Red Bee Media has opened a new R&D facility located in their broadcast hub in Broadcast Centre, west London. “Red Lab”, London houses a private cloud platform for remote testing, as well as meeting and collaboration space for broadcast and network engineers and solution architects – an approach to R&D that led to the creation of the world’s first software-only playout deployment.
Red Bee Media is now formalizing its R&D efforts under one name – with multiple connected facilities planned across the globe. Additional Red Lab facilities are due to be opened in Sweden and the Netherlands during 2019.
Alex Dubiez, Head of Playout Solutions explained why they are creating the Red Lab R&D facilities: “We used to have engineers dedicated to each customer or project, but with the migration of all of our customers onto a shared software-based technology stack, we need to organize in a very different way. Red Lab, London allows our multi-disciplinary teams to experiment and collaborate so that we can proactively drive innovation across our services.”
Although only opened officially in early 2019, Red Lab was already used late last year to test the control of remote platforms in other UK hubs and across mainland Europe. In testing customer demos, Red Bee Media was able to show full integration between Media Management, Playout, Distribution and OTT platforms – with content flowing between all platforms and across 5 countries. The Red Lab was also used while concluding testing for the world’s first software-only playout deployment.
“We are transforming the way we are thinking as broadcast engineers. We have never been able to experiment this quickly before and to come up with an idea and try it without worrying about impacting a running service is very liberating. Previously we could only test on individual system components or copies of an entire system, which is expensive and only applicable to one customer. All successful ideas can now be of benefit to all of our customers.", says Iain Shields, Technical Product Manager for Playout
Red Bee Media has previously been running innovation projects in its multiple hubs, but Red Lab is a way of formalizing R&D activities and creating dedicated and connected research spaces under one banner. It is the next step in meeting the future demands of broadcasters and content owners and during 2019 additional Red Lab facilities are planned in Sweden and The Netherlands.