Internet broadcasting is much easier to organize
Providing fast and high-quality Internet access is a very promising and profitable business, despite the large number of providers in Russia. Today this field of activity is considered, although expensive, but quite affordable, since not only large, but also small companies can become an Internet provider and open this business. The only restriction on the provision of services applies only to individual entrepreneurs, since a license for telematics and data transmission is issued exclusively to legal entities (like any permit document for carrying out activities within the framework established by law).
Originally, the Internet market was exclusively owned by large operators. Then it included small firms that have taken their niche thanks to reduced tariffs and a personal approach to each client. Along with high competition, this market is characterized by an ever-increasing demand. And if in megacities the number of consumers is practically not growing, then in cities, towns and villages where the population does not exceed 500 thousand people, the Internet audience is steadily increasing. In addition, in any locality, the need for high-quality, fast and inexpensive Internet connection is still not satisfied.
Active development of distant regions, a sprawling private sector and rapid expansion of production capacity are leading to the emergence of many new consumers of Internet services. This creates favorable conditions for starting your own business in the field of Internet service.
Internet communication activities are highly beneficial and have a number of benefits, including:
- constant demand from a wide target audience;
- the presence of free markets with a complete lack of competition (private sector);
- stable income and fast payback of the project;
- availability of tariff regulation to prevent losses;
- loyalty of consumers of services, provided their high quality.
At the same time, the organization of this business is a rather difficult task, requiring large initial investments, complex design and good knowledge in this area. Therefore, you need to carefully analyze your capabilities, understand the intricacies of legal aspects and familiarize yourself with the laws governing future activities.
Depending on where providers get the Internet, they can be divided into the following categories:
- Tier-1 - Tier-1 companies that have access through peer-to-peer (decentralized, or peer-to-peer) connections and provide each other free services by mutual agreement;
- Tier -2 - backbone second-tier providers buying from first-tier companies the right to connect to their network and, accordingly, to the networks of other Tier-1 companies;
- Tier-3 - sub-providers (dealers) that use only those channels that are bought or leased from one specific Tier-2 provider.
Primary companies usually only sell high volumes of traffic and work with other providers rather than end users. Therefore, the overwhelming majority of small operators prefer to organize work as a sub-provider, since such activity is considered the most profitable and promising.
In addition, depending on the services provided, there are Internet providers:
- access - with their own or leased communication channels;
- mobile services - offering mobile content;
- hosting - providing space on their resources for rent.
A blanket for everyone, dear friends, probably some of you dream of creating your own TV channel, but unfortunately cannot, since the rules for entering television frequencies are very strict (stricter than on radio, of course) and even having a simple TV transmitter, for example, from the Dandy set-top box, we must in any case receive a broadcasting license, which of course costs a lot of money and not everyone has a penny to pay for it. But what should you do? There is a way out - you can broadcast on the Internet, this is free and does not require special costs from the user, but you still have to have a broadband and stable Internet connection (4G is also suitable), as well as a powerful computer that is able to pull out the broadcast, since encoding in this case, it should be carried out "on the fly", the smallest system with which you can start broadcasting must have at least a 2-core processor with a clock speed of at least 2.4 GHz, a video card not lower than Nvidia GeForce 9800 GT (although you can take 8600 ) and at least 2 - 4 GB of RAM and a capacious hard drive (and where to put what we will transfer), we decided on the hardware, let's move on to the practical part.
Part One - Software Selection
First of all, we need to choose the software, first of all, the one to which we will stream the image, there are several options that we will discuss.
This is perhaps the best program for broadcasting an Internet TV channel, since it has all the settings for this, namely merging of sources, the ability to "compose a playlist" on the fly, as well as additional XAML modules, such as hours of creeping line and so on, which simplifies broadcasting more, and a wide selection of sources will not allow you to bypass this decision. Here are just the main disadvantage - that this program is paid, but you can still download it from a torrent with a crack. I now recommend version 17. ... 01 because it is devoid of flaws, and there is no "green screen bug" as in the line of versions 22. *, and it does not slow down, unlike the 16. * versions. There is of course a fly in the ointment - the program is complicated for an unprepared user, but I think you can figure it out.
Perhaps the simplest and most cross-platform open source program, the settings are intuitive for any user, only here, unfortunately, you can't compose a playlist like in vmix and you have to edit all the broadcast in a video editor, for example, in Movavi VideoEditor and then include it in the Gom Player and then add it as a source, and you also need to select the sound device either "Windows Sound (WASAPI)" or "Stereo Mixer" so that the viewer can hear everything that is happening on the screen, so this program is not very suitable, but you can still broadcast through it.
I would not say that the program is not very convenient, but it has flaws, of course it is suitable for streams, but for an Internet TV channel it is not very good since the sound settings in this program are too minimal and this program cannot work with WASAPI, so you won't directly transmit sounds through it, you will either have to use the Stereo Mixer or solder a two-way Jack 3.5 to connect the microphone input and stereo output on the audio card. Despite its shortcomings, this program is the only one that works correctly on Windows XP and Vista, so if you own a PC with one of the following OS preinstalled on it, it will suit you, the rest will not start.
VLC Media Player
Once upon a time I had to deal with broadcasting through it, and I’ll say that it’s difficult, it’s not easy to select the transmit item in the “Media” menu, we also need to independently search for the output string on the Internet and choose the future the media format is further aggravated by the fact that VLC can only transmit one file as a streaming video at a time, so you cannot avoid editing the broadcast when broadcasting through this program, but still it can superimpose your channel's logo on the video, text and Correct the color rendition - that's all, this is where the functions of this program end, because it's basically a player, and not a full-fledged program for streaming.
Well, now the choice is yours what you will broadcast - and we move on to part 2.
Part Two - platform selection
Earth and sky - so close and so different
Broadcasting via satellite, as a rule, is associated with greater opportunities for reaching an audience, primarily in remote areas and hinterland, where broadband Internet access networks or its last miles have not yet reached. But here it is important to understand that in this case we are talking about Russia with its vast territory, as well as about a number of other emerging markets. In developed countries, including Europe and North America, the issue of end-user access to high-quality Internet has been almost completely resolved.
On this, perhaps, the tangible advantages of signal delivery via satellite TV end and the disadvantages begin, the main of which is the price. For example, if you are a small TV channel that does not broadcast in Ultra HD or HD, the difference in the cost of broadcasting via satellite and the Internet will be approximately 10-15 times. If you want to organize an Ultra HD broadcast via satellite TV networks, then it is quite possible that you will pay 50 times more than if you were using Internet broadcasting.
The entrance price to developed satellite TV networks may be lower, but, as a rule, this can be achieved if you offer some kind of high-quality exclusive, which the operators themselves want to add to their standard or special packages. For example, something of the level of the series "Chernobyl". If you offer another store on the couch, the cost of broadcasting via satellite TV networks will seem to you simply cosmic in comparison with what the Internet offers.
And again, back to the issue of coverage. If, for example, you are not a federal TV channel broadcasting news programs and programs important from the point of view of state policy, which even a small garrison in distant Kamchatka or a tribe of reindeer herders in the Far North should see via satellite, but a broadcaster with a package of the latest in-demand TV series or reality shows, designed for a paying audience of 25-45 years old, then you need to understand how critical it will be for you to show your content to groups of users who will not be able to purchase the products advertised on your TV channel, even if they want to.
What are the benefits of broadcasting over the Internet? First, as I mentioned above, it is significantly cheaper. Secondly, if you abstract from the territory of only Russia, you can get much more coverage at a lower price, better picture and a seamless experience for audiences, because the Internet allows you to almost instantly deliver video content around the world. To do this, it is enough to connect a cloud media platform and a network of one of the CDN operators with a presence on all continents. Signal transmission with such a high quality and at such a price today and in the foreseeable future will not be able to provide you with any satellite TV network.
The third aspect is image quality and flexibility. Of course, the best way today is to broadcast in Full HD. For example, you are a broadcaster and you have HD or Full HD video content. You send a signal to the media platform to the CDN operator, and it converts your Full HD to all possible formats - for big cities, and for regional centers, and for the hinterland, and for very hard-to-reach areas. At the output, without any additional effort and cost on your part, you get Full HD, HD, SD, and LD - the signal of the TV channel is adjusted to the viewing capabilities of the audience and its device. On the satellite, in turn, you do not have an automatic bitrate, that is, either the audience watches you in a given quality, often with delays, or does not see your content at all if there are inappropriate conditions. Another side of the issue is outdated receivers, which can often be found on operating satellite constellations and which cannot reproduce a TV signal compressed with the MPEG-4 codec. In this case, they compress the video using MPEG-2 to be available everywhere. The result is a terrible compression level and corresponding picture quality.
Finally, broadcasting over the Internet is much easier from an organizational point of view. With the help of a cloud media platform and a CDN network, you can create a full-fledged TV channel without investing a dime in infrastructure. You send your signal to the media platform of the CDN operator, or you upload a video and make a playlist. Further, this media platform itself converts the signal into those formats that are needed and digestible for any devices: computers, tablets, smartphones, OTT set-top boxes. In terms of time, it takes 5-10 minutes. Renting a cloud service is much cheaper than renting or buying a professional studio with a staff of different engineers and organizing sending a signal to a satellite.
When should you combine internet and satellite?
Satellite and Internet broadcasting can be combined in cases where you need to get the maximum possible audience coverage and if by satellite you mean satellite TV networks, rather than renting one or more transponders as part of signal delivery via satellites belonging to state corporations. This combination will probably be most in demand from federal TV channels, which should cover the entire population, or from the same stores on the couch, which can provide delivery throughout Russia. If your budgets are not limitless and there is no task to cover every hinterland, choose the Internet or cable.
Today and in the next 10-15 years, it is worth distributing the signal of an Ultra-HD TV channel through CDN networks or cable operators. The fact is that it is impractical to show Ultra-HD TV channels using the H. 64 codec, the H. 65 codec has been specially created for them, which compresses the signal well enough, and with a small bit rate, excellent quality is obtained. But, as far as I know, almost none of the satellite TV operators have installed in their receivers the ability to receive such a signal. And if you broadcast via satellite in H. 64 format, the bit rate is too high and, accordingly, an expensive amount of data.
The other side of the issue is the technical readiness to receive Ultra-HD TV channels in the provinces, for which the use of satellites is necessary. There are doubts that more than 1-3% of TVs there support Ultra HD.
What were you talking about this year? First of all, the leaders of the largest media groups discussed the gap that formed between the earnings of TV channels and their spending. Actually, the question "how can you make money on the media business in Ukraine?" has been sounding for several years already. The problem of unprofitableness has not yet been resolved, but certain successes on this front are already visible. The main leitmotif of this year is that television is still a real business, and not an expensive toy of oligarchs. How convincing the arguments sounded were - everyone has the right to decide for himself. The already traditional meeting of media leaders gathered a full set of participants this year. Absent last year, "Pluses" still sent their representative to the "meeting". This means that the intra-industry dialogue is gaining momentum. Finally, the time has come when the leading TV channels are increasingly preferring a constructive approach to the “war without rules” format. And even though this format is still far from the principles of “working together,” and the understanding of solving key problems on many issues is fundamentally opposite, but the ability of all major media groups to sit down at the negotiating table speaks volumes today. The Ukrainian TV channels are concerned about the question of who their viewer is. It is no secret that the main audience of most of the largest Ukrainian TV channels is of "deserved" age. The younger generation, in spite of recent fears, seems to be not going to give up television either, but the demands of young people both for the content itself and for the way of its consumption are becoming more stringent every year. The future of any TV channel depends on who better understands the desires of the “new” viewer, as well as who can organically combine them with new technologies. And if the thesis "television will die under the onslaught of the World Wide Web" has already been finally recognized by most media experts as erroneous, then the understanding that a close symbiosis of television and the Internet is inevitable in the near future has finally formed in the understanding of most television channels. Another question is that even despite the relatively successful recent actions of the media industry to capitalize its content on the World Wide Web, it is unlikely that it will be possible to make good money on the Internet for a long time. As for the content itself, after last year's discussion of sports, it was the turn of news. People who shape the perception of the world of Ukrainians through TV screens talked about the current state of news production, about the problems and challenges they face now. It was about how to understand the modern viewer, how to combine his desire to know everything even now with the speed of delivery of news on the linear air. What does a modern viewer expect to see in a news story today? Why is he still a fan of the TV screen, and not finally migrated to the World Wide Web in search of faster and more diverse information? The answers to these questions, which the media industry now provides, turned out to be somewhat unexpected, but therefore no less interesting.
Business or not business: where is the money?
Egor Benkendorf, Chairman of the Board of the Inter TV channel, took part in the discussion about the prospects of the television market; Oleg Pavlenko, commercial director of Inter Media Group; Fedor Ogarkov, General Director of the Media Group Ukraine media holding; Valery Varenitsa, commercial director of 1 + 1 media and Alexander Bogutsky, director-president of the ICTV channel. An interesting fact - last year there were no representatives of "1 + 1 media". This gave an indirect reason to talk about the lack of a unified position of media groups on a number of key issues discussed. This year, on the impromptu stage, the members split into two groups. On the one hand, representatives of Inter Media Group took seats in comfortable black-and-white chairs, and on the other side representatives of other media groups were compactly accommodated. Alexander Bogutsky did not miss the opportunity to mark this fact, calling it "an unspoken signal to the market." We can only guess what is the share of a joke in this remark.
Internet vs TV
The future of TV news
Tatyana Pushnova, TSN editor-in-chief, 1 + 1 TV channel, Robert Opalenik, TSN editor-in-chief, took part in the discussion about the current state and new trends in Ukrainian news production. ezhden ”of the 1 + 1 TV channel, Igor Zolotarevsky, director of the information broadcasting department of the Ukraina TV channel, and Oleksandr Pylypets, deputy director of NIS for creative issues of the Inter TV channel.
As mentioned above, half of the viewers of news items on TV (at least of those channels that conducted such research) are active Internet users. It is logical that the heads of the news production of TV channels are very interested in the question, why do these viewers still continue to watch news on TV? The TV channels found two arguments:
- news on television is perceived as more competent, that is, deserving more trust (in the West, television news is already clearly focused not on speed of delivery, but precisely on their competence); li >
- TV news remains the fastest source of information for a part of the viewer audience (this is mainly due to the culture of information consumption: people who get ready for work in the morning usually do not use the Internet, unlike TV; when they come home from work, they are the first the TV turns on again).
Actually, where is the news production in Ukraine heading now? First of all, the management of the relevant services is trying to understand their viewer, who, being an active user of the Internet and, accordingly, having managed to find out about the latest events on the World Wide Web, still turns on the TV and watches the news. This understanding will become key in the near future, when there will be an absolute majority of active Internet users among TV news viewers. Apparently, in this aspect, Ukraine in the near future will repeat the Western model of development with its bright emphasis on competence. In addition, in view of the expected close symbiosis of TV and the Internet, sooner or later Ukrainian news services will become multiplatform (this process is now in full swing on the world's leading TV channels).
The personnel issue is more relevant than ever for the industry. The quality of both our own production and purchased content is growing. The requirements and tasks facing the personnel are getting more complicated every year. Channels are looking to ramp up their own content production. Moreover, not completely, but nevertheless, the problem of poaching experienced personnel from each other has been solved due to a higher financial proposal. But the personnel coming to the channel have very low professional training. And this is despite the huge number of higher educational institutions that train narrow-profile specialists for the television industry. How to solve this problem, if not now, then in the foreseeable future? Do TV channels have a clear understanding of the solution to this problem? The panel discussion “Human resources of the industry” was attended by Ivette Delikatnaya, Atlantic Group, the leader of the corporate university Talentari, Anna Barannik, HR director of 1 + 1 media, Irina Konstantinovskaya, HR director of the Media Group Ukraine media holding, Alena Motovilova, HR Director of Novy Kanal, as well as special guest Roman Tyshkovsky, partner, head of the Media and Sport practice at Odgers Berndtson. First of all, it was about the discrepancy between the level of training of students and the requirements of TV channels. Actually, TV channels do not hope that the Ministry of Education will be able to independently solve the problem of appropriate training of university graduates. The TV channels have an understanding of the problem, there is a desire to somehow change the situation, but there is still no single position on how to do this. Perhaps the TV channels in the near future will listen to the advice given by Roman Tyshkovsky. He recalled the practice of the Russian market. There, for several years now, TV channels independently, without any government initiatives and long interindustrial negotiations, have unilaterally come up with an initiative to raise the professional level of training of university graduates. First of all, we are talking about agreements with institutes on the teaching of TV channel specialists for students. In Russia, the practice is also widespread when in the signed employment contract, TV channels introduce a mandatory clause about a certain number of hours allocated by a specialist monthly to work with students.
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Where to start
Anyone who wants to start a business in the communications services market needs to understand that he will have to work in a highly competitive environment, have “long” investments and not expect profit for the first 5-6 years. Director General of the Kazan branch of Ufanet JSC (Kazgorset) Ildar Nurgaleev told the BIBOSS portal how to become a successful provider.
Where to start?
First of all, a person must have experience in this area, since the telecommunications market is technically complex, and the communications industry is very seriously checked by the supervisory authorities, especially in the light of the latest anti-terrorist changes in legislation.
But even after working for a few years in a telecom company in a hired position, you will not get a complete picture of the market, since it is rather closed to prying eyes. The telecommunications market is well-established, and it is getting harder and harder to enter it every year. Therefore, you need to conduct serious research, especially if you enter a large city and want to start right away on a large scale. If the city is small, perhaps the one in which you were born, where you personally know many people, then you can try to start your own business without research, at random.
General Director of the Kazan branch of Ufanet JSC (Kazgorset)
Before starting to work in Kazan in 2021, we conducted a marketing research for six months. I myself studied to be a communications operator, and since 2021 I have been constantly working in the field of communications, the Internet, and television. When I came to Kazan, I already had eight years of experience, including with the legislation in the field of communications.
Another important point is that you must have a team from the very beginning that will work with you. In big business, there is nothing to do without a team. The team of the Kazan City Network once worked in Bashkiria, at the Internet provider Ufanet, we grew up there and gained experience. The Kazan market is very interesting, having studied it, we decided to organize a new company here. I visited Kazan, I was amazed by its appearance, amazed that the city is powerful in terms of IT, there is a good school of programmers, but the provision of communication services is not up to the mark in terms of service, accessibility, speed. Any major city could be a place we could come to. But Kazan residents had not only the desire, but also the opportunity to receive the best communication services.
The target audience will be both individuals and legal entities. Everyone needs the Internet, many people need television. The main thing is to understand what you will give to each category of clients, and why they will choose your services. However, at the initial stage, it is possible to stop at only one segment - to provide services only for television, only for the Internet, or only for telephony.
To enter a city with a population of 400 thousand people, you will need at least 500 million rubles. But these funds are designed only for entry: for building networks, renting a data center, renting an office. It should be understood that the investment will pay off for a long time - at least 5-6 years. The point "zero" can be reached in two years. Everything will depend on the team, on how you can manage the money. Within two years, you only have to invest in the business, not expecting a return. Invest in technical development costs, rent, employee salaries.
When entering the market, our company built an underground cable duct at its own expense. A kilometer of laying cost about 1.5 million rubles.
To understand how competitive the market is, it is enough to see how many companies in the city provide similar services. Only quality can be the main competitive advantage today. Naturally, in order to work efficiently, you will need additional costs.