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Jul 22, 2019
AMERICAS
With the Acquisition of Ooyala Flex Media Platform, Dalet Enters the Digital Distribution Space
Last Monday, Dalet, a technology provider known largely for its production and content-management–media solutions, made a major move into the live-streaming–technology space, announcing the acquisition of Ooyala Flex Media Platform.

With the Acquisition of Ooyala Flex Media Platform

Last Monday, Dalet, a technology provider known largely for its production and content-management–media solutions, made a major move into the live-streaming–technology space, announcing the acquisition of Ooyala Flex Media Platform.

The deal, officially announced last Monday, moves Dalet closer to being an end-to-end solutions provider

Last Monday, Dalet, a technology provider known largely for its production and content-management–media solutions, made a major move into the live-streaming–technology space, announcing the acquisition of Ooyala Flex Media Platform... Read more

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Will MediaBins save the world? (hint: probably not, but they’ll greatly simplify your media life!)
I mentioned in a previous blog post that I wanted to spend more time talking about Dalet’s MediaBins, as they can completely transform your production workflow, so let me tell you more… So, what’s a MediaBin? Commonly used in news and sports production workflows, a MediaBin is a collection of media that is attached to a story and travels through its entire lifecycle, through to distribution and archiving. What can I put in my MediaBins? You can store any kind of media that is stored inside your Dalet Library. Audio, video, pictures, a collection of assets, audio and video clips, graphic objects, wires, RSS posts, social media posts, contacts, Microsoft Office documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint files, etc.), PDFs, or PDF-ed emails and external web links/objects such as YouTube videos. This collection of media is there to help the journalist and video editors to create their story. Who can feed a MediaBin? Any Dalet user! Usually, you start feeding the MediaBin during the planning phase. Even an event has its MediaBin before it becomes a story. A Planning Editor, for instance, might add a couple of social posts and a wire that are relevant to a particular event. The Chief Editor decides to make it a leading story. Some footage is coming from user-generated content and is attached to the story in addition to the original material via the MediaBin. Then additional material arrives from the field – it is attached to the MediaBin, and so on. Anyone can contribute to the MediaBin, which is also accessible by librarians, so they can also organize archived content into the MediaBin. Even feed recordings can be placed directly in the MediaBin, so there is a connection between what’s coming in, and the story. How I can use a MediaBin? Obviously, you can consult your MediaBin at any time while you work on your story. You can also search for MediaBins and within MediaBins, including filtering. You can open a MediaBin in a video editor, whether Dalet OneCut or Adobe Premiere Pro through Dalet Xtend, so that you can focus on the relevant material (audio, video, images, graphics, …) saving considerable editing time! So not only is the MediaBin a real collaboration entity attached to your story, it can also be used within the extended Dalet ecosystem. And there’s more… Yes! Dalet’s Recommendation Panel brings Artificial Intelligence to help you feed the MediaBin. Thanks to a deep semantic analysis of stories, wires, audio and video transcripts, the Dalet Recommendation Panel suggests media that is not yet stored in your MediaBin. This surfaces content you would have not likely identified before and help you find relevant material for your story much quicker. So there you have it… The Dalet MediaBin brings you speed, efficiency and relevant content so you can create compelling stories. No wonder so many of us at Dalet are enthusiastic about it! In a future blog post, I’ll tell you more about Dalet Recommendations, as we’re working on set of new algorithms that will bring our users a whole new experience – a true game changer… Watch this space! Raoul Cospen Dalet News Market Director
Trailblazing Transcoding in the Cloud. Anywhere, at scale and with premium results!
Dalet AmberFin has been a go-to media conversion platform for high-end content for years now. Its scalable media processing tools offer transcode, color conversion, packaging, and file transport with an emphasis on the quality of the output. The AmberFin transcode engine was initially designed to run on cost-effective, commodity IT hardware on-premises, but on September 1, 2020 that all changed with the launch of Dalet AmberFin Cloud Transcoder. <iframe width="100%" height="415" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/M4LdJ9b7kd8" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe> The same great picture quality… with unlimited processing power and scalability! The new AmberFin Cloud Transcoder service is accessed through the same workflow engine as the on-premises transcoder, with the added advantage of immediate access to extra processing power in the cloud any time it’s needed. This gives facilities the ability to control an on-premises, fixed-capacity deployment and a burst-capacity deployment from the same workflow engine and REST API. We know our customers come to rely on AmberFin because of the quality and complexity of their requirements. Simpler transcode services can’t handle problems like having to do a standard conversion, in addition to a mezzanine conversion and putting a file package together at the end. AmberFin excels at that sort of complexity. So every feature that our customers know, like and love from the on-premises AmberFin solution, also works in the cloud. Nothing changes. Everything changes! There is no need to port any existing conversion profiles or workflows to get the cloud service running. AmberFin customers can use the new cloud service by logging in with a simple set of credentials and gain immediate access to extra burst capacity at comparable speeds. The service is offered as a low-cost multi-tenant environment offering geographical flexibility, with the transcode container being cloned into the bucket closest to the request. Customers can also deploy the AmberFin container inside their own VPC (virtual private cloud) infrastructure, giving the more security-conscious customers the peace of mind to have everything within their own infrastructure, which is already under audit control. Media professionals… Start your engines! With the halt in productions in Q2 and Q3, there is now a backlog of material that needs to be processed and distributed to a growing number of platforms. Leveraging AmberFin in the cloud is the fastest way to transcode and still achieve the highest quality results. And for those companies that are now coming to the end of the lifespan of their on-premises transcoder capacity, they should consider going straight to Dalet AmberFin Cloud Transcoder. More options, better flexibility and agility to run your business. Eric Carson General Manager, Dalet West Coast US & Canada
Dalet AmberFin Cloud Transcoder Bursts Premium Media Processing Performance with New Elastic Architecture
Dalet, a leading provider of solutions and services for broadcasters and content professionals, today announced Dalet AmberFin Cloud Transcoder, a new SaaS-based, high-quality media processing service with robust media packaging and distribution capabilities for post-production and broadcast workflows. The solution includes every feature from the on-premises version of Dalet AmberFin, with tools beyond simple media conversions, ensuring media professionals have access to image scaling, standards conversions, cut/splice, caption conversion, audio normalization, localization versioning, IMF creation and submission, and HDR conversions. Unique among elastic cloud transcoders, Dalet AmberFin Cloud Transcoder can be accessed via a public cloud managed service environment, or deployed as a scalable container-based service inside a customer’s existing private cloud infrastructure. The high-performance transcode service, which supports a wide range of formats, takes a factory-like approach to managing media conversion projects from small-scale post-production operations to larger media enterprises, with the highest degree of quality and economy. “Like the well known Dalet AmberFin on-premises transcoder and workflow orchestration platform, the Dalet AmberFin Cloud Transcoder service will convert and package just about any file format, managing complexities, such as HDR processing, loudness normalization and caption conversions,” states Eric Carson of Dalet. “It’s the same great set of features running in an elastic, serverless architecture designed to optimize resources and cost for customers who require burst capacity, a native cloud presence, usage-based pricing, or all of the above.” Eric, who serves as General Manager for Dalet on the West Coast US and Canada studio and post-production, television networks, sports and news operations markets, is bringing his expertise in global file packaging and delivery to help drive the Dalet AmberFin business and product development roadmap. “Dalet AmberFin Cloud Transcoder gives customers more choices on how they want to best manage their media operations. Since there is no need to port conversion profiles or workflows, customers can use existing workflows fully in the cloud or create a hybrid framework without ever compromising on quality. We’ve included the Cloud Transcoder capability directly in the Dalet AmberFin Workflow designer, so that our customers can be up and running in the cloud on day one, without involving a professional services team to move, test and debug media conversions,” adds Eric. “In the current environment, the ability to move from on-premises to the cloud without disruption is key for just about every client. It’s a new level of mobility and agility for media processing projects.” Feature highlights include: SaaS Offering, controllable from the Dalet AmberFin Workflow Engine and via REST API Elastic scaling in a managed service or within an existing VPC Supports all industry standard codecs, plus HDR and Dolby Vision API-first approach enables customers to use Dalet AmberFin on its own or inside a larger work order or MAM system, including Dalet Galaxy five or the Ooyala Flex Media Platform, now part of Dalet Fully compatible with existing Dalet AmberFin transcode profiles Easily balance transcode volume between on-premises and cloud, controlling both from the same workflow engine Monthly tier-based subscription with cost per minute pricing Dalet AmberFin Cloud Transcoder is supported globally by Dalet’s professional services and customer support teams who can assist with workflow development, including scripting and API integration within a wide range of media environments. To learn more, please visit: https://www.dalet.com/platforms/amberfin. Join the launch webinar sessions with Eric Carson on September 1st and 2nd. Register here: https://connect.dalet.com/#join. About Dalet Digital Media Systems Dalet solutions and services enable media organizations to create, manage and distribute content faster and more efficiently, fully maximizing the value of assets. Based on an agile foundation, Dalet offers rich collaborative tools empowering end-to-end workflows for news, sports, program preparation, post-production, archives and enterprise content management, radio, education, governments and institutions. Dalet platforms are scalable and modular. They offer targeted applications with key capabilities to address critical functions of small to large media operations - such as planning, workflow orchestration, ingest, cataloging, editing, chat & notifications, transcoding, play out automation, multi-platform distribution and analytics. The integration of the Ooyala Flex Media Platform business has opened vast opportunities for Dalet customers to deploy successful strategies that better address their audiences with agile multi-platform content distribution in a wider range of markets, such as sports for teams and leagues, brands and corporate organizations, as well as Media and Entertainment companies looking to scale up their digital offerings. Dalet solutions and services are used around the world at hundreds of content producers and distributors, including public broadcasters (BBC, CBC, France TV, RAI, TV2 Denmark, RFI, Russia Today, RT Malaysia, SBS Australia, VOA), commercial networks and operators (Canal+, FOX, MBC Dubai, Mediacorp, Fox Sports Australia, Mediaset, Orange, Charter Spectrum, Warner Bros, Sirius XM Radio), sporting organizations (National Rugby League, FIVB, Bundesliga) and government organizations (UK Parliament, NATO, United Nations, Veterans Affairs, NASA). Dalet is traded on the NYSE-EURONEXT stock exchange (Eurolist C): ISIN: FR0011026749, Bloomberg DLT:FP, Reuters: DALE.PA. Dalet® is a registered trademark of Dalet Digital Media Systems. All other products and trademarks mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.
Dalet Announces IBC2020 Virtual Showcase
Dalet, a leading provider of solutions and services for broadcasters and content professionals, today announced its virtual IBC2020 event plans through Dalet Connect. An extension to Dalet’s online presence launched in April 2020, Dalet Connect is a digital meeting environment dedicated to media professionals looking for workflow solutions. Dalet kicks off its "Virtual IBC'' on September 1st with digital sessions on new product introductions and workflows that enhance mobility, flexibility and agility across News, Programming and OTT content preparation. Dalet Pulse, which will be held on September 8th, is a special online event that provides attendees the opportunity to interact with the Dalet team, learn about the latest innovations and what's on the horizon. "IBC has long served as the platform for Dalet to present real technology use cases as well as to discuss our innovation plans. It has also been a place for us to connect with our customers and partners and hear what matters to their businesses,” comments Robin Kirchhoffer, director of Marketing, Operations and Content, Dalet. “With the current events preventing us from connecting in person, these deep conversations become more important now than ever,” Robin summarizes. "Over the last several months we have been fine-tuning the Dalet Connect online experience to recreate a community environment where any media professional can engage with Dalet at their own pace and based on their specific needs." Attendees can register for live digital sessions and Dalet Pulse as well as schedule meetings @ https://connect.dalet.com/. Dalet Pulse 2020 - Welcome to the Age of Distributed Media Operations In partnership with Adobe, AWS and Bitmovin, Dalet Pulse will feature keynotes and presentations from industry experts with discussions on leveraging tools that foster remote collaboration and increase audience engagement across consumption platforms. Dalet will facilitate live discussions on latest advancements and real-world use cases in media. Register for the Dalet Pulse September 8th event @ https://www.dalet.com/events/dalet-pulse-online. A Look at the New Product Launches and Latest Innovations The expanding digital session lineup features new product introductions and technology innovation including: New Dalet AmberFin Cloud Transcoder - This SaaS-based, high-quality media processing service offers robust transcoding, media packaging and distribution capabilities with unlimited scalability. The solution addresses a range of complex needs allowing content creators and distributors to respond quickly and efficiently to delivery demands. Innovating OTT Workflows - The Ooyala Flex Media Platform, integrated with Bitmovin’s encoding, player and analytics offerings, redefines the economics and the user experience of OTT video distribution. The presentation will feature the case study of the National Rugby League of Australia. New Cloud-enabled Graphics with Dalet CubeNG - Tightly integrated in the Dalet Galaxy five platform, Dalet CubeNG can now run on public cloud infrastructure as well as on-premises, supporting real-time graphics creation with must-have features including CGs on the timeline with animated preview and burn-in. Enhanced integrations with Adobe Premiere Pro: with new functionality for the Ooyala Flex Media Platform, thanks to improvements to its Adobe Panel and added support for remote and cloud editing workflows with Dalet Galaxy five, enabling advanced collaboration for distributed teams. New and improved tools for home-based production: Dalet Galaxy xCloud, a SaaS-based full-featured version of the Dalet Galaxy five platform, facilitates end-to-end remote production workflows with unlimited scalability. Updates to Dalet On-the-Go newsroom mobile app include a new UI and a range of usability improvements to optimize remote user experience for journalists, reporters and chief editors. A range of SaaS offerings to complement existing Dalet operations: from AI-driven editorial tools with Dalet Media Cortex, to B2B monetization solutions that selectively expose a content owners’ catalog with Dalet StoreFront. To join Dalet’s IBC2020 Virtual Showcase, head over to https://connect.dalet.com/#join. About Dalet Digital Media Systems Dalet solutions and services enable media organizations to create, manage and distribute content faster and more efficiently, fully maximizing the value of assets. Based on an agile foundation, Dalet offers rich collaborative tools empowering end-to-end workflows for news, sports, program preparation, post-production, archives and enterprise content management, radio, education, governments and institutions. Dalet platforms are scalable and modular. They offer targeted applications with key capabilities to address critical functions of small to large media operations - such as planning, workflow orchestration, ingest, cataloging, editing, chat & notifications, transcoding, play out automation, multi-platform distribution and analytics. The integration of the Ooyala Flex Media Platform business has opened vast opportunities for Dalet customers to deploy successful strategies that better address their audiences with agile multi-platform content distribution in a wider range of markets, such as sports for teams and leagues, brands and corporate organizations, as well as Media and Entertainment companies looking to scale up their digital offerings. Dalet solutions and services are used around the world at hundreds of content producers and distributors, including public broadcasters (BBC, CBC, France TV, RAI, TV2 Denmark, RFI, Russia Today, RT Malaysia, SBS Australia, VOA), commercial networks and operators (Canal+, FOX, MBC Dubai, Mediacorp, Fox Sports Australia, Mediaset, Orange, Charter Spectrum, Warner Bros, Sirius XM Radio), sporting organizations (National Rugby League, FIVB, Bundesliga) and government organizations (UK Parliament, NATO, United Nations, Veterans Affairs, NASA). Dalet is traded on the NYSE-EURONEXT stock exchange (Eurolist C): ISIN: FR0011026749, Bloomberg DLT:FP, Reuters: DALE.PA. Dalet® is a registered trademark of Dalet Digital Media Systems. All other products and trademarks mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.
Dalet CubeNG Puts Broadcast Graphics Workflows in the Cloud
Dalet, a leading provider of solutions and services for broadcasters and content professionals, announced today the availability of a cloud-enabled version of its premium broadcast graphics solution for newsrooms, Dalet CubeNG, powered by the Brainstorm real-time graphics engine. The end-to-end graphics solution includes tools to create and manage the playout of superior 2D and 3D dynamic graphics and branding for news content across traditional, digital and social channels. Tightly integrated within the Dalet Galaxy five environment, Dalet CubeNG can now run on public cloud infrastructure as well as on-premises, supporting real-time graphics creation with must-have features including CGs on the timeline with animated preview and burn-in. “With this version of Dalet CubeNG, we not only optimize mobility with cloud infrastructure, but the connection to the Dalet ecosystem as well,” states Jérémy Krein, Dalet CubeNG Product Manager. “Natively integrated, Dalet CubeNG’s broadcast graphics workflows provide a first-class user experience that we continually improve upon. Journalists can browse their video and image titles through Dalet Galaxy five and retrieve assets to build image-rich stories and engaging visuals from anywhere, using the Dalet CubeNG plugin. The familiar interface and simple-to-use tools make the entire experience seamless, allowing users to focus on creating graphics that up-level the visual news narrative across traditional, digital and social channels.” New resource optimizations enable organizations to scale both projects and concurrent users with maximum efficiency. Jeremy explains, “Dalet CubeNG distributes time-intensive processing jobs such as burn-in and animated preview across multiple file-based engines in parallel. This is a significant time-saving whether you are working in the cloud or on-premises.” To learn more, please visit https://www.dalet.com/platforms/dalet-cube. A datasheet with additional information can also be found here. About Dalet Digital Media Systems Dalet solutions and services enable media organizations to create, manage and distribute content faster and more efficiently, fully maximizing the value of assets. Based on an agile foundation, Dalet offers rich collaborative tools empowering end-to-end workflows for news, sports, program preparation, post-production, archives and enterprise content management, radio, education, governments and institutions. Dalet platforms are scalable and modular. They offer targeted applications with key capabilities to address critical functions of small to large media operations - such as planning, workflow orchestration, ingest, cataloging, editing, chat & notifications, transcoding, play out automation, multi-platform distribution and analytics. The integration of the Ooyala Flex Media Platform business has opened vast opportunities for Dalet customers to deploy successful strategies that better address their audiences with agile multi-platform content distribution in a wider range of markets, such as sports for teams and leagues, brands and corporate organizations, as well as Media and Entertainment companies looking to scale up their digital offerings. Dalet solutions and services are used around the world at hundreds of content producers and distributors, including public broadcasters (BBC, CBC, France TV, RAI, TV2 Denmark, RFI, Russia Today, RT Malaysia, SBS Australia, VOA), commercial networks and operators (Canal+, FOX, MBC Dubai, Mediacorp, Fox Sports Australia, Mediaset, Orange, Charter Spectrum, Warner Bros, Sirius XM Radio), sporting organizations (National Rugby League, FIVB, Bundesliga) and government organizations (UK Parliament, NATO, United Nations, Veterans Affairs, NASA). Dalet is traded on the NYSE-EURONEXT stock exchange (Eurolist C): ISIN: FR0011026749, Bloomberg DLT:FP, Reuters: DALE.PA. Dalet® is a registered trademark of Dalet Digital Media Systems. All other products and trademarks mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.
Quality of Experience: leveling the content creation playing field
This article was co-authored by Dalet’s Solutions Architect, Brett Chambers, and Bitmovin’s Solution Director APAC, Adrian Britton In this blog post, we discuss some of the typical failure modes that we see in mezzanine content, and how the combination of Dalet’s Ooyala Flex Media Platform and Bitmovin's Encoding joint solution can help mitigate them with technical metadata, black bar removal, deinterlacing, color correction, and more! We cover some of the top issues that affect a viewer’s quality of experience and how our solutions can help your organization resolve them. Quality Matters - Factors that affect viewer experience There are countless factors that can negatively affect your subscribers' experience - luckily most of them can be resolved with a simple combination of accurate meta-data and specific dashboard inputs. For your convenience we’ve organized the top six factors that will make the most positive impact on your workflow: Black Bar removal Perhaps one of the most noticeable factors that may affect a viewer’s Quality of Experience is the addition of those pesky Black Bars that appear on both sides of a video player during playback. Bars or letter-box artifacts occur when an asset of a non-conforming aspect ratio is introduced somewhere in the workflow. A mezzanine asset typically would not see this, but where content has moved through upstream systems - the likelihood increases. Typically Bitmovin’s tools initiate a black bar removal if either an asset’s technical metadata requires it or the Ooyala Flex ingest path determines it necessary. For correction, Bitmovin encode contains a cropping filter, which can be controlled through the Ooyala Flex Media Platform to remove the required pixels or frame percentage, thus correcting the image. You can see this process here. Show API Reference Some of the aspect ratio issues that may come up within the Pixel Aspect Ratio (PAR), Storage Aspect Ratio (SAR), and/or Display Aspect Ratio (DAR). The ideal AR should be as follows: PAR: the aspect ratio of the video pixels themselves. For 576i, it’s 59:54 or 1.093. SAR: the dimensions of the video frame, expressed as a ratio. For a 576i video, this is 5:4 (720x576). DAR: the aspect ratio the video should be played back at. For SD video, this is 16:9. Technical metadata detection within Ooyala Flex will, in most cases, correctly determine the aspect ratio characteristics, allowing the encoding profile in Bitmovin’s dashboard to be adjusted automatically. These are all characteristics of a video asset. Getting it wrong either in detection, encoding, or playback results in squashed video playback. Color-Correction Bitmovin’s encoder contains a powerful set of color space, color range, and color primary manipulation logic. While not a full color-grading solution, the encoding workflow can easily be modified to correct for color issues commonly found in mezzanine formats. Show API Reference Deinterlacing Interlacing or deinterlacing can be used to drastically improve the visual performance of your fast-moving content. When manipulating these aspects of the encode it's important to have a full view of the input asset making the decision to trigger these ‘filters’ for either content of a particular source, a particular technical metadata characteristic, or as part of a human-driven QA process. Show API Reference Conformance (FPS) Source content is unlikely to always be captured at the same frame-rate. US-sourced content can range from 29.97 FPS to capture rate of 25/50 FPS - or even faster! Although the normal role of the encoder is to conform all inputs to a given frame-per-second, especially when ad-insertion is used, there are also some use cases where certain content coming through certain workflows need to maintain different (and higher) values. Show API Reference Post/Precuts Rarely will content start exactly where you want it to, be it color-bars or lead-in titles, or simply a longer form recording that runs too long. Being able to clip out a beginning by X seconds and clip out an end at Y seconds can avoid the costly exercise of offlining content for craft editing. The Ooyala Flex-powered workflow can control clip-in and clip-out parameters, automating ingest where required. Ooyala Flex-powered clip-in and clip-pout parameter automated workflow (visualized) Audio-Leveling Some content is loud, some content is quiet. The audio-filter allows all or selected content to have it’s volume adjusted making for a uniform viewer experience. Show API Reference How will you overcome QoE issues? To summarize there are six key factors that often affect a user’s QoE: black bars, poor coloring, incorrect lacing for visual quality, non-optimized FPS, content length, and inappropriate audio volume. So, how do you overcome the most glaring QoE issue: aspect ratio-related issues? How to detect Aspect Ratio-related QoE issues When it comes to content preparation, everything really starts with the Ooyala Flex Media Platform, extracting Technical Metadata from incoming media. This critical step extracts information such as format, framerate, frame size, colour space, D.A.R., P.A.R., codecs, bitrates, and specific details for codecs in use (e.g. GOP structures, profiles, audio sample rates and bit-depths), audio track counts, timecode start time and duration. OoyalaMAM displaying technical metadata for a media asset This wealth of technical information stored as metadata against the media asset can be easily utilized throughout any workflow orchestration process, enabling the construction of bespoke validation criteria, ensuring the media is compliant. If validation happens to fail, workflow orchestration can take steps to rectify any issue automatically. The evaluation of the technical side of our media is a great start, but what about validation of the media essence? The Ooyala Flex Media Platform incorporates a number of tools that allow clients to effortlessly integrate with external products; a perfect example of this integration is for automated quality control, such as Dalet AmberFin. Automated QC reports from external products can be analyzed by Ooyala Flex, workflow orchestration can take remedial action to correct any QC issues, and submit corrected media to automated QC again to ensure compliance. OoyalaMAM transcode action manual selection OoyalaMAM auto-QC report stored as asset metadata In addition to automated QC, we also have the ability to create tasks for users to perform manual QC. Manual QC tasks can even be augmented from a previous automated QC run by highlighting ‘soft errors’ as temporal metadata annotations in a timeline ‘Review’. This orchestrated usage of human intervention helps ensure that our workflow does not stall, deadlines are met, and most importantly, quality does not suffer. For more information on the combined Dalet + Bitmovin capabilities, you can watch the recording of our most recent joint webinar here, and if you’d like to further discuss how to best address your QoE issues, do reach out: Brett Chambers Solutions Architect, Dalet APAC Contact Dalet Adrian Britton Solutions Director, Bitmovin Contact Bitmovin
Meet the Dalet Team: Jeremy Schoen, Senior Solution Architect
Welcome to the #DaletTeam blog series! Every project starts with a vision and before that vision can be realized, it must be mapped into a plan. Today we talk with Jeremy Schoen, head of solution architecture for the Dalet West Coast office in Los Angeles, about his role and helping Dalet customers turn their visions into reality. Solution Architects have a global vision of media workflow projects, from the deep technical details, to the business workflows of the customers and financial implications they have. They need to be savvy in system sizing and complex IT architectures as well as be articulate and explain workflows in a clear and simple way for non-technical users. They need to engage with on the ground engineers as well as C-Level executives and be fluent in many aspects of the project lifecycle. From a global project vision to the smallest details, their involvement is key to a successful project implementation! A key responsibility of Dalet Solution Architects is to present to Dalet customers how we will manage the implementation of their upcoming project. I am a visual person and enjoy playing with analogies. So I often compare implementing a Dalet system to building a new house as there are many similarities. Creating the Blueprint After the Sales and Pre-sales teams have gathered requirements on the number and type of rooms, shown a few model houses, and determined the overall budget, it is time for the Solution Architect to step in. The great thing about this comparison is that almost everybody knows what a residential architect does. They design the plans, complete calculations and specifications of the house, while staying within their client’s budget. That is, in a nutshell, what a Dalet Solution Architect does. When I first walk into a meeting with a customer, I try to understand what they really care about. I capture who they are, what content they produce, for which audience and what pain points they are trying to resolve with Dalet solutions. A key assignment of the Solution Architect is to conduct the Solution Design Workshop, which is usually composed of three stages. These stages are generally an iterative process, and typically require a couple of revisions before sign-off. Stage 1: Listening to the customer’s requirements, understanding their experiences, and reconfirming the assumptions made at the sales level. Some customers will tell you they want green walls, but by listening to the actual need and using our knowledge of existing workflows, sometimes we realize there is no need for a wall in the first place. In my opinion, this stage is the most critical as this becomes the foundation on which the whole house will be built upon or in this case, the customer's media ecosystem. Stage 2: Building a small Proof of Concept (POC) system with mini concepts or shells to demonstrate key components. At this stage, the customer is engaging actively and begins projecting and customizing. The product starts to take form and the workshops, happening in small groups of five to eight people, help passing key concepts to the rest of the organization. Stage 3: Writing a detailed specification document that will be a guide for both the customer and the Dalet project engineers to build the system. This is where it all comes together, the plans are finalized and everything is put on paper. This document will be continuously updated to reflect the status of the project. While the vast majority of our customers’ needs are covered “out-of-the-box" by our solutions, sometimes a new feature is needed. In such cases, the Solution Architect is instrumental in specifying the requirement and helping define the feature for our product team. The Building Begins At this stage, the house is ready to be built and the engineers come on site and start implementing the solution. However, the Solution Architect’s job does not stop there. A Dalet project is often dynamic and customers’ minds evolve and ideas are born. Dalet has to stay agile and adapt to the situation. To stay connected, the Solution Architect works closely with the engineers on the ground to discuss any questions or document any changes necessary for the design. They also work closely with the sales and pre sales department in case a change requires new budgeting options and financial adjustments. If you think you possess or want to develop some of these skills and are looking for a new challenge, feel free to drop me a note! Jeremy Schoen Head of Solution Design, Dalet West Coast USA
Welcome to the OTT video content streaming revolution!
This article was first published on the SMPTE website by Michael Goldman, Board Member at SMPTE. This is based on an interview of Lincoln Spiteri, VP of Engineering, Ooyala at Dalet. In the opinion of Lincoln Spiteri, VP of Engineering at Dalet, a major manufacturer of media workflow technology solutions, the OTT video content streaming revolution is currently in a vibrant, but dichotomous place. On the one hand, many technological, logistical, and standardization aspects of securely delivering scaled content over the internet to consumer devices or businesses are now stable and are burgeoning at this point, so that more creators and distributors than ever can efficiently push their programming to the public. The current growing global dependence on streaming news, sports, entertainment content, meetings and personal interactions during the ongoing worldwide emergency, for example, illustrates how “established” OTT streaming has become. Disruptive forces and the new possible On the other hand, significant “disruptive forces,” as he puts it, have evolved what are possible, needed, expected, and desired out of the video-streaming paradigm. This means, in essence, that no sooner have established methodologies proliferated than new questions and answers start hurtling down the chute that can change some of those methodologies over time. “The delivery side has settled overall,” Spiteri says. “We have the means to deliver high bandwidth, so the adaptive streaming side is there. Edge providers like Akamai and AWS Cloudfront, among others, and also cloud services being offered by the likes of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft Azure are providing the ability to anyone who wishes to deliver content over the top via the internet to be able to do so. In terms of delivering generalized services, all the building blocks are now understood, and they are on the verge of becoming commoditized in many new ways. It’s a global phenomenon where people are consuming video on an incredibly large scale. “But if you think about the disruption that Netflix and others have brought about in terms of being able to monetize their platform on such a large scale, by providing incredibly high-quality video and, nowadays, producing content themselves, I think that also drove the adoption, because consumers ultimately tend to gravitate to quality. On one side, you have big content producers spending billions of dollars to create compelling, original content they can distribute [online]. But then, on the other hand, you have the ongoing phenomenon of YouTube, which probably offers the most video content on the Internet in terms of volume. And a lot of that is from small-time content makers—homegrown content. The need for those people to also be able to produce and distribute is an interesting development from a technological point of view. “So there is something to be said about knowing what happens upstream in terms of acquiring or producing content [for distribution on the Web]. But the question arises, how do you do that efficiently to meet all sorts of different criterion at different distribution points, when targeting all sorts of different devices and platforms?” Managing digital video assets more efficiently Spiteri says the answer lies in figuring out how to manage digital video assets more efficiently all along the chain. “You have to have a good grip on your assets and have good metadata describing those assets,” he adds. “You need a way to prepare assets for consumption on a wide variety of devices and media platforms. That allows you to go back into your archive, and basically monetize not just the new content you are making, but also your existing assets.” Thus, among other developments, manufacturers like the company Spiteri works for, Dalet, and others are pushing into the marketplace various “media logistics platforms,” which he calls “the orchestration piece of the streaming puzzle,” designed, he says, “to make it easier and less costly to manage, package, and distribute content.” After all, he says, we live in a world where content not only has to be streamed, but in fact, has to be captured, edited, packaged with robust production values intact, and distributed or re-distributed to a wide range of destinations, often in a matter of minutes. Some examples of such platforms come from companies like Dalet, SDVI Corp., and Ownzones, among others. “For news and sports especially, time is of the essence,” he says. “That’s what I mean about ‘orchestration.’ We have a sports client in the UK, and they are required as a virtue of their license to deliver clips from a game within, say, five minutes of the event happening. This could be a two-minute package that needs to be sent off to perhaps 100 licensees to use [as highlights]—the package will be placed on someone’s Web platform or their applications for mobile consumption. So these orchestration platforms are needed to drive those sorts of things—to capture, edit, and produce packages within minutes out of a live event, and then enable it to be distributed immediately in a format that is the right format for whomever is receiving that package. So the development of tools that can make streaming of such content fast, robust, reliable, and scalable is very important.” In other words, tools that can “bring in a high level of automation” on the front end are now helping to democratize the streaming revolution, Spiteri suggests. “The idea is we can marry the media asset management side with metadata and with orchestration so that you can bring in that high level of automation, be able to prepare packages and, at the same time, make sure they are being reviewed for compliance purposes and then be ultimately delivered to whomever is putting the material online,” he explains. Spiteri emphasizes that the content industry has invested heavily in recent years in not only managing and protecting data, but in ways of tracking their users viewing habits and interests. That’s why, he suggests, you will often see content streaming providers “behaving like digital agencies to a certain extent, readily experimenting with their user interfaces to see what is working and to understand what their customers are viewing. They have a sophisticated level of analytics for that sort of thing, gathering an amazing amount of data.” Related to all this, Spiteri feels it is inevitable that artificial intelligence tools will “naturally play a bigger part” in how this data on users is gathered and taken advantage of, as well as how content is packaged and streamed around the world going forward. He points to new initiatives from several companies trying to weave AI tools into the video streaming tapestry. These include his company, Dalet, Amazon, Azure, and Graymeta. Further, some industry players are taking advantage of open-source AI learning framework services such as Tensorflow, developed by Google, and Facebook’s Pytorch, among others. “The AI community is definitely growing at a fast rate, now that we can run things through the Cloud,” he says. “So I think we will see some interesting applications of AI coming, as a result, with innovations combining analytics coming from users and helping companies learn about usage patterns and things like that.” On the importance of cyber-security He particularly feels that the security issue for content distributors has also largely stabilized in terms of delivering material over encrypted channels, thanks to established digital rights management (DRM) standards and services, including Google Widevine, Microsoft Playready, Apple FairPlay, and Adobe Content Server, among others. Additionally, he points to an increasing trend across the industry whereby companies are joining forces to develop new and more stringent cyber-security protocols, such as the DPP initiative and the Trusted Partner Network. “All the major means of delivery allow you to deliver encrypted content—I think that is pretty much a done game,” Spiteri says. “Those things are very robust at this point. They are still evolving, but there is no magic sauce. They use the fabric of the Web itself—the core technologies are acting as part of a framework and infrastructure that allow us to deliver content at scale. And now, various CDN’s [content delivery networks] allow you to essentially geo-fence your content [using geographically distributed servers to transport files] so that it can’t be touched by anyone outside the region it is intended for. So we have all sorts of mechanisms for providers to understand who their users are, what their level of access should be, and they are all very mature at this point with well-established operators and practices.” Iterate and innovate Still, he expects the industry “to continue to iterate and innovate” in terms of user interfaces and other ways of simplifying the experience, with greater use of voice control technologies and more powerful, AI-powered content recommendation engines on the way, among other things. Spiteri says other interesting advancements coming down the chute include increased reliance for some providers on the notion of an API-first platform—what he calls “a headless OVP” for certain kinds of applications. “There are various companies, including one called Mux, that are built around the idea of having an easier way for the technology needed to deliver content to be more open with API-first delivery,” Spiteri relates. “I think we will see more of these in the near future. They are not necessarily there to build the best content management system, or to provide an end-to-end tool chain to let anyone who wants to build an OTT platform to do so, but they focus very specifically on a particular piece and make it as good as it can be.” He also emphasizes that the evolution of adaptive bit rate streaming standards such as MPEG-DASH, Apple’s HLS (HTTP Live Streaming), Microsoft Smooth Streaming, and others has “removed a lot of the fragmentation” in the video streaming world. By that, Spiteri means that, “it’s now fairly easy to be able to package your content and scale it up or down based on the conditions the stream is being delivered in.” Thus, Spiteri largely feels that the standardization issue in the streaming world is not an impediment anymore on a mixed-platform landscape. However, more generally, he also points out that what has really changed is the fact that, in this realm, “a significant part of the standards is carried by software now, not hardware. Devices can be upgraded over the air to fix certain issues or meet certain changes in a standard now. Therefore, the whole dynamic is changing. TV’s, phones, tablets are so powerful these days that the standards have to become agile. We can’t wait four or five years anymore for a new standard to be developed.” And related to that, he points out that the OTT side of things will, for the foreseeable future, remain linked to one degree or another to the OTA side of things due to the “bigger role that OTA still plays when it comes to live events—it’s typically more reliable for sporting events and so on. So OTA still has room to grow, as well.” As a consequence, the ATSC 3.0 next-generation terrestrial TV broadcast standard’s growth and evolution in the US is having an impact also in the streaming world, as discussed in Newswatch in 2019, because of the hybrid nature of the viewing landscape for the foreseeable future.     “Many companies are beginning to mix streaming content with live channels,” he says. “I’m sure several of the platforms are heading that way. In the UK, we have a service called TalkTalk, for example, which has created a pretty seamless mixture of over-the-air and over-the-top means of delivering content to the set-top box. Their software makes it pretty indistinguishable, whether you are receiving a channel over IP or a broadcast coming from your cable. “Ultimately, this is due to the set-top box technology, or the new Smart TV technology generally. With the processors they are putting into these things now, it gives them a lot of power and the ability to make the experience pretty seamless.” At the end of the day, Spiteri expects “more disruption from the content delivery side” over time. “They want more 8k content, but it is questionable whether there will be much 8k content in the next year or two,” he says. “But we can probably expect a lot more 4k content, more high dynamic range content, and that sort of thing. But we will also see a market disruption in terms of new players coming into the fore. In other words, there will be more disruption because the technology is now able to deliver the content more efficiently for more people to give it a try.”
Dalet and Bitmovin Join Forces to Power OTT Content Packaging and Delivery for the National Rugby League of Australia
Dalet and Bitmovin announced today a new collaboration that improves preparation and accelerates delivery of OTT content for broadcasters, sports leagues and teams, brands, and other media-rich companies. The first organization to take advantage of the new technology partnership is Australia’s National Rugby League (the NRL). The workflow integration, which features the advanced media logistics of Dalet’s Ooyala Flex Media Platform and Bitmovin’s blazing fast encoder technology, provides the NRL with the flexibility and agility to fully optimize their OTT strategy. Deep integration through the Dalet and Bitmovin open APIs enables them to expand existing offerings into new markets and geographies at scale; engage fans through multiple services such as VOD, apps and subscriptions; and augment revenue opportunities thanks to better visibility across their production and distribution operations. “Dalet’s Ooyala Flex Media Platform, deeply integrated with Bitmovin’s encoding, player and analytics offerings, redefines the economics and the experience of OTT video distribution for brands like the National Rugby League,” states Stefan Lederer, CEO, Bitmovin. “Viewers will be delighted with higher quality and a more diverse range of content. Streaming costs are drastically lowered through better use of bandwidth. With greater transparency across the operations, media organizations are able to make smarter decisions about legacy and future content and video reach.” “Both our solutions are developed on the principle of openness and provide sophisticated automation for business scalability. This approach empowers our joint customers like the NRL to build integrated solutions and remain in total control of their asset life cycles,” comments Lee McMullan, Market Director - Multiplatform Distribution, Dalet. “Efficiency through automation and asset tracking enables digital and marketing teams to tap into archives, orchestrate content preparation, scaling distribution of rich content to a wider audience.” The National Rugby League (NRL) is one of Australia’s most popular and entertaining sports. The NRL telecasts have grown to become the most watched sporting programs on Australian television. Branching off the NRL is NRL’s Digital division; creating, producing, archiving and live-streaming hundreds of hours of content to NRL’s official website, NRL.com, and the Telstra NRL Official app on smart devices as well as the Telstra TV OTT device. NRL Digital’s underlying media technology also powers the 16 clubs and two states, as well as NRL operational websites and mobile applications content delivery, enabling better fan and members content experience online. The combined Ooyala Flex Media Platform and Bitmovin solution made it easier for NRL’s staff to build ad-hoc workflows that could better tap into their rich inventory and distribute more editorial content, imagery and video across the NRL’s websites and mobile applications. Ooyala Flex Media Platform’s powerful and efficient workflow and content management capabilities orchestrated the media catalogs’ encoding, media movement and content discovery to surface near-live video to their audiences. “When working with video content from varying sources that needs to be published online (live, near-live or on-demand content), every workflow, metadata layer and media processing step adds time and complexity getting content to the audience. By combining the Ooyala Flex Media Platform and the Bitmovin solutions we have been able to reduce complexity and issues, optimising inefficient steps while successfully accelerating our online delivery workflows,” comments Quanah McBride, Head of Digital Media Operations, The National Rugby League. Ooyala Flex Media Platform The Ooyala Flex Media Platform reinforces business continuity with a hybrid or poly-cloud based content supply chain. In addition to integration with Bitmovin, Ooyala Flex Media Platform offers enhanced security capabilities and improved content discovery tools, improving OTT preparation and multiplatform distribution workflows that help content owners quickly scale their operations. To learn more, please visit: https://www.dalet.com/ooyala-flex-media-platform. Bitmovin Designed To Deploy Content Anywhere And Integrate In Any Workflow Bitmovin’s encoding, playback, and analytics software solutions enable OTT video providers and development teams to deliver elevated, efficient viewer experiences on the largest number of devices and platforms in the market today. For more information, please visit www.bitmovin.com. See It In Action - Ooyala Flex Media Platform and Bitmovin Webinar on June 18th Dalet and Bitmovin will showcase the Ooyala Flex Media Platform and Bitmovin integration on a joint webinar on June 18, 2020. Hosted by Bitmovin’s Solutions Director, Adrian Britton, and featuring Patricio Cummins (Dalet General Manager, APAC) and Brett Chambers (Dalet Solutions Architect), the trio will highlight benefits and real world applications of the combined solution. To register, visit: https://connect.dalet.com/#join or https://go.bitmovin.com/apac-live-dalet-ott-workflows. You can find out more about Dalet and Bitmovin’s combined solutions here: https://www.dalet.com/partner/bitmovin. About Bitmovin Built for technical professionals in the OTT video market, Bitmovin’s software solutions help you optimize customer operations and reduce time-to-market, resulting in the best viewer experience imaginable. This is achieved through our device reach, flexible and scalable integration, and commitment to supporting our customers. Learn more at www.bitmovin.com. About Dalet Digital Media Systems Dalet solutions and services enable media organizations to create, manage and distribute content faster and more efficiently, fully maximizing the value of assets. Based on an agile foundation, Dalet offers rich collaborative tools empowering end-to-end workflows for news, sports, program preparation, post-production, archives and enterprise content management, radio, education, governments and institutions. Dalet platforms are scalable and modular. They offer targeted applications with key capabilities to address critical functions of small to large media operations - such as planning, workflow orchestration, ingest, cataloging, editing, chat & notifications, transcoding, play out automation, multi-platform distribution and analytics. The integration of the Ooyala Flex Media Platform business has opened vast opportunities for Dalet customers to deploy successful strategies that better address their audiences with agile multi-platform content distribution in a wider range of markets, such as sports for teams and leagues, brands and corporate organizations, as well as Media and Entertainment companies looking to scale up their digital offerings. Dalet solutions and services are used around the world at hundreds of content producers and distributors, including public broadcasters (BBC, CBC, France TV, RAI, TV2 Denmark, RFI, Russia Today, RT Malaysia, SBS Australia, VOA), commercial networks and operators (Canal+, FOX, MBC Dubai, Mediacorp, Fox Sports Australia, Turner Asia, Mediaset, Orange, Charter Spectrum, Warner Bros, Sirius XM Radio), sporting organizations (National Rugby League, FIVB, Bundesliga) and government organizations (UK Parliament, NATO, United Nations, Veterans Affairs, NASA). Dalet is traded on the NYSE-EURONEXT stock exchange (Eurolist C): ISIN: FR0011026749, Bloomberg DLT:FP, Reuters: DALE.PA. Dalet® is a registered trademark of Dalet Digital Media Systems. All other products and trademarks mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.
Dalet SaaS Solution Focuses on Business Continuity and Remote Production for Media Operations
Dalet, a leading provider of solutions and services for broadcasters and content professionals, made available today an important remote production solution that enables newsrooms and media organizations to carry on critical content production and distribution operations amid the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. Dalet Galaxy xCloud, a secure and highly scalable SaaS solution hosted by Dalet, extends on-premises production and enables an exceptional, friction-free remote editing and collaboration experience from home to hub. “Today, more than ever, our news customers play a critical role in keeping communities informed and connected. Our tools form a foundation for creating and delivering vital news and information to millions of viewers. It’s imperative that our customers’ operations continue without disruption,” states Kevin Savina, Director of Product Strategy, Dalet. “We have designed Dalet Galaxy xCloud to give our customers maximum mobility when they need it most, whether they are at the office or facility, at an offsite production or in the field, working with freelancers or working from home, as many of us are today.” Dalet Galaxy xCloud enables customers to work productively from home leveraging cloud infrastructure, while still using familiar production tools, such as Dalet OneCut, Dalet WebSpace, and Dalet On-the-Go from their home-based devices. Adobe® Premiere® Pro based editing workflows are also supported through the Dalet Xtend plugin. Kevin explains the simplicity and its importance, “Because the Dalet-hosted service extends the capabilities of existing on-premises systems, our customers can quickly transition to working from home using the same tools and workflows within a safe and controlled environment. Security and scalability are incredibly important for our customers who must quickly turn on remote capabilities for hundreds of users and multiple workflows.” For more information, you can visit https://www.dalet.com/business-services/galaxy-xcloud In addition to Dalet Galaxy xCloud, Dalet offers a number of existing solutions to address the challenges introduced by new working conditions: Dalet OnePlay to run your studio with a reduced crew while preserving quality. Learn more: https://www.dalet.com/platforms/oneplay Ooyala Flex Media Platform to scale and meet all of your OTT packaging and multi-platform distribution needs. Learn more: https://www.dalet.com/ooyala-flex-media-platform Dalet StoreFront to source content remotely and expose your inventory to B2B clients and partners. Learn more: https://www.dalet.com/business-services/storefront Facilitate all digital interactions and online meetings with Dalet Connect As physical meetings and events cannot currently take place, Dalet has created a dedicated site called Dalet Connect. An extension to the main Dalet website, Dalet Connect aims at helping media professionals discover Dalet product offerings and online happenings, enabling fast demo, meeting and webinar bookings. Media professionals will be able to discuss their immediate needs and specific projects by engaging with the Dalet team in a dedicated online meeting environment. Robin Kirchhoffer, Dalet Marketing Director for Operations and Content, concludes, “Right now, we are fully focused on helping our customers and the industry as a whole. That’s been our driver since the beginning of this crisis. Through Dalet Connect we can talk to our clients, future users, and partners about specific challenges and help them find the right mix of solutions. It’s an incredibly challenging time for everyone and we are here to provide a pathway to business-as-usual, putting in place mechanisms that will serve the community now and in the future.” Join Dalet online today: connect.dalet.com About Dalet Digital Media Systems Dalet solutions and services enable media organizations to create, manage and distribute content faster and more efficiently, fully maximizing the value of assets. Based on an agile foundation, Dalet offers rich collaborative tools empowering end-to-end workflows for news, sports, program preparation, post-production, archives and enterprise content management, radio, education, governments and institutions. Dalet platforms are scalable and modular. They offer targeted applications with key capabilities to address critical functions of small to large media operations - such as planning, workflow orchestration, ingest, cataloging, editing, chat & notifications, transcoding, play out automation, multi-platform distribution and analytics. The integration of the Ooyala Flex Media Platform business has opened vast opportunities for Dalet customers to deploy successful strategies that better address their audiences with agile multi-platform content distribution in a wider range of markets, such as sports for teams and leagues, brands and corporate organizations, as well as Media and Entertainment companies looking to scale up their digital offerings. Dalet solutions and services are used around the world at hundreds of content producers and distributors, including public broadcasters (BBC, CBC, France TV, RAI, TV2 Denmark, RFI, Russia Today, RT Malaysia, SBS Australia, VOA), commercial networks and operators (Canal+, FOX, MBC Dubai, Mediacorp, Fox Sports Australia, Turner Asia, Mediaset, Orange, Charter Spectrum, Warner Bros, Sirius XM Radio), sporting organizations (National Rugby League, FIVB, Bundesliga) and government organizations (UK Parliament, NATO, United Nations, Veterans Affairs, NASA). Dalet is traded on the NYSE-EURONEXT stock exchange (Eurolist C): ISIN: FR0011026749, Bloomberg DLT:FP, Reuters: DALE.PA. Dalet® is a registered trademark of Dalet Digital Media Systems. All other products and trademarks mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.
Virtualization - is it always best? And is cloud a one-size-fits-all solution?
I like to be told that I'm wrong. It usually means that I've made some broad sweeping assumption that over-simplifies the world. My most recent blunder was assuming that the whole world will obviously move 100% of its media operations to the cloud. It seems to me that in the space of a few short years, the media industry has changed its mindset from cloud is unsafe through a brief dally with cloud is good and has now ended up with everything cloud as the way to go. Considering current global events around mobility and remote working, this is a highly topical discussion. One-size-fits-all solutions do not exist! In the unused bit at the back of my brain, I know that there is no such thing as a one size fits all solution, but at the same time I cling to the everything cloud marketing philosophy as some kind of justification for forward motion. Very often, it's a mix of technologies that gives the best performance for a given price and it's the ability to choose the right technology at the right time for the right job at the right price that ensures that any business continues to thrive. Transcoding is a curious business. To select a service or a device, you first must be sure that it meets your needs for scaling, deinterlacing, frame rate conversion, image filtering, SDR and HDR conversion, range of codecs, compression efficiency and compression quality. In today's time-pressed environment choices are often done with a service rate card rather than by testing with real content and real people. This is a shame because very often the idea of taking a high-quality device with a Capex price tag is eliminated, even though the per-transcode costs of an alternative service can be higher for a lower quality. Nothing is ever simple - what's the real business problem? So why all this heavy philosophy? Dalet asked me to look at a hardware accelerator for an offline transcoder. I initially thought that I had stepped into a time machine because that sort of solution is just not fashionable now. I stopped and thought about it for a while in the context of todays reduced operating margins, remote infrastructure requirements and ever-increasing platform support requirements. If you have a fixed and stable volume of content that needs to be converted every day / week / month then actually the costing of that core transcode is a key fixed cost of the business. If a hardware accelerator reduces that fixed cost with a one-off investment rather than a pay as you go continuous commitment, then it is a no-brainer providing you still have a local data center to house it and you have the ability to manage it remotely. There is a business sweet spot for accelerators! So I found myself looking at an HEVC encoding accelerator, connected to a cloud-enabled Dalet AmberFin transcode farm and realized that it was the right solution for many customers to fulfil their core needs of doing a lot of transcoding for the minimum TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). Like many things in engineering, it might not be fashionable or glamorous, but for the right application it makes good business sense. It serves the needs of working and managing remotely, since you can build a hybrid architecture that works in the background and yet, can be accessed anytime, anywhere, assuming your data center has some solid business continuity in place (let’s face it, who doesn’t these days?) As 2020 makes its way, with major issues at global scale, it seems that there is a sweet spot for hardware accelerators - high throughput with less energy consumption than a raw software solution. It also seems that I should avoid jumping on today's fashionable technology for everything and to keep my mind open to a wider range of practical solutions to solving real business problems!
Why Cloud Content Supply Chains Are The Answer to Today's Media Consumption Demands
Today’s content creators and publishers are faced with a rapidly changing landscape. Any company and brand looking to engage viewers, followers, sports fans, consumers and buyers needs to refocus on their video strategy. Creating great content is no longer sufficient - you also need to keep at least one eye on trends. If you don’t, the rate of change is so fast that you’ll quickly be faced with demands that you simply don’t have the resources for. Today’s world is radically different Just twenty years ago, the first primitive video streaming technology emerged, and to early adopters, it was exciting. It was shaky and flaky, but showed potential. Neither YouTube nor Facebook existed. Video was consumed via broadcast or DVD. The rigid standards that bound broadcasters were necessary because TVs at the time couldn’t display anything else. After years of technology evolution, it became easy to get video to where it was meant to be consumed, and the idea that one day there might be hundreds of video platforms to address, all different in some way or other, was either a distant one or not there at all. Today, it’s a radically different world, where everyone has a video device in their pocket, where digital video is better than film in every measurable way, where 8K video resolution measured by pixel count per frame is 85 times that of standard definition from two years ago. There’s a variety of video codecs, HDR vs SDR, not to mention complex distribution rights, which might vary from region to region. Viewing habits are vastly different Inevitably, viewing habits have changed dramatically. There’s anecdotal evidence that in a typical class of 30 ten - year - olds, precisely none of them will have watched linear TV the night before. Between them, YouTube, Social Media and OTT/OVP sourced media are the dominant platforms for video consumption. “Traditional” linear TV is just one of a myriad of video distribution formats. The Ooyala Flex Media Platform was developed to be the answer to this explosion of video formats and platforms. It automates content distribution, guided by orchestrated packaging workflows that users create, based on the number and nature of video destinations to be served. A cloud-native platform at your service A “cloud-native” platform means that it is modular, scalable and almost infinitely flexible. This is perfect for modern media creators, because their distribution demands will grow quickly, and sometimes unpredictably. Applications in the cloud are not restricted by size or scale. There are no physical boundaries. If you need more, just ask for it. It’s the same if you need less. A cloud architecture means that you don’t have to make business-critical investments in hardware that risk losses through depreciation, or though an inability to grow and contract with customer demand. The Ooyala Flex Media Platform is your Cloud Media Factory. An automated content supply chain that allows your team to meet all OTT and multi-platform distribution needs! Adaptable and secure Building a cloud-native application - especially one that is optimised for media production and distribution - requires an approach that is both adaptable and secure. For the ultimate in flexibility, the Ooyala Flex Media Platform has microservices as its basic functional blocks. These are essentially “atoms” of functionality. They’re elements of the application that have been made as lean as possible without affecting efficiency. Indeed, breaking down an application like this is a major enhancement to efficiency, because it dispenses with monolithic programs that belong in the cretaceous period. Microservices communicate with each other and with the outside world through APIs (cCarefully designed gateways that “talk” in a very controlled way to other parts of a program - like a user interface or an external software request for some media). This approach is intrinsically secure. Even though an application talks to external services, it has to do so in a very specific way. Unusual requests will simply be rejected. There is security at every layer in the system. What’s the answer? The answer to the extraordinary rate of change in distribution platforms is to have a flexible, modular, scalable cloud-based application to deal with the complexity. Dalet’s Ooyala Flex Media Platform is designed to deal with a wide range of media operations and scale with them to almost any size. Closely integrated with other Dalet products such as Dalet AmberFin for media processing and Dalet Media Cortex for AI-powered media enrichment, the Ooyala Flex Media Platform can take media from anywhere, to anywhere, automatically and without drama. Sooner or later (most likely sooner) every organization will be impacted by the rate of change in multimedia content operations. Strategic thinking based on linear growth is no longer an option. The Ooyala Flex Media Platform, a first class citizen of the cloud, is the answer to this sign of the times. The good news? It’s ready for you to use now, and it will make you fighting fit for the future. Learn more about the Ooyala Flex Media Platform <iframe width="660" height="415" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bakCmFWjbhI" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>