How Do Linear TV Operators Benefit From an Outsourced Headend Replacement Solution?

By Jeremy Morrison
Sr. Director – Accounts, Vubiquity
March 6, 2023

As a linear operator, installing and managing the headend that distributes content to your customers can be costly and time-consuming. To overcome this challenge, and to focus more on improving the overall customer video offering and experience, an increasing number of operators are choosing an outsourced Headend Replacement solution. 

During my tenure in this sector, I’ve witnessed revolutionary technological advances in headend equipment that enhance video delivery’s sophistication, flexibility, and efficacy. However, staying current with these advancements is challenging for operators who lack significant resources and expertise. 

Furthermore, without proper maintenance, headend equipment is susceptible to damage from many sources, including power surges, extreme weather conditions, and normal wear and tear from continuous use. And that’s only the beginning of what can quickly become an expensive headache. Other complications and costs of managing your headend include: 

  • Interference from wireless signals can require building barriers or adding filters to antennas. 
  • Satellites can fail. And programmers may move satellites or switch receivers, requiring new antennas or the temporary relocation of antennas/receivers to support the changes. 
  • Receivers can fail and require replacement, which often entail transcoder software updates and configuration changes. 
  • Significant support personnel and costly monitoring platforms are needed to respond to customer complaints of failed channels to determine where the problem resides: the programmer, the satellite, or your headend equipment. 
  • New channel launches incur capital expenses for receivers, transcoding licenses, and engineering labor to prepare the headend. Poor signal strength may even require a new antenna. 
  • As programmers transition to terrestrial distribution, more complications arise. Signals can now be transmitted via Zixi, SRT, HLS, and LTN; additional platforms are on the horizon. These delivery approaches can hog internet bandwidth, complicate network security firewalls, and necessitate more tech-savvy staff. 
  • Electricity, cooling, maintenance, and troubleshooting costs for antennas and other headend components inevitably increase your capital and operational expenditures. 
  • For blackout management, some programmers require unique receivers and transcoders for every market you serve, thereby adding costs for new market launches. Other programmers demand manual blackouts based on emails they distribute, requiring your ongoing operational support and monitoring. 

So, with all the technological hurdles, software/engineering/capital costs, and other unexpected problems, perhaps now is the time to consider an outsourced Headend Replacement proposition seriously. Fortunately, a cutting-edge, cost-effective and proven outsourced solution already exists. A solution that eliminates the need for multiple antennas, receivers, and transcoders. A solution that manages programmer changes. A solution that provides 24/7 monitoring, multi-market blackout management, and full redundancy on all headend receivers and equipment. 

At Vubiquity, we’ve been implementing and managing this solution for over 15 years with many affiliates. With multiple POPs providing cost-effective access to our feeds, we offer MPEG-2, MPEG-4, and multi-bitrate to support all streaming needs. You can even take the feeds in their source format if you’d prefer to do the transcoding. 

Please get in touch with Vubiquity to explore our Headend Replacement solution, with flexible pricing options, to eliminate the hassles of running your own service. Visit: