting chose HPE to help them bridge the digital divide in the USA,” said Luke McDonald, VP Americas at HPE Communications Technology Group. “This is a full service engagement for HPE Communications Technology Group involving infrastructure, software and services and is a great demonstration of our ability to deliver next generation edge-to-cloud platforms. ARK is a pioneer in the broadcast internet business and is a great showcase for HPE’s technology portfolio which, together, moves the edge even further to the consumer edge.”
At broadcast sites, HPE Virtual Headend Manager and HPE Media Workflow Master run on HPE Edgeline EL8000 Converged Edge Systems, a rugged and versatile edge compute platform which is perfectly suited to ARK’s rural base stations and towers. HPE’s comprehensive infrastructure portfolio for communications service providers also includes the HPE ProLiant DL110 Gen10 Plus server. The Edgeline EL8000 family of rugged multi-blade servers offer a large-accelerator capability and can also accommodate a variety of vRAN scenarios, as well as non-RAN workload such as multi-access edge compute (MEC). HPE Virtual Headend Manager gives ARK the ability to quickly turn up and down new channels, manage the entire lifecycle from end-to-end of the media with integrated transcoders, schedulers, packagers, and push media out to the exciter. Media Workflow Master was selected for the capability to manage large volume of media and data assets.