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Apr 05, 2018
France
Dalet Showcases Plug-and-Play IMF Workflows at NAB 2018
Component-based IMF workflow, extensive third-party integration and native support in new Dalet Galaxy five elevates the user experience and production efficiency

Dalet Showcases Plug-and-Play IMF Workflows at NAB

Component-based IMF workflow, extensive third-party integration and native support in new Dalet Galaxy five elevates the user experience and production efficiency

Dalet, a leading provider of solutions and services for broadcasters and content professionals, extends the Interoperable Master Format (IMF) capabilities and collaborative workflows within the new Dalet Galaxy five solution. Shown at NAB 2018 on booth SL8010, the Dalet Galaxy five component-based approach to IMF provides an exceptional user experience for maximum efficiency – simplifying IMF production and delivery workflows with visually intuitive graphical tools and automation.

“The overall change in moving from traditional workflow to Dalet’s IMF component-based approach is more than a technical uplift, it's a change in the business value model,” states Matthieu Fasani, product manager, Dalet. “All too often a facility can be perceived as a provider of tapes and files that satisfy individual creative projects, but the real goal here is to move into a position of being able to fulfil a continuous business need by providing a technical back office and, potentially, a store-front for fulfilling the national and international distribution requirements. Dalet enables this by demystifying the complexity of IMF, industrializing the process with a component-based approach that is incredibly flexible and quick to adopt across organizations.”

Dalet has been pioneering component-based workflows and the IMF workflow industrialization with Dalet Galaxy, its flagship MAM and Workflow Orchestration platform, creating real business opportunities for global distribution. “In a traditional workflow you need to re-render your entire project several times throughout its lifecycle including every version you need to distribute,” explains Arnaud Elnecave, vice president, marketing, Dalet. “The Dalet Galaxy five data model and toolset supports comprehensive component-based workflows. This means you never render, you change only the specific elements that need to be modified or added supplements within a project or collection, eliminating the need to duplicate media files. This is a much more flexible approach that offers significant savings on time and resources for production and delivery. This will become more and more critical for efficient program versioning and distribution workflows where various essences are produced, transformed, arranged, packaged and exchanged repeatedly between media properties.”

NAB attendees can book a private briefing here to learn more about Dalet Galaxy five IMF and other component-based workflows.

New IMF Workflow Features of Dalet Galaxy five

New features, introduced with Dalet Galaxy five and shown at NAB 2018, include native IMF support and a Video Timeline view to speed approvals and production:

  • Native support for IMF assets, such as the Composition Play List (CPL) and the Output Profile List (OPL), comes as default alongside objects like video, audio or images when you open Dalet Galaxy
     
  • Generating proxies for preview of track files and CPLs in Dalet WebSpace
     
  • Visualizing asset relationships (between track files and CPLs, CPLs and OPLs, and between CPLs belonging to the same title)
     
  • Automating the creation of new versions by leveraging the Workflow Orchestration platform capabilities
     
  • Automatically connecting CPLs using EIDR (Entertainment Identifier Registry) and ISAN (International Standard Audiovisual Number) identifiers
     
  • Orchestrating the rendering of compositions and the generation of new IMPs manually or automatically based on configurable business rules

 

A Great User Experience

“The IMF standard brings huge benefits at several key steps of the media supply and distribution chain but at the cost of some complexity. In order for users to leverage all of its benefits, IMF workflows need to be intuitive and easy to manage,” adds Fasani. “That’s exactly what Dalet Galaxy five is introducing. The way the Dalet user experience exposes IMF assets for manipulation is so unique, it will change the way people perceive and understand IMF. In just one or two days you can set up sophisticated workflows to receive IMF packages, review the content, trigger export to Netflix or any distributor you wish, and simplify end-to-end IMF workflows for all of your team. We are replacing complexity with usability.”

Dalet Galaxy five introduces a new set of tools within Dalet WebSpace specifically designed for preview, review and approval of all objects of an IMF package, including the CPL, with a glance at the Video Timeline available on any web client. There is no need for an extensive mastering tool. Simply import the package content into Galaxy, automatically generate proxies and extend collaborative review and approval workflows.

The Bundle Object groups all the components that belong to the same title under one umbrella. Inside the Bundle Editor, users will find the lifecycle of component-based workflows presented in a simple, visual layout:

  • The Media Tab lists all the component track files (video, audio, subtitles/captions
     
  • The Production Tab lists all the CPLs/OPLs, which describe how components have been assembled and should be transformed to an output deliverable
     
  • The Version Tab exposes the renderings of CPLs/OPLs into final deliverables for consumption by end-users (AS-11 for linear playout, HLS/DASH for OTT distribution)
     
  • The Packages Tab tracks how individual components have been received/delivered and allows to generate new packages by simple drag-and-drop operations.
     

Extensive Third-Party Integration

Dalet works with the IMF eco-system of vendors (mastering tools from Marquise Technologies, Rohde & Schwarz and ColorFront; QC tools from Netflix Photon, Interra Systems and IRT) to ensure robust end-to-end IMF workflows, including receiving IMF packages, referencing IMF assets in a central repository and leveraging IMF metadata, both technical and editorial, to automate processes at scale and expose the relevant information to the appropriate users.

 

Learn more about IMF and Dalet Component-Based Workflows 

Click here to visit the dedicated webpage.

 

Watch the Video Presentation

 

Learn More About IMF and Dalet component-based workflows at Dalet Pulse

Join 250+ media and technology executives at Dalet Pulse to discover latest innovations from Dalet and technology partners. Dalet Pulse will take place on April 8th at the SLS Hotel in Las Vegas. To register, please click here.
 

Schedule a Private Press Briefing with Dalet at NAB 2018

Members of the NAB registered press are invited to request a private press briefing with Dalet at NAB 2018. For more information, please contact Alex Molina at alex@zazilmediagroup.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. Dalet products are built on three distinct platforms that, when combined, form versatile business solutions that power end-to-end workflows for news, sports, program preparation, production, archive and radio. Individually, Dalet platforms and products offer targeted applications with key capabilities to address critical media workflow functions such as ingest, QC, edit, transcode and multiplatform distribution.

The foundation for Dalet productivity-enhancing workflow solutions, Dalet Galaxy is the enterprise Media Asset Management (MAM) & Orchestration platform that unifies the content chain by managing assets, metadata, workflows and processes across multiple and diverse production and distribution systems. Specially tailored for news and media workflows, this unique technology platform helps broadcasters and media professionals increase productivity while providing operational and business visibility.

Dalet AmberFin is the high-quality, scalable transcoding platform with fully integrated ingest, mastering, QC and review functionalities, enabling facilities to make great pictures in a scalable, reliable and interoperable way. Addressing the demanding needs of studio production, multi-camera ingest, sports logging and highlights production, the innovative Dalet Brio video server platform combines density and cost-effectiveness with high reliability. Adopted by leading broadcasters, Dalet Cube is a suite of applications to create, manage and deliver graphics in a newsroom scenario.

Dalet supports customers from the initial planning stages to well beyond project execution. Our global presence includes 17 offices strategically located throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, North America and South America, and a network of more than 60 professional partners serving 87 countries worldwide. This collective experience and knowledge enables our customers to realize potential increases in productivity, efficiency and value of their assets.

The comprehensive Dalet Care program ensures deployments remain up and running with 24/7 support 365 days a year.

Dalet systems are used around the world by many thousands of individual users at hundreds of TV and Radio content producers, including public broadcasters (ABS-CBN, BBC, CBC, DR, FMM, France TV, RAI, RFI, Russia Today, RT Malaysia, VOA), commercial networks and operators (Canal+, FOX, eTV, MBC Dubai, MediaCorp, Mediaset, Orange, Time Warner Cable, Warner Bros, Sirius XM Radio), and government organizations (Canadian House of Commons, Australian Parliament and UK Parliament).

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.

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Dalet, a leading provider of solutions and services for broadcasters and content professionals, will showcase its enterprise media asset management and orchestration solutions at the upcoming BVE 2018 event on stand H19. Experts will be available to discuss critical IMF and orchestration workflows trends within the content supply chain and specifically how Dalet solutions can manage and scale IMF package production and distribution, allowing facilities to lower costs and industrialize processes. BVE 2018 attendees can book a private demonstration or workflow consultation with an expert to learn how Dalet workflows and solutions can help them better create, manage and distribute content. Book a meeting via http://www.dalet.com/events/bve-2018. Pioneering IMF Workflow Industrialization The Dalet Galaxy MAM and Orchestration platform features a comprehensive and intuitive set of tools to manage IMF packages at the production, distribution and contribution parts of a media business. Discover how you can easily import and preview IMF packages natively into Dalet WebSpace, visualize IMF structures and components with Dalet Context Maps, build versions and supplemental packages with Dalet Track Stack and Dalet Version Editor, and eventually wrap your compositions for distribution using a connector to an IMF-compliant transcode farm, such as Dalet AmberFin. Dalet Solutions Shown at BVE 2018 A leader in media asset management and workflow orchestration, Dalet solutions are widely deployed at newsrooms and broadcast facilities throughout the UK, including notable enterprise installations at BBC Wales and Perform. The following BVE 2018 featured workflows and solutions are architected on the industry’s leading Media Asset Management (MAM) and Orchestration platform, Dalet Galaxy: Dalet Enterprise Content Supply Chain Management integrates content pools and orchestrates workflows across different verticals, such as programs, promos, news, sports, lifestyle and more. The solution provides a consolidated view of all media assets across the business with tools to easily connect, automate and optimize workflows from work orders to acquisition, production, packaging and distribution of content to multiple broadcast platforms and publishing systems. Delivered with Dalet Report Center, the solution offers critical analytics specifically tailored for your media operations. Dalet Multiplatform Production & Distribution allows you to efficiently engage with your audiences across all available channels - broadcast, social and online. With an integrated, media-aware workflow engine, a federated metadata-centric model, collaborative production tools and smart contextual graphics, these solutions maximize collaboration, reduce complexities and automate low added value processes, enabling your teams to design new content experiences tailored for each audience and platform. Dalet Sports Content Management helps you make the most of your content, maximize game day coverage and enable new monetization opportunities. Combining fast-turnaround production tools for multi-cam ingest, logging, highlight creation, editing and multiplatform distribution, the Dalet Sports content solutions bring key plays into a multiplatform production workflow, so that they are easily leveraged across multiple shows and delivered to all devices. Dalet Unified News Operations combines all the essential functions for the latest-generation, innovative newsrooms. A comprehensive suite of collaborative, story-centric tools helps streamline the entire chain of your news operations from planning to ingest, tagging and logging, editing, graphics, show scheduling, studio automation, multi-platform distribution and social platforms direct integration. Discover how this agile and scalable solution fully leverages the Dalet Workflow Engine to liberate your editorial teams from the traditional confines of linear, rundown-centric workflows. Dalet Digital Media Systems at BVE 2018 Details Stand H19 Booth Contact: Adrian Smith Regional Manager, UK Email 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. Dalet products are built on three distinct platforms that, when combined, form versatile business solutions that power end-to-end workflows for news, sports, program preparation, production, archive and radio. Individually, Dalet platforms and products offer targeted applications with key capabilities to address critical media workflow functions such as ingest, QC, edit, transcode and multiplatform distribution. The foundation for Dalet productivity-enhancing workflow solutions, Dalet Galaxy is the enterprise Media Asset Management (MAM) & Orchestration platform that unifies the content chain by managing assets, metadata, workflows and processes across multiple and diverse production and distribution systems. Specially tailored for news and media workflows, this unique technology platform helps broadcasters and media professionals increase productivity while providing operational and business visibility. Dalet AmberFin is the high-quality, scalable transcoding platform with fully integrated ingest, mastering, QC and review functionalities, enabling facilities to make great pictures in a scalable, reliable and interoperable way. Addressing the demanding needs of studio production, multi-camera ingest, sports logging and highlights production, the innovative Dalet Brio video server platform combines density and cost-effectiveness with high reliability. Adopted by leading broadcasters, Dalet Cube is a suite of applications to create, manage and deliver graphics in a newsroom scenario. Dalet supports customers from the initial planning stages to well beyond project execution. Our global presence includes 17 offices strategically located throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, North America and South America, and a network of more than 60 professional partners serving 87 countries worldwide. This collective experience and knowledge enables our customers to realize potential increases in productivity, efficiency and value of their assets. The comprehensive Dalet Care program ensures deployments remain up and running with 24/7 support 365 days a year. Dalet systems are used around the world by many thousands of individual users at hundreds of TV and Radio content producers, including public broadcasters (ABS-CBN, BBC, CBC, DR, FMM, France TV, RAI, RFI, Russia Today, RT Malaysia, VOA), commercial networks and operators (Canal+, FOX, eTV, MBC Dubai, MediaCorp, Mediaset, Orange, Time Warner Cable, Warner Bros, Sirius XM Radio), and government organizations (Canadian House of Commons, Australian Parliament and UK Parliament). 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.
Hollywood’s Colortime Facility Industrializes Client Content Services with Dalet Workflow Orchestration and Media Asset Management for Post-Production
Dalet Digital Media Systems, a leading provider of solutions and services for media organizations, is taking on the post-production market with Colortime, a Burbank, California-based post-production facility that specializes in feature film and television episodic editorial, dailies, VFX, color correction and content management services for a global customer base. Like many post facilities, Colortime is faced with an increasing number of versions to produce while simultaneously reducing the time to deliver those versions to various content channels. Taking a different approach to the traditional work arounds and spreadsheet management tools, industry veteran Moshe Barkat turned to Dalet for its expertise in workflow automation and media asset management (MAM), selecting the open, ready-made Dalet Galaxy platform. The new workflow, which will include Dalet Galaxy MAM and Workflow Engine, Dalet WebSpace and Storyboarder and Dalet Xtend for Adobe® Premiere® Pro, aims to maximize efficiency for managing client content and package delivery by connecting post-production and archives as well as managing work orders for file delivery and automating the corresponding transcodes. “We are managing a massive amount of content for a growing client base and required a solution that would provide both content organization features and automation capabilities with high scalability. We found the Dalet Galaxy platform delivers on all of these needs,” states Moshe Barkat, CEO of Colortime. “For the many clients and brands that we work with, it is critical that the content is organized in a manner that allows both Colortime and the client - or even the client’s client – to efficiently access it and distribute it in any format they require during or after post.” Moshe elaborates, “Dalet Galaxy will serve as the foundation to efficiently organize and easily retrieve the vast amount of files we store across post-production storage servers and archives. It will also allow us to simplify distribution, by creating automation profiles for the many transcode and package assembly jobs we do at Colortime, saving us quite a bit of time, whether it is a final file delivery or pulling content from the archive in a particular format that a client needs.” Dalet Galaxy will manage content ingest and metadata indexing onto Colortime storage and archive servers, creating a central content repository for a 360-degree view into assets. Purpose-built applications such as Dalet WebSpace will allow staff to quickly browse the repository and review work in progress or archived content from any laptop or workstation. Dalet Storyboarder will provide simple cuts and assembly capabilities, allowing non-editing staff to storyboard and share concepts. Dalet Xtend for Adobe Premiere will connect editors to the main content pool with bi-directional metadata tracking across all systems, keeping content easily searchable throughout the post process. “From workgroup to enterprise implementations, Dalet continues to prove that its renowned MAM and media workflow technology - honed over years of project experience - is capable of assisting customers not only in broadcast operations, but also in multi-screen distribution and post-production,” states Simon Adler, General Manager, West Coast USA & Canada, Dalet. “Our continued investments in R&D allow our offer to remain flexible and constantly adapt to new market demands. As the chain between content producers and the audiences keeps getting more integrated and faster, post-production and media services facilities have a tremendous new business opportunity to grasp, provided they build their operations on top of the right technology foundation. We see this project as a key reference in this new generation.” The Dalet Workflow Engine will seamlessly integrate with Colortime’s existing Dalet AmberFin installation, near eliminating the need to manually transcode files and organize final packages. “We will use the Dalet Workflow Engine to automate the many different client file delivery requirements,” says Bill Womack, CTO of Colortime. “Combined with our Dalet AmberFin installation, Dalet will facilitate creation-on-demand for many customer deliverables that require transcoding. And from a top down view, the Workflow Engine will let us define certain governance or rules to manage work orders and orchestrate the creation of packages for each client.” Bill explains the complexity in automating this aspect of the business: “The automation process is rules-based and unique to each client, which you don’t typically see in television or broadcast environment, as they’re only developing content for their own proprietary channels. They don’t have the same breadth of workflows or depth of rules that we are working with. Being able to dial into each client and define a profile innovates the way we deliver content and customer service.” About Dalet Digital Media Systems Dalet software-based solutions enable media organizations to create, manage and distribute content faster and more efficiently, fully maximizing the value of assets. Dalet products are built on three distinct platforms that, when combined, form versatile business solutions that power end-to-end workflows for news, sports, program preparation, production, archive and radio. Individually, Dalet platforms and products offer targeted applications with key capabilities to address critical media workflow functions such as ingest, QC, edit, transcode and multiplatform distribution. The foundation for Dalet productivity-enhancing workflow solutions, Dalet Galaxy is the enterprise NRCS and MAM that unifies the content chain by managing assets, metadata, workflows and processes across multiple and diverse production and distribution systems. Specially tailored for news and media workflows, this unique technology platform helps broadcasters and media professionals increase productivity while providing operational and business visibility. Dalet AmberFin is the high-quality, scalable transcoding platform with fully integrated ingest, mastering, QC and review functionalities, enabling facilities to make great pictures in a scalable, reliable and interoperable way.
Addressing the demanding needs of studio production, multi-camera ingest, sports logging and highlights production, the innovative Dalet Brio video server platform combines density and cost-effectiveness with high reliability. Dalet supports customers from the initial planning stages to well beyond project execution. Our global presence includes 17 offices strategically located throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, North America and South America, and a network of more than 60 professional partners serving 87 countries worldwide. This collective experience and knowledge enables our customers to realize potential increases in productivity, efficiency and value of their assets. The comprehensive Dalet Care program ensures deployments remain up and running with 24/7 support 365 days a year. Dalet systems are used around the world by many thousands of individual users at hundreds of TV and Radio content producers, including public broadcasters (ABS-CBN, BBC, CBC, DR, FMM, France TV, RAI, RFI, Russia Today, RT Malaysia, VOA), commercial networks and operators (Canal+, FOX, eTV, MBC Dubai, MediaCorp, Mediaset, Orange, Time Warner Cable, Warner Bros, Sirius XM Radio), and government organizations (Canadian House of Commons, Australian Parliament and UK Parliament). 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 Streamlines International Distribution with Introduction of Dalet xN IMF Maker
Dalet Digital Media Systems, a leading provider of software-based solutions for media organizations, has simplified the creation of IMF bundles for international distribution with the release of Dalet xN IMF Maker, which is available today as an on-demand service through Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure Marketplace. Leveraging the world-class media orchestration and processing capabilities of the Dalet AmberFin platform to aid complex program preparation and versioning workflows, Dalet xN IMF Maker is the first and only solution on the market for generating comprehensive IMF-compliant packages on demand and inexpensively. “Dalet AmberFin is the reference platform for media processing when it comes to orchestrating the creation of IMF-compliant bundles for international distribution,” comments Matthieu Fasani, senior product manager at Dalet. “We have wrapped the powerful AmberFin capabilities and our extensive knowledge of IMF workflows into an easy-to-use, on-demand service backed by the high-performance infrastructure of both AWS and Microsoft Azure Marketplace. Just specify the content and metadata, and within a few clicks, Dalet xN IMF Maker will create the bundle you require. It’s that effortless.” IMF bundles generated by Dalet xN IMF Maker support all the advanced features of IMF, including captions/subtitles, audio labelling and IMF metadata insertion in MXF. Fasani adds, “What sets Dalet apart is the breadth and depth of our IMF offering for program preparation. Should you have a constant demand, you can build a fully orchestrated API-driven IMF workflow with Dalet AmberFin on or off premise or, for less frequent need, leverage the app-style Dalet xN IMF Maker. Both options will give you IMF bundles using industry-leading AmberFin video transcoding technology, ensuring your JPEG-2000 files are flawless, regardless if they are created from ProRes, XDCAM, or other industry formats.” With a few clicks, users can specify the source files (video, audio, captions) and the metadata (core metadata, audio layout, caption languages) then trigger the workflow. Dalet xN IMF Maker will retrieve the information and automatically generate IMF bundles based on the provided data that are compliant with the IMF standard. Each step of the workflow can be monitored via the well designed, web-based interface. “Media companies required to generate IMF bundles do not need to understand the complex details of IMF, as the xN IMF Maker handles the entire process for them, automatically,” explains Fasani. “In addition to the technical convenience, these facilities do not need to invest in expensive single task products to generate IMF bundles. Instead, they can use the on-demand IMF Maker and ‘pay as you use’ when needed.” About IMF The Interoperable Master Format (IMF) is an international standard for the file-based interchange of multi-version content. It is designed to solve the lengthy and costly process of having to create multi-various editorial and technical copies for repurposing to different distribution channels, territories and platforms. About Dalet Digital Media Systems Dalet software-based solutions enable media organizations to create, manage and distribute content faster and more efficiently, fully maximizing the value of assets. Dalet products are built on three distinct platforms that, when combined, form versatile business solutions that power end-to-end workflows for news, sports, program preparation, production, archive and radio. Individually, Dalet platforms and products offer targeted applications with key capabilities to address critical media workflow functions such as ingest, QC, edit, transcode and multiplatform distribution. The foundation for Dalet productivity-enhancing workflow solutions, Dalet Galaxy is the enterprise NRCS and MAM that unifies the content chain by managing assets, metadata, workflows and processes across multiple and diverse production and distribution systems. Specially tailored for news and media workflows, this unique technology platform helps broadcasters and media professionals increase productivity while providing operational and business visibility. Dalet AmberFin is the high-quality, scalable transcoding platform with fully integrated ingest, mastering, QC and review functionalities, enabling facilities to make great pictures in a scalable, reliable and interoperable way.
Addressing the demanding needs of studio production, multi-camera ingest, sports logging and highlights production, the innovative Dalet Brio video server platform combines density and cost-effectiveness with high reliability. Dalet supports customers from the initial planning stages to well beyond project execution. Our global presence includes 17 offices strategically located throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, North America and South America, and a network of more than 60 professional partners serving 87 countries worldwide. This collective experience and knowledge enables our customers to realize potential increases in productivity, efficiency and value of their assets. The comprehensive Dalet Care program ensures deployments remain up and running with 24/7 support 365 days a year. Dalet systems are used around the world by many thousands of individual users at hundreds of TV and Radio content producers, including public broadcasters (ABS-CBN, BBC, CBC, DR, FMM, France TV, RAI, RFI, Russia Today, RT Malaysia, VOA), commercial networks and operators (Canal+, FOX, eTV, MBC Dubai, MediaCorp, Mediaset, Orange, Time Warner Cable, Warner Bros, Sirius XM Radio), and government organizations (Canadian House of Commons, Australian Parliament and UK Parliament). 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. For more information on Dalet, visit www.dalet.com. Press Contact Anya Nelson Zazil Media Group (e) anya@zazilmediagroup.com (p) +1 (617) 817-6559
Why Doesn’t Anyone Label The Audio?
The great thing about language is its ability to allow us to exchange ideas and concepts, and hopefully create a business by doing so. With the increasing number of multi-platform delivery opportunities, the increasing bandwidths and channel densities, we are also seeing an increasing opportunity for content owners to create revenue with their content. Successfully exploiting that opportunity involves tailoring the version of the content meant for the audience to reduce friction and increase enjoyment of the viewer / listener. The blockbuster movie community has known for a long time that efficiently making versions of a movie and its collection of trailers on a territory by territory basis can make a significant difference to the number of people who watch that movie. I believe that we are entering an era where turbo-charging the versioning efficiency of media companies is going to be a dominant differentiator. To reduce the costs of versioning and to make life simple for the creative human processes, it is necessary to automate the processes that can be done by machines (or in our case, software). To a company that deals with video, all issues will looks like video issue. The processes for segmenting video content and replacing elements are pretty well understood. Organizations like the UK's DPP have created standards for interchanging that segmentation information. In today’s blog, I'm going to assume that the video issues are largely understood and look at a “simple” issue that two customers approached me about here at the SMPTE Australia show. Right now, on the planet, there are many more languages spoken than there are scripts for writing those languages down. There are also many more scripts than there are countries in the world. This makes the labeling of languages and scripts an interesting challenge for any media company, as the variables are virtually endless. There are many schemes used in the world for labeling audio and any naïve person entering the industry would assume that there must be some sort of global tag that everyone uses for identification ... right? Wrong. Traditionally, TV stations, broadcasters, content creators and others have created content for a specific market. Broadcasters, distributors, aggregators and others have sent their content to territories with only a handful of languages to cope with. Usually proprietary solutions for “track tagging” are developed and deployed. The compelling business need to streamline and standardize the labeling of audio channels hasn’t really existed until now. The internationalization of distribution compels us to find an agreed way in which labeling can be done. Thankfully, someone got there before the media folks. The internet community has been here before - and quite recently. The internet standard RFC5646 is very thorough and copes with the identification of primary languages as well as dialects, extinct languages and imaginary vocabularies such as Klingon. With such a comprehensive and interoperable specification that is widely used for the delivery of web content to billions of devices every day, you'd think that any media system designer worth his or her salt would have this electronic document in their favorites list for regular look-up. You'd think ... The MXF community knows a good thing when it sees it, so you'll find that when it comes to a standardized way to tag tracks in MXF – the SMPTE standard ST 377-4 uses RFC5646 as its vocabulary for labeling. ST 377-4 additionally recognizes that each channel of an audio mix might contain a different language. Each channel might also belong to a group intended as a stereo group, or a surround sound group, or a mono-group of one channel. This hard grouping defines the relationship of channels that should not be split. Going further, ST 377-4 defines groups of groups that are used as metadata to enable easy versioning so that, for example, a French group might consist of a French stereo group, a clean M&E surround mix and a French mono audio description channel. Reality ST 377-4 with RFC5646 solves a difficult problem in a simple and elegant way. Up until now, it's been easier for media companies to do their own thing and invent their own metadata vocabularies with proprietary labeling methods rather than use a standard. Today, to get cost effective interoperability we're starting to rely on standards more and more so that we don't have to stand the cost of an infinite number of proprietary connectors to make things work. As you see more versions of more programs being created, spare a thought for the future costs and revenues of media that needs to be exchanged. A little up-front-standardized metadata builds the launch ramp for a future searchable and accessible library of internationalized content. Standardized audio metadata and subtitle metadata - it may be a tiny-tiny addition to your assets, but over time it helps you find, use and monetize versioned content with no effort at all. Take action now and learn the difference between en-US and en-GB. It's more than just spelling.
MXF AS02 and IMF: What's the Difference and Can They Work Together?
If you read my previous posts about IMF, you will already know what it is and how it works. But one of the questions I often get is "how is IMF different from AS02 and will it replace it? After all, don’t they both claim to provide a solution to versioning problems?". In a nutshell, the answer is yes, IMF and AS02 are different and no, IMF will not replace AS02; in fact the two complement and enhance each other. Let me explain: MXF AS02 (for broadcast versioning) and IMF (for movie versioning) grew up at the same time. And while both had very similar requirements in the early stages, we soon ended up in a situation where the level of sophistication required by the broadcasters’ versioning process never really reached critical industry mass. Efforts were continually made to merge the MXF AS02 work and the IMF work to prevent duplication of effort and to ensure that the widest number of interoperable applications could be met with the minimum number of specifications. When it came to merging the AS02 and IMF work, we looked at the question of what would be a good technical solution for all of the versioning that takes place in an increasingly complex value chain. It was clear that in the studio business there was a need for IMF, and that the technical solution should recognize the scale of the challenge. It came down to a very simple technical decision, and a simple case of math. AS02 does all of its versioning using binary MXF files, while IMF does all of its versioning using human-readable XML files. There are maybe 20 or 30 really good MXF binary programmers in the world today; XML is much more generic, and there must be hundreds of thousands of top quality XML programmers out there. Given the growing amount of localized versioning that we are now faced with, it makes sense to use a more generic technology like XML to represent the various content versions whilst maintaining the proven AS02 media wrapping to store the essence components. In a nutshell this is the main difference between AS02 and IMF. Both standards have exactly the same pedigree and aim to solve exactly the same problems, but IMF benefits from a more sophisticated versioning model and therefore requires a greater degree of customization – and XML is a better means of achieving this. IMF is not going to replace AS02. Rather the goal is to get to a place where we have a standardized IMF package as a means of exchanging versioned packages within the workflow. IMF will actually enhance the AS02 bundles that represent componentized clips that are already ingested, transcoded and interchanged today.
What’s really going on in the industry?
My inbox is a confusing place before a trade show. I get sincere emails asking if I’m interested in a drone-mounted 3ME Production Switcherand familiar emails asking when is the last time I considered networking my toaster and water cooler to save BIG on my IT infrastructure. The reality is that prior to a great trade show like IBC, I want to see a glimpse into the future; I want to know what’s really on the radar in our industry, not what happened in the past, or some mumbo jumbo about unrealistic technological achievements. I am personally very lucky that I spend quality time with the folks who set the standards in SMPTE, because this is one place in the world where the future of the industry is hammered out in detail by tiny detail until a picture of the future presents itself like some due process Rorschach test. With the permission of SMPTE’s Standards Vice President Alan Lambshead, here’s a little glimpse of some of those details that you’ll get to see in the weeks, months and years to come. UHDTV – Images Ultra High Definition TV – it’s more than just 4k pixels. In fact, SMPTE has published a number of standards including ST 2036 (parameters) and ST 2084 (Perceptual Quantization High Dynamic Range) that define how the professional media community can create pictures that give consumers the WOW factor when they upgrade. But there’s a lot more to come. How do we map all those pixels onto SDI, 3G SDI, 12G SDI, IP links and into files? SMPTE is actively looking at all thoseareas as well as the ecosystem needed for High Dynamic Range Production. Time Code Oh Time Code. How we love you. Possibly the most familiar and widely used of all SMPTE’s standards, it needs some major updates to be able to cope with the proposals for higher frame rates and other UHDTV enhancements. Beyond Time Code, however, we have the prospect of synchronizing media with arbitrary sample rates over generic IP networks. SMPTE is working on ways of achieving just that, and it means that proprietary mechanisms won’t be needed. That also means different vendors kit should simply work! IMF I’ve written and lectured extensively about IMF’s ability to help you manage and deploy multi-versioned content in an environment of standardized interoperability. As this toolset for a multi-platform ecosystem rolls out into the marketplace, the specifications are continually evolving with the developing needs of the market, as well as with the needs of individuals on the design team who influence the feature set. UHDTV – Immersive Sound I remember back in the 1980s at the BBC, when we proved that great sound improves the quality of pictures. These fundamental principles never change and the desire to create immersive audio-scapes through the use of many channels, objects or advanced sound fields requires standards to ensure that all the stakeholders in the value chain can move the audio from capture to consumption whilst creating the immersive experience we all strive for. SMPTE is the place where that future is being recorded today. TTML The humble caption file. Internationally it is nearly always legal to broadcast black and silence, providing that it’s captioned. There’s really only one international format that can generate captions and subtitles without proprietary lock in, and that’s TTML. SMPTE is active in the use of TTML in the professional space and its constraints for IMF. Whether your view on captioning is good or bad, TTML is the only open show in town and SMPTE’s helping to write the script. ProRes What? Apple disclosing ProRes? Yes, it’s true. As the world requires more interoperability and better visibility, the excellent folks at Apple have created a SMPTE Registered Disclosure Document describing the way that ProRes appears in files. One file format may not seem like a big deal, but the fact that SMPTE is the place where companies that are serious about working together write down the technical rules of engagement is exactly what makes SMPTE the perfect place to plot trajectories for the future. To quote one of my intellectual heroes, Niels Bohr, “Prediction is difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” SMPTE won’t tell you the future, but by participating, you’re more likely to spot the trajectories that will hit and those that will miss. If any of these topics interest you, excite you or put you into an incandescent rage of “How Could They!”, then you are able to participate in 3 easy steps: Join SMPTE Add Standards membership from your My Account page on the SMPTE site Register & turn up in Paris to the meetings on the 16th Sept 2015 Until then, you can always check out more visions of the future on our blog or find out all about IMF on the Dalet Academy Webinar Replay on YouTube. Now, where’s my drone-mounted Mochaccino maker? Until next time…
Live from the NAB – sort of!
Normally during a big trade show, such as NAB or IBC, we would have a blog from the show floor – primarily to give our readers not attending the show a glimpse into the main topics of discussion and general vibe at the convention center. The sharp-eyed among you will, therefore, have noted that we’re a little late on this one – sorry – the show was simply that busy that we never had the opportunity. To make it up to you, we’ve compiled show highlights from some of our Academy all-stars. Ben: The one comment that has stuck with me from the show was, “It’s nice to have a focus on technology after all the mergers and acquisitions of last year!” I don’t think it’s fair to say that the industry stopped innovating or releasing new products last year, it’s simply that the news and talk at both last NAB and IBC was largely around the quantity and nature of all the M&A activity and, as a result, many key developments were overlooked. This year, not only did we start to see some of the benefits of the merging of disciplines and technologies, such as the combination of the Dalet Galaxy Workflow Engine and Dalet AmberFin transcoder, but also some significant steps forward in support of 4K/UHD workflows, IP and virtualization. Kevin: Being another busy NAB, I had very little time to walk the floor. But in meeting a lot of present and future customers and partners, I noted two key takeaways. It seems that our industry is getting out of all the Cloud “buzz” and entering a time where there are actual professional applications for it. It feels like everyone is much more educated around the topic of Cloud. Broadcasters, media organizations and vendors alike understand better the challenges and opportunities that it brings from a business point of view, and how it can / should fit in their operations. I think we are finally in a position where we can start to use the cloud for smart workflows and was really happy with the warm reception for our various cloud initiatives, particularly the showcase of our “Newsroom in the Cloud.” Collaboration was another major highlight at the show. Everyone seemed highly interested in the topic. In Dalet systems, we have been implementing and promoting collaboration tools for many years, whether in the facility, across different locations or for users on the field. But this year, the interest and feedback we received about our latest improvements (like bringing some social collaboration tools into the professional world) was way beyond any response we’d gotten in the past. Having various talents collaborating to produce better content seems now to be a priority for our customers, and I’m happy we are in as good a position as ever to help them do it. Bruce: Many discussions of how to ready a business for UHD and whether that UHD would be higher resolution, higher frame rate, higher dynamic range, higher colour profiles or all of the above led to discussions on IMF – the interoperable mastering format. Personally I find this to be excellent news. Seven years on from specifying AS02, it is reassuring to see it reborn with shiny SMPTE IMF specifications and a better understanding in the industry as to the commercial benefits of working with media in a componentised form. Seeing the level of understanding amongst our customers leads me to believe that the transition to IT thinking is now firmly in train. No longer is “IT-based” a technology that you buy, it is a way of architecting and thinking about the business problems to be solved. Stephane: It is interesting to see that this industry continues to evolve rapidly year after year. Information technology is an integral part of the future of radio and television. In the early days of Dalet, I used to say informally that our mission was to bring the best of IT technology to the broadcast and media industry. This continues today with Cloud-based solutions, IP distribution, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Business Process Management, and Dalet is at the forefront of that trend, bringing innovations that are changing and improving the workflows to produce and distribute content. Constant change indeed, but with the need to link the old and the new, whether in formats, protocols, or workflows, to preserve valuable content produced in the past and make it available on an ever-increasing range of distribution platforms. These are factors of complexity: Will IT help us resolve these challenges? At Dalet we believe that emerging new standards and industry initiatives such as IMF or FIMS should help reduce that complexity. The whole industry should take part and benefit from these efforts. Bruce summarizes: The big takeaway for me from both the show and this discussion is that there is no single dominant technological driver any more – there are a number that are pushing and pulling the industry in different directions. No single human can understand every nuance of the technological drivers, and so community education becomes more and more important. The great turnout that we had for all the free Dalet Academy presentations and workshops is a testament to the fact that our customers, partners, competitors and newcomers to the industry all need access to the latest information. I can't predict the future, but I can be confident that the breadth of our work here at Dalet is helping prepare a broad section of the industry to be ready for that future.
BEST…NAB…EVER!!!!!
The other day, a member of our talented development team commented, quite accurately, that every time we return from an NAB Show, we nearly always refer to it as the biggest, busiest and best NAB ever. If you’ve ever watched or read one of my presentations or blogs on workflow, you may recollect that I’m a fan of the Toyota Production System and the “Kaizen” concept of continuous improvement. However, I do confess that, following my colleagues’ observation, I momentarily felt a certain amount of pressure to come back from NAB 2015 with evidence that it really was bigger, busier and better than previous years. However, earlier today I was talking to the editor of one of our excellent industry magazines about the most likely themes and trends for this year’s show and something struck me. Although I’m not much of a fan of “buzzword bingo,” given the host of announcements we at Dalet have for this year’s show, I’d place a bet on us sweeping the board. Even before the show, we’ll bring UHD to Dalet AmberFin – supporting UHD inputs in our next release at the end of March. By decoupling format from transport mechanism, Video over IP is one of the most revolutionary changes to the industry in some time, and our Dalet Brio video server platform is spearheading that charge. Building on all of this, Dalet Galaxy, our media asset management platform, continues to facilitate and enhance collaborative workflows with new features for user interaction and geographically dispersed operations –I can barely contain myself from mentioning the “C” word! It doesn’t stop there though. Back in September, we got quite emotional about being one of the first vendors to have a product certified for the creation of UK DPP files. The DPP has led the way in specifying standards and operational guidelines for file delivery and as other regions has followed, Dalet has been right there supporting them. Demonstrating our continued commitment to international standards that improve, ease and simplify the lives of our customers, we’ve now implemented the FIMS capture service in the Brio video server. I believe that initiatives like FIMS become ever more important as the video world increasingly leverages IT technology and, specifically, interaction between control and capture devices as we move to an era of hybrid SDI and IP acquisition. Despite regulatory rulings in the US and elsewhere, captioning and subtitling technology has seen little innovation in the last few years. Since Dalet and AmberFin came together a year ago, we’ve really focused on this as an area where our knowledge and expertise can benefit the industry as a whole. We’re now ready to show you what we’ve been up to and how we can simplify captioning workflows and bring them into multi-platform, multi-version workflows in an effective and efficient way. You’re probably aware of the Dalet Academy, which was launched with much fanfare in January this year. The response from the wider industry has simply been immense, and we now have many thousands of followers subscribed to the Bruce’s Shorts videos and reading our educational blog. For NAB 2015, we’ll be donning our robes and mortarboards to bring the Dalet Academy to the stage, live on our booth (SL4525). Bruce will be there – in his actual shorts – to present special live editions of the video series with support from other Dalet and industry experts for more short seminars. All of the presentations at the show will be followed by a special round-table discussion (limited seating). And while you’re keeping your media knowledge in good shape, there will also be an opportunity to win prizes that are sure to keep you in good shape too! To make sure the excitement doesn’t overwhelm too much, we’re keeping a couple of bits of news to ourselves until the show itself, but if you want to find out more on any of the topics I’ve touched on here, be sure to get in touch, book an appointment, or read more on our dedicated NAB page. As for our development team – sorry guys, I can already tell you that this year is going to be the biggest, busiest and best NAB Show so far!
HPA: Mapping the Future, One Pixel at a Time
I love the HPA Tech Retreat. It is the most thought provoking conference of the year, one where you're guaranteed to learn something new, meet interesting people and get a preview of the ideas that will shape the future of the industry. Here are the six most interesting things I learned this year. Collaborating competitors can affect opinions At this year’s HPA Tech Retreat, I had the honour of presenting a paper with John Pallett from Telestream. Despite the fact that our products compete in the market place, we felt it important to collaborate and educate the world on the subject of fractional frame rates. 30 minutes of deep math on drop frame timecode would have been a little dry, so we took some lessons from great comedy double acts and kept the audience laughing, while at the same time pointing out the hidden costs and pitfalls of fractional frame rates that most people miss. We also showed that there is a commercial inertia in the industry, which means the frame rate 29.97i will be with us for a very long time. In addition to formal presentations, HPA also features breakfast round tables, where each table discusses a single topic. I hosted two great round tables, with John as a guest host on one, where the ground swell of opinion seems to be that enforcing integer frame rate above 59.94fps is practical, and any resulting technical issues can be solved – as long as they are known. I will never be smart enough to design a lens Larry Thorpe of Canon gave an outstanding presentation of the design process for their latest zoom lens. The requirements at first seemed impossible: design a 4K lens with long zoom range that is light, physically compact, and free from aberrations to meet the high demands of 4K production. He showed pictures of lens groupings and then explained why they couldn't be used because of the size and weight constraints. He went on to show light ray plots and the long list of lens defects that they were battling against. By the end of the process, most members of the audience were staring with awe at the finished lens, because the design process seemed to be magical. I think that I will stick to the relative simplicity of improving the world's file-based interoperability. Solar flares affect your productions We've all seen camera footage with stuck or lit pixels and, like most people, we probably assumed that they were a result of manufacturing defects or physical damage. Joel Ordesky of Court Five Productions presented a fascinating paper on the effects of gamma photons, which, when passing through a camera’s sensor, cause the sensor to permanently impair individual pixels. This is something that cannot be protected against unless you do all of your shooting underground in a lead lined bunker. Joel presented some interesting correlations between sun spot activity and lit pixels appearing in his hire stock, and then showed how careful black balance procedures can then reduce the visibility of the issue. UHD is coming – honest The HPA Tech Retreat saw a huge range of papers on Ultra High Definition (UHD) issues and their impacts. These ranged from sensors to color representation to display processing, compression, high frame rates and a slew of other issues. I think that everyone in the audience recognised the inevitability of UHD and that the initial offering will be UHDTV featuring resolution improvements. This is largely driven by the fact that UHD screens seem to be profitable for manufacturers; soon enough they will be the only options available at your local tech store (that’s just good business!). The displays are arriving before the rest of the ecosystem is ready (a bit like HDTV), but it also seems that most of the audience feels better colour and high dynamic range (HDR) is a more compelling offering than more pixels. For me, the best demonstration of this was the laser projector showing scenes in true BT2020 wide colour range. First we saw the well-known HDTV Rec.709 colour range and everything looked normal. Next up was the same scene in BT2020 – and it was stunning. Back to Rec.709, and the scene that looked just fine only seconds before now appeared washed out and unsatisfactory. I think HDR and rich colors will be addictive. Once you've seen well-shot, full color scenes, you won't want to go back to Rec.709. The future is looking very colourful. Women are making more of an impact in the industry (Hooray!) There were three all-women panels at this year's HPA, none of which were on the subject of women in the industry. This was a stark contrast to the view of women in the industry as shown on a 1930s documentary of the SMPTE Conference, where men with cigars dominated the proceedings and women were reduced to participating in the chattering social scene. This contrast was beautifully and ironically highlighted by Barbara Lange (Executive Director of SMPTE) and Wendy Aylesworth (President of SMPTE 2005-2015), who hosted their panel in bathrobes with martini glasses, while explaining the achievements of the society over the year. If you haven't yet contributed to the SMPTE documentary film project or the SMPTE centennial fund, it's time to do so now. These funds will help support the next, diverse generation of stars. IMF and DPP are a symbiotic pair One of the most interesting panels was on the Interoperable Mastering Format (IMF) and the Digital Production Partnership (DPP) interchange format (and yes, this was in fact one of my panels!). One format’s purpose is to distribute a bundle of files representing several versions of one title. The other is designed to create a finished, single file with ingest-ready metadata, where the file can be moved to playout with virtually no changes. Both formats have a strong foothold in the life cycle of any title and are likely to form the strongest symbiotic relationship as we move into the future. One thing that I pointed out to the audience is that the DPP has done a huge amount of work educating UK production and postproduction houses about the change management that is required for file-based delivery. They have written a wonderful FREE guide that you can download from their website. All in all, the HPA Tech Retreat is a wonderful event with so much information flowing that it takes weeks to absorb it all. I must confess though, that one of the highlights for me was being able to cycle up the mountain every morning before breakfast. It meant that I could go back for seconds of all the wonderful cake that was on offer. Happy days! Until next time – don't forget about our UHD webinar, happening today. If you didn’t sign up in time, drop us a line at academy@dalet.com and ask for a re-run. The more people that ask, the more likely that we'll do it!