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Meet George, Linear Encode Engineer

‘It’s fulfilling to know that you are working on something that usually hasn’t been done before.’

George Kroon

Linear Encode Engineer, Osterley

Tech, Product & Data | 15 May 2023 | 5 mins

We are building the new software defined encoder platform (SDE) that centralises, modernises, and secures our encode and transcode platforms – and makes it more resilient for Sky’s linear services across OTT, DTH & Social Media delivery.

Tell us about your role, your team, and the general projects/products you work with.

In my team, we are building the SDE platform, to date we provide 20 extra channels to F1 customers on any Sky device. 7 OTT Channels for Italy/Germany and are migrating physical hardware encoders and multiplexers to a fully cloud based solution for the Germany Sat/Cable Platform. We have provided a Full UHD Stream for Sky News to YouTube of the Kings Coronation which was turned around in 2.5 weeks.

Describe a project, or career highlight where you were able to make a difference.

It’s fulfilling to know that you are working on something that usually hasn’t been done before. And almost never done on the scale at which Sky operates.

The scale of the positive customer impact you can have in your role, right from the outset, makes it well worth the effort you must put in. To continue to be the best in your field and ride that wave of technical innovation.

At Sky we’re always challenging ourselves to deliver the next big thing. Describe what that’s like and why it’s exciting.

I was given the opportunity to run a proof of concept with some cutting-edge cloud encoding technology. This would allow us to be one of the first TV companies in the world to deliver OTT channels to customers over the internet at comparable, or faster speeds, to DTH satellite channels.

This is significant because OTT can be up to 10 times slower than satellite in traditional linear systems, meaning that it cannot be used in sports betting applications. If your next door neighbour has satellite TV, they would always get the sports results ahead of you.

How is Sky an inclusive place to work where you can be yourself?

Sky Osterley is such an open and friendly campus to work on. It isn’t any hardship for me to regularly come into the office, even though I have the option to work remotely.

There are regular enrichment activities, cafes, a gym, and even a cinema. All allow you to get involved with the Sky community and find your place.

I personally use the convenience of the gym and shower facilities, being so close to my office, to get in a workout during my lunchbreak or before work with friends.

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