ITV


We modernised media experiences by optimising data management, website performance, and ongoing maintenance.

Client: A leading British public broadcast television network
Release date: 2021 – ongoing

itv logo

About our client

ITV, a leading British media company, is renowned for its diverse range of television programming, including popular dramas, reality shows, news, and live sports broadcasts.

Established in 1955, ITV has become a cornerstone of UK entertainment, captivating millions of viewers with high-quality content. The company operates multiple channels and a robust online platform, ITVX, offering live streaming and an extensive library of on-demand content.  

Challenges and solutions

Challenge

ITV was dependent on an old technology system developed by Oracle and managed by an external company, Accenture. This outdated system was not only expensive to maintain but also hindered their ability to perform efficiently, affecting the overall quality of ITV’s services.

Our strategy for migrating to a modern system focused on transitioning five metadata translator services to a microservices architecture on AWS. This comprehensive approach ensured the development of a new cloud-based system, effectively eliminating ITV’s dependency on the old Oracle-based platform.

We executed the migration by developing and implementing a cloud-based solution that re-architected the existing services into microservices, leveraging the latest cloud technologies. This new design not only modernised the infrastructure but also significantly improved system performance.

This transition had a substantial impact, including reduced maintenance costs due to the elimination of dependency on Accenture. Additionally, the microservices-based design enhanced system performance, making it more responsive and resilient.

Technologies:

  • AWS
  • Microservices Architecture
  • Scala
  • Functional Programming (Cats, Cats-Effect, HTTP 4.0, SQL)
  • Jenkins
  • GitHub Actions
  • PostgreSQL

Team Size:

10 people

Duration:

Mid-2021 to Q3 2023

Challenge

The tools used to handle important data were linked to an old and no longer supported data source, named Heimdall. This limitation restricted ITV’s ability to form new partnerships and adapt to changes.

Our strategy for modernising the metadata translators involved rewriting the old translators to connect with a new data source, Octopus, replacing the outdated Heimdall system. This strategic shift aimed to enhance data conversion efficiency and reliability to align with partners’ format requirements.

Our team executed the project by ensuring that all metadata translators could seamlessly and effectively convert data to match the specified formats of various partners. This comprehensive rewrite and integration effort ensured a smooth transition and improved system interoperability.

The impact of this initiative was significant. We achieved a seamless connection to the Octopus aggregator service, enhancing the system’s flexibility and compatibility with various partner formats. This improvement enabled more efficient data handling and processing.

Technologies:

  • AWS
  • Microservices Architecture
  • Scala
  • Functional Programming (Cats, Cats-Effect, HTTP 4.0, SQL)
  • Jenkins
  • GitHub Actions
  • PostgreSQL

Team Size:

10 people

Duration:

Q3 2023 to Q2 2024

Challenge

The client’s main website, which features live streaming and a TV guide, needed improvements to make it easier for users to find and enjoy content. The existing setup made it difficult for viewers to explore the full range of available programs and live shows.

Our strategy involved collaborating with ITV’s in-house team to optimise the Live and TV Guide pages on itvx.com. This initiative focused on enhancing user experience and increasing channel availability.

We executed the project through several key actions. We conducted A/B testing to improve content discoverability, added detailed program data and more live channels, and introduced new features like Skip Intro/Recap and Pause Ad. To ensure our changes were effective, we gathered user insights through Google Analytics.

We improved user experience with better content discovery and more channels, which in turn increased channel availability and viewer satisfaction.

Technologies:

  • AWS
  • Microservices Architecture
  • React
  • Jenkins
  • GitHub Actions

Team Size:

5 people

Duration:

Q3 2022 to Present

Challenge

ITV required expert technical support for a critical application that manages specific types of broadcasting signals during live transmissions. This application needed regular updates and quick fixes to ensure broadcasts ran smoothly and met new broadcasting standards. 

Our maintenance strategy for the ESAM application, developed in 2022 by Spyrosoft, encompasses comprehensive management of SCTE-35 markers at the encoder level. This includes normalisation, correction, replacement, removal, and creation of markers to ensure optimal broadcast signal integrity.

We execute maintenance tasks within standard business hours, which include application maintenance to ensure continuous performance and stability, prompt handling of change requests to adapt to evolving business needs, and regular infrastructure maintenance to secure and optimize our systems. Additionally, we offer round-the-clock infrastructure support every day of the year, featuring direct telephone access to our skilled DevOps engineers for urgent needs.

The impact of this strategy has been significant. We have enhanced operational reliability through continuous maintenance and prompt change implementation. Additionally, we have improved system flexibility and efficiency in SCTE-35 marker manipulation, aiding partner integrations like ITV for precise marker reading.

Technologies

  • Java
  • DevOps tools

Team Size

3 Engineers, 1 Manager

Duration

Ongoing maintenance and support have been provided since the xinitial development of the application in 2022, with continual improvements and updates based on operational needs and technological advancements.

The result

Our collaboration with ITV led to substantial improvements. Maintenance costs were significantly reduced, and system performance was enhanced, ensuring efficient data handling and scalability. Data flexibility and partner integration were vastly improved, enabling ITV to form new partnerships and adapt to industry changes seamlessly. The user experience on the ITVX website was significantly optimised, making content more accessible and enjoyable. Together, these achievements have enabled ITV to deliver excellent entertainment to millions of viewers around the world.