Red Bee opens R&D facility in West London

Mark Johnson's picture
by Mark Johnson

Media and broadcast services firm, Red Bee Media, has opened a new R&D facility located in their hub in Broadcast Centre, West London. 

The company said its “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 also formalising 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.

“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”, said says Alex Dubiez, Head of Playout Solutions.

“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. 

Full integration now possible

In testing customer demos, Red Bee Media said it was able to show full integration between Media Management, Playout, Distribution and OTT platforms – with content flowing between all platforms and across five 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”, said  Iain Shields, Technical Product Manager for Playout. 

“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.”

Red Bee Media said the move 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.

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