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Mar 05, 2018
IMF, the Age of Reason – Key Takeaways from HPA Tech Retreat
The annual gathering of media technology leaders and innovators in Hollywood is always a unique occasion to feel the pulse of the industry. This year was no different and a perfect opportunity to witness how mature and ready IMF workflows have become. Game on!

IMF, the Age of Reason – Key Takeaways from HPA Te

The annual gathering of media technology leaders and innovators in Hollywood is always a unique occasion to feel the pulse of the industry. This year was no different and a perfect opportunity to witness how mature and ready IMF workflows have become. Game on!

Some say the annual HPA Tech Retreat in Palm Desert, CA shapes the agenda for the rest of the year in the media industry, and as it relates to program distribution, 2018 is no exception.

We’ll likely look back at 2018 as the year that IMF (the Interoperable Mastering Format) went from an emerging capability to full-blown industry reality. IMF is a file-based framework for the exchange and processing of multiple content versions of the same high-quality finished work. One of the primary benefits of this innovation being that version files reference media from the original master, limiting storage overhead and delivery time.


This year’s HPA Tech Retreat hosted an Innovation Zone with a focus on IMF, where multiple vendors showed how interoperable IMF has become, with mastering, management, QC and playout all working together, a reality. IMF moved beyond talk at HPA 2018…it became a working set of production-ready capabilities.


Taking a step back…


The transition to file-based media brought a massive transformation in the production and post-production business, removing the restrictions of real-time processing from workflows and introducing a real boost in efficiency. In the 10 years since, however, collaboration, the workflows themselves, and media operations have remained relatively similar, even while the demands have started to change dramatically…


We live in a multi-multi world!


In listening to our customers and talking with many others in the market, we’ve been hearing that media businesses are getting squeezed with the increase in multi-platform distribution. While the creation of new outlets is a boon for the business as a whole, the reality of the acceleration of release windows, coupled with the increasing number of outlets, is really leading to some interesting considerations:

  • How do I create more versions for less money per version?
  • Is it possible to increase version creation and distribution outlet deliveries automatically?
  • Can my single-purpose work tracking system and silos of media processing equipment work together?
  • How do I bring my creative, production and marketing teams together to share information and media to avoid duplication and increase our offerings?
  • What do I do with IMF?
     

Seriously, what can be done about creating more versions?


At Dalet, we’re big believers in automated processing, driven by recipes designed by people that know the business best. If you start with operators and administrators looking at the overall customer work that has been coming in, it is possible to build media recipes that can be automatically fulfilled as the media supply chain operates, including:

  • Video
  • Audio languages
  • Subtitle languages
  • Metadata transformations
  • Packaging instructions

 

Once recipes are defined, it really becomes as simple as connecting media processes and work operations to fulfill the recipe and create versions that go beyond simple transcodes and include everything necessary, including the proper metadata, images and folder/ZIP structures to make a delivery to Netflix, Comcast, Hulu or others.


Of course, a modern system that can handle the creation and implementation of these recipes and integrate with the equipment already onsite is key to making this work well. Dalet Galaxy has both the back-end and the user tools that enable your operators to define the best workflows and recipes for your business.

 

Moving toward automated version creation


To start, it really takes a firm evaluation of what is happening ‘down on the farm’ so to speak. In a lot of our discussions, we’re hearing about processes and systems that worked really well when they were implemented 10 years ago, and just aren’t designed to keep up today, particularly single-purpose work order tracking systems that don’t have any integration with media processing systems. So, while it can look like there is a bunch of automation available to the operation, there is really just a bunch of manual interaction required by operators to kick off the automated processes, and when order volume increases, it is difficult to get the supply chain ramped up, since it is dependent on human interaction.


These types of scenarios are best solved by starting to utilize media orchestration & management solutions (also known as business process management, BPM and workflow orchestration), which allow a single platform to ride on top of the existing media processes, interacting with the post operations’ existing equipment, so that, for example, media files are automatically categorized for work, assigned to the proper tasks, sent into a craft edit environment for final processing, transcoded and sent to the proper distribution channel. Of course, these orchestrators can’t run completely automatically, as the post business relies on a high degree of review and approval processes for human operators to inspect media as it progresses through the supply chain, and the best systems provide user task panes with customized user interfaces to not only fulfill the manual review, but also utilize the operators’ input to continue down the proper automated path.


For example, if a review reveals that the subtitles received for the content are actually Cantonese instead of Mandarin, the workflow engine should allow the operator to send a request back to the subtitle provider to redeliver and wait till the updated content arrives. And in the same token, content that is deemed as ready to proceed should be automatically transcoded to the proper formats, packaged with the metadata, and sent to the required distribution outlets, based on the original work order, all without any further operator interaction.


The two keys to being more efficient here are:

  1. Implementing a system that can drive your media supply chain, automatically, end-to-end, utilizing your existing equipment
  2. Ensuring that this system can also interact with your users and utilize their input to drive automated media processes


It is certainly possible to house a central catalog or small Media Asset Management (MAM) system to pull this off, and then join that with your existing work order system to try and get these teams together. What we’ve seen, though, is that since operators have to utilize different systems to move between receiving work, and actually doing work, and then marking work complete, they really stick with a disjointed setup like this. Even worse, rarely are the systems purchased capable of handling user access control lists so that each team is able to find what they need without disrupting the other’s work.


The solution here is to make sure that you have a central system that can handle user permissions, assign access to media when and where it is necessary and allow teams to receive and perform work all from one interface.

 

Enter IMF


The IMF standard allows the creation of a single original version with a full set of media essence, where each additional distribution receives a supplemental package that just contains the differences of that version from the original.
In the case where we need to deliver a French subtitled version of the original movie, it is only necessary to send the French subtitles and a composition that references the original version’s media assets.
Similarly, if we need to create a full-on French language version, we only need to deliver the titles, credit and dub video sequences, the French language audio track and again, a composition that references the original media.
Consequently, storage needs are massively reduced, sometimes by as much as 90% over legacy version creation! Also, IMF saves on QC cost and improves workflow automation.


However, and to make the most of IMF, media organizations need a powerful, IMF-aware asset management & orchestration platform. Indeed, as each of those supplemental versions gets delivered as a new folder in the mastering structure, organizations can end up with multiple sub-folders for each additional version in a nested structure that becomes very difficult to manage, instead of one nice flat file structure.


IMF seems to be the train that isn’t stopping. The support from Netflix has really ensured that the entire industry pays attention and considers its use in their operations. With NABA & DPP also on-board with IMF for broadcast and online, the world is continuing to move toward component media workflows in a big way.
 


Component media workflows are great in theory; you get to retain your media essence files in the original component format, mixing and matching them, as necessary, to create the versions for production, without the need of wasting time or storage space in conforming interleaved files. In practice, managing component media, including IMF, has become a serious challenge. At Dalet, we’ve seen everything from complex folder structures to multi-tab spreadsheets to track which packages belong with which titles from multiple providers. We believe managing IMF should be easier than that, and so, at Dalet, we’ve been building native IMF management into our MAM and Orchestration platform, Dalet Galaxy, to make sure that facilities can easily match up IMF packages and create the deliverables they need (IMF or otherwise).
 

 

This is why Dalet has developed dedicated features to make IMF management as simple as possible, with two platforms available for two different use cases:

  • Dalet AmberFin – for customers that need IMF processing: IMP generation, validation, CPL transcoding and delivery.
  • Dalet Galaxy – for customers that need enterprise-scale IMF management and orchestration.


Of course, Dalet Galaxy and Dalet AmberFin work perfectly together, with Dalet offering a single unified solution that allows you to create IMF, ingest IMF titles, manage the relationships between original and supplemental versions, and deliver IMF packages for your distribution needs.


For our customers that need to submit IMF to Netflix, Dalet AmberFin’s IMF workflow allows you to create a simple IMP with all required files in the IMP from any input.
Dalet AmberFin will take care of the JPEG 2000 transcoding, the audio track labeling, the Timed Text Markup Language (TTML) creation and the IMF metadata, as well as submission of the package to Netflix Photon, and coming soon, delivery directly to Netflix Backlot, all in one, orchestrated workflow. For those that are wondering, AmberFin can be used for ProRes IMF also!


Dalet AmberFin can create complex CPL packages as well, and since it works as a distributed transcoder, it can scale both on-premises or in a cloud environment.
Customers with large quantities of existing IMF content can utilize the Dalet Galaxy platform to tie original versions and supplemental packages together, giving a simple browse and search capability for titles with multiple versions.


Dalet Galaxy harnesses the power of Dalet AmberFin to parse the IMF packages, and retains all essential packaging information, including the Composition Playlist – known as CPL -, in the title versions.
The Dalet Context Map, allows a visualization of the relationships between the different tracks, different CPLs and an IMF title.
Never before has there been a tool specifically built for versions like this in an asset management system. And Dalet built this specifically for versioning customers like studios and post-production houses.  


Delivering an IMP from Dalet Galaxy is as simple as selecting the version desired. The IMP package will be created by resolving all media references in the CPL for the selected version, and these packages can be distributed over any of the existing connectors built into Galaxy, including Aspera, Signiant, File Catalyst, Amazon S3, Azure Blob Storage, FTP and network file systems.
Users can also utilize the workflow engine to drive a rendering of a composition for iTunes delivery as ProRes or any other format deliverable that you might need in your operation.

 

 

 

 

What about the investment?


That really depends on the vendor a facility works with. At Dalet, we work with two kinds of operations:

  1. The ones that love to get the cost out of the way up front and then amortize that cost over time on their projects, and;
  2. The ones that need systems that can be priced out per project, on a lease or SaaS basis

 

For example, we know that in the post-production world, there are only a handful of facilities that fit in that first category, so we’ve implemented methods to bring our media systems into their environments as OpEx, either inside their facility, in the public cloud like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Azure, or as a hybrid of the two.


With Dalet IMF solutions, media organizations have the ability to fulfill the entire promise of IMF. Not only can they save storage space by moving to supplemental versions rather than storing the entire package, they also have the ability to target distribution outlets with IMF requirements (such as Netflix) while retaining the capability to deliver the same content to any other vendors.

 

Want to go further?

 

 

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Dalet Makes the Assist for the San Jose Sharks
Dalet Digital Media Systems, a leading provider of software-based solutions for media organizations, is powering game-day content production for National Hockey League (NHL) team San Jose Sharks. Deployed at the SAP Center at San Jose, CA, the turnkey Dalet Sports Pack solution for stadiums and arenas is based on the Dalet Galaxy MAM, Dalet Brio and Dalet AmberFin platforms. The robust package features all of the logging, cataloging, post-production and distribution tools required for high value, frictionless assembly, multiplatform distribution and tactical analysis of game-day media. “For less than $300,000 and in a very short period of time, the SAP Center was outfitted with a turnkey system that enables the Sharks to prepare and distribute massive amounts of content efficiently,” explained Arnaud Elnecave, director of products and packaged solutions division, Dalet.“The new installation allows the San Jose Sharks to meet the high production demands of a sports venue while creating the ultimate in fan engagement both within the SAP Center and via various social network channels. And because the content is associated with metadata, no longer will staff and coaches need to dig through hours of game footage to find plays, as the powerful Galaxy search engine can locate it in a matter of moments.” Dalet Sports Pack supports industry-standard metadata sources making it easy for hockey teams like the Sharks to associate their NHL logs and scoreboard metadata with the Dalet Brio-ingested content. Duane Yoslov, SVP at Diversified Systems, the system integrator that spearheaded the installation, commented on the fast rollout, “The turnkey system was a straightforward deployment. It took less than two months from the time we received the order to the time it was rolled out and up and running – a testament to both the San Jose Sharks’ can-do attitude towards fan engagement and the flexibility and interoperability of Dalet technology.” At the SAP Center at San Jose, Home of the San Jose Sharks, Dalet Brio, which features advanced ingest and playout capabilities, will be used to manage ingest of the venue’s eight camera feeds. To easily log this rapidly ingested content, staff can use Dalet Sports Logger with customizable sports-specific action buttons, a specialized application that is included in the solution. As ingests happen, the metadata-rich content is referenced in the Dalet Galaxy MAM catalog and stored on the NetApp shared storage. Thanks to the Dalet Xtend for Adobe Premiere module, the Shark’s five editors are connected directly to the Dalet Galaxy MAM content catalog, sharing and editing content even as it’s being recorded. All the key plays logged by sports loggers as well as metadata provide by others appear on the Premiere timeline as markers for any video recorded of the event, making a video editor’s job simple and efficient when editing multiple camera angles. The Dalet AmberFin transcoding farm will allow the Sharks to receive and export content in multiple formats. Staff can quickly send packages to YouTube, Twitter and other social networks under command of Dalet NetXchange. Both Dalet AmberFin and Dalet NetXchange ship as part of pre-integrated configuration. 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’s 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 15 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.
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…
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.
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.
Perform Expands Global Sports Production with Dalet
Dalet Digital Media Systems, a leading provider of software-based solutions for media organizations, has announced that wide-ranging benefits in end-to-end production powered by the Dalet business solution have enabled digital media company Perform to expand its global operations, which will be further strengthened by Dalet news production and distribution capabilities. “In the week we went live with Dalet, we saw the difference immediately and we hit a new level of content output only previously seen at peak periods,” says Richard Copeman, Perform’s head of news. “Adding Dalet news scripting, news production and distribution capabilities has enhanced the efficiency of our teams across the globe, allowing Perform to both reduce the number of different systems required and demystify the technical complexities that come with managing large amounts of content for our staff.” Mr. Copeman adds, “We always talk of the ‘need for speed’ when dealing with both breaking news and other content-rich events, and Dalet will undoubtedly allow us to maximise this, leading to quicker – and indeed crisper – content reaching our global client base. All in all, Dalet is already a vital member of our team.” The comprehensive installation will see Perform increase multimedia content output across its international bases and, with Dalet, become a reference test site for fast turnaround IP-based workflows. Mike Edwards, Perform’s head of post engineering, comments on the deployment: “To achieve our ambitious goals, we worked with Dalet as our technical business partner, building a fluid infrastructure that would respond to both industry and internal demands. These can include the agility to map ever-increasing amounts of data with audio and visual assets in support of our sports news agency Omnisport. The new foundation will allow us to facilitate the swift and secure exchange of files between multiple locations as we spread our operations worldwide.” Specifically, Perform is using Dalet as the basis of remote workflow operations between the lead UK operation and offices in Munich, Amsterdam and Uruguay. News desk staff in the three local bureaus log in via the Dalet web client, browse media and mark in and out points before sending the clip to a watch folder. Clips can be sent to the UK by the Aspera FASP fast transfer protocol for further editing and routed back to the overseas offices in the same manner. “This remote workflow, which is individual for each location, has enabled us to grow our offices and further our plans for expansion globally,” says Edwards. “There is no doubt that we would not have been able to achieve this without Dalet.” Additional feature highlights of the expanded installation could include deployment of the specialized Dalet Sports Logger module, integrated content scheduling with ScheduALL, and deeper integration with Aspera Orchestrator to automate the selection, extraction, processing and distribution of match highlights. “The next step is to integrate the clips out of Orchestrator with metadata, for which Dalet is the ideal platform,” says Edwards. With an eye for evolving technologies and a further global expansion of its platforms, Perform will work closely with Dalet to become a test site for IP ingest for its newsroom operation. Perform’s portfolio of digital sports rights covers a broad range of sporting leagues, tournaments and events, and using that portfolio it creates, distributes and commercialises a broad range of multimedia-ready sports content. This includes 30+ daily clips of Omnisport Uncut; raw, unedited content for broadcasters to incorporate into their news and sports programming; and daily sports bulletins of 26-minute and five-minute durations. Wider integration with Dalet across Perform’s multi-site network means that more content can be ingested and distributed by its production teams. Production Systems Administrator Mattias Dabo, who recently took over the administration of the Dalet Platform, comments on the intuitiveness of the Dalet MAM: “Having acted as project lead in migrating our Omnisport news team from Avid iNEWS to Dalet NRCS, I’ve found this to be both an exciting and educational project that has been aided by the intuitive interface provided in the Dalet MAM. I’m looking forward to further developments in our Dalet MAM platform and expanding our workflows globally.” “Perform installed Dalet to better manage its multiplatform production output worldwide, and we are excited to continue working with Perform to optimize the full power of the Dalet MAM capabilities,” says Chris Wright, general manager, Dalet UK. “Thanks to Dalet, they were able to consolidate the production infrastructure around fully integrated desktop-based tools to speed up turnaround for time-critical sports content. The centralized, shared database is perfectly suited to Perform’s localised and remote workflow collaboration needs, and the MAM is readily scalable and flexible to respond to the demands of growth – fast.” 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.
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
WION - World Is One News - Launches Globally with Dalet
Dalet Digital Media Systems, a leading provider of software-based solutions for media organizations, today announced that World Is One News (WION), the youngest venture of Zee Media Corporation, launched WION underpinned by Dalet Unified News Operations. The Dalet solution is powering and supporting the international news channel with comprehensive media logistics, newsroom computer system and news production workflow facilitated by the Dalet Galaxy Media Asset Management (MAM) and orchestration platform, with full ingest and playout operations relying on Dalet Brio video servers. WION delivers path-breaking news coverage from across the globe with a South Asian perspective to international audiences across the web, mobile devices and TV. Operated by Zee Media Corporation with headquarters in India and bureaus in 37 global locations, WION is the first India-based network to have a presence in the U.K., U.S., China, Russia and Africa, making it South Asia’s first truly convergent, multi-media English news network. A critical aspect of the installation for WION was to enable journalists and producers to upload content from the field directly to the broadcaster’s customized Content Management System (CMS), an action that automatically creates planning events thanks to the Dalet Unified News Operations collaborative workflow. “Our philosophy of ‘being one with the world’ holds that news is the common thread that binds us all together and makes critical the ability to deliver news in the moment, from anywhere to any channel,” says WION Editor-in-Chief Mr. Rohit Gandhi. “We sought and found a partner in Dalet to provide the backbone to our network-wide news infrastructure. The solution not only accelerates time to air but enables better collaboration with a highly efficient and agile set of tools, from remote content creation to centralized content curation and onwards to publication on the digital and TV platforms our audiences are choosing.” WION is the first broadcaster in India to deploy the Dalet Galaxy-based Unified News Operations workflow. Easy-to-use production tools via web-based Dalet WebSpace and relevant story content are readily available to every user in the newsroom and in the field. When WION journalists receive a notification about an assignment, they can search, browse and access every asset in the Dalet platform from their desktop, laptop or mobile device, whether it is news wires and footage that just came in, or existing stories and video packages. Beyond the walls of the newsroom, WION journalists use the Dalet On-the-Go mobile app to check assignments and create packages, exporting content to the CMS, as well as to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Video and scripts can be logged and edited within Dalet OneCut, or sent to Adobe Premiere via Dalet Xtend for craft editing. Media and associated metadata are tracked and managed by Dalet Galaxy every step of the way, including playlist export and import to and from the CMS. Once approved by a producer, final content is readily available for use in the built-in production control room automation and exported to the CMS as a multimedia story object. Beyond the comprehensive set of tools and services natively built into Dalet Galaxy, the advanced web-services API integrates and unifies the full ecosystem of technologies and in-house tools used at Zee WION, including the custom CMS based on Kentico that drives workflows within the Dalet solution. Other integrations include WINBDL teleprompter, WASP graphics system and Quantum SNFS with NetApp E series storage. “This installation is a perfect example of the Dalet Unified News Operations solution. Having the NRCS, the production tools and the archives fully integrated, along with a flexible workflow engine and web-services API, enables WION to truly implement a ‘digital first’ approach to deliver the right content, on the right device, to the right audience, ahead of the competition,” says Raoul Cospen, general manager of Dalet Asia Pacific. “Deployed in record time, the end-to-end workflow was on air within a few short weeks of signing the contract for Dalet Unified News Operations.” For more information, please visit Dalet at www.dalet.com 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.
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.