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Sep 01, 2016
The Power of the Cloud - Part 1
In order to respond to evolving consumer demands and explore new revenue streams, broadcasters and media organizations are looking to exploit the new business and technological possibilities offered by the cloud. Find out why some of the most forward-looking players in the media industry are working with Dalet as their trusted partner in this endeavor.

Start with Why…

Before you call your technology providers to start discussing cloud-enabled, media management solutions, you must first do your homework. Why should cloud technology become part of my equation?

“Ultimately, the cloud is the latest example of Schumpeterian creative destruction: creating wealth for those who exploit it; and leading to the demise of those that don’t.”
- Joe Weinman, Senior VP at Telx and author of Cloudonomics: The Business Value of Cloud Computing

 

While Joe Weinman’s statement clearly matches the vision of his company, he is far from alone in describing the dramatic changes brought by cloud technology. In fact, most of our customers have already come to us to discuss the challenges they face as well as the new business and technological possibilities they wish to exploit. While Dalet customer references include a large variety of media organizations, from news broadcasters and post-production houses, to thematic channels, musical radio stations and sports teams, most of them actually share similar aspirations.

What most broadcasters and media organizations are striving for today can be summarized in three words: New Business Horizons. In today’s fast-paced and ultracompetitive business environment, it is all about the ability to respond rapidly to evolving consumer demands and explore new revenue streams, with business solutions as dynamic as the infrastructure and operations on which they’re based.

The good news is that today, these solutions are a reality thanks to the advancement of cloud, virtualization and hybrid on/off-premise deployments, enabling on-demand usage, ubiquitous access, dynamic scalability and elasticity, as well as pay-per-use models thanks to measured usage. Broadcasters and media organizations indeed have a powerful technological toolset at their fingertips to adapt, evolve and succeed in a world where the (majority of the) cards have been folded.

Where should they start?

 

Start with the business needs…

In the broadcast & media industry, cloud technology has moved in just a few years from the status of a buzzword without much substance to one of the fastest growing areas of project spending, according to the Big Broadcast Survey from Devoncroft. In 2015, for the third year in a row, it was cited among the top 5 trends by broadcasters and media organizations.

However, cloud technology being a top trend should not be enough of a reason for your organization to invest in it. Before you call your technology providers to start discussing cloud-enabled, media management solutions, you must first do your homework. It mainly comes down to answering one question:

“Why should cloud technology become part of my equation?”

Well, the answer to this question depends on your business needs. Each organization has its own, specific needs derived from its core business objectives. Here are some examples: 

 

Expanding opportunities to grow your business

 

Launch new Over-The-Top (OTT) services and/or dedicated apps

Compete or partner with pure OTT players by creating your own platform, services or apps to produce and/or deliver multimedia content over the open internet. Cloud technology allows you to accelerate solution and content development, and more generally rollout cycles. The icing on the cake? You don’t have to invest in bulky infrastructure anymore, just to provision development and test environments, and pay for the resources used. Pilots and experimentations can be done in weeks rather than months, with no or minimal capital expenditures.

Enable seamless multi-platform, multi-device content distribution

Consumers are particularly demanding in terms of content access, quality and continuity. They expect a smooth experience to consume their favorite news or sports programs, music, movies or TV shows on a widening array of connected devices: from hybrid or pure IP set-top boxes to Internet-enabled TVs, tablets, smartphones, PCs and gaming consoles. With this level of device proliferation and always more content in (too) many formats, cloud-enabled services have proven to be media organizations’ best allies for handling media processing, versioning and distribution operations.

Cover premium, hyper local or hyper personalized temporary events

Whether it’s covering national elections, local events or second-tier sports competitions, there is no longer any reason to ignore these opportunities today. Cloud technology has democratized the market for the coverage of such events. For instance, setting up a full-fledged, cloud-based newsroom system (more here) takes no more than a few hours. Hyper local or hyper personalized news, sport or entertainment content generally goes along with highly engaged audiences. Media organizations should take advantage of it, as this is now economically viable.

Leverage better social platforms and live experiences

By nature, multimedia content is social and potentially viral. Broadcasters and media organizations have well understood this and are today massively present on social media. The next step is to fully embrace the social revolution: it’s not only about standard, multimedia publications anymore, it’s about live, 360° social experiences. Whether it’s quickly repurposing content to enrich a story/program or streaming live events using popular services like Snapchat, Facebook Live or Periscope, cloud technology will be your key partner.

 

Transforming your model to streamline your business

 

Develop a connected, borderless organization

Bring down geographical barriers, and enable ubiquitous access to resources and full mobility for your staff. Thanks to cloud-enabled media management workflows, users can contribute, document, edit, review and upload/download content from virtually anywhere in the world. Whether you’re aiming at a true “2.0” organization or looking to expand in a new country without a big infrastructure investment, cloud technology empowers geographically dispersed teams, freelancers and ultra-mobile collaborators.

Transition your business model and align costs with revenues

Broadcasters still often have too much dependency on traditional, mass advertising. Through the many business opportunities offered by the cloud, it is also the perfect time to start or accelerate the move to an economic mix with more diversity. This can potentially include Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD), hyper-targeted and rich ads on mobile, à la carte channels with native advertising, gamification and more.

With great cost pressures and intensifying competition from lower-cost entrants, broadcasters and media organizations need to reduce up-front investments and align costs with revenues. By gradually adopting cloud services, they are able to lower capital expenditures (capex) and benefit from on-demand, pay-per-use economic models. Ultimately, cloud technology helps you reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

Reduce global risk and ensure business continuity

Whether it is a pure technical failure, an unexpected natural disaster or a human mistake, you should never underestimate fate! Cloud technology allows you to set up robust business continuity and disaster recovery workflows with built-in redundancy. You should take advantage of it.

 

While I’m sure you’ll agree that these opportunities all sound very interesting, there is an essential pre-condition to achieve any of them. Your organization needs to rely on an agile infrastructure, and that’s exactly what cloud technology enables. Extend reach, respond faster and scale according to demand! Based on this new paradigm, organizations are able to run nextgen operations with new levels of collaboration and mobility, also elevating user tasks through advanced automation and reporting. Ultimately, new business horizons become a reality with the capacity to respond to evolving consumer demands and explore new revenue streams.

 

Build the right plan with the right partners!

Let’s be clear however, the “cloud” is not the answer. As always, technology is only the enabler, and the key is to leverage it well to cater to your own business needs. Everything should be driven by a shared, strategic vision and well-identified business goals within your organization – not by technology.

Furthermore, there is no such thing as a full transition to the cloud in the broadcast & media industry, as that would imply that everything will migrate there and become virtualized or containerized. It won't, at least not any time soon... The near future lies in smart, hybrid mixes of on/off-premise deployments that allow media organizations to keep control over critical infrastructure and crucial data, but also benefit from the promises of the cloud.

That’s exactly our philosophy with Dalet xN: providing agile, media management solutions, scalable to many thousands of concurrent users over various geographies. And we are not alone on this journey. We are partnering with the most trusted cloud and virtualization technology providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and VMware.

In the second part of this article [update: now available here], we will introduce in more depth our unique approach to the cloud and share real-life Dalet xN case studies. From affordable, on-demand marketplace apps, to hybrid, standard image and native, cloud-based tailored deployments, Dalet xN business solutions suit all needs and increase the effectiveness of the media economy.

Learn more and contact us to discuss your projects.

 

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Disruptive forces and the new possible On the other hand, significant “disruptive forces,” as he puts it, have evolved what are possible, needed, expected, and desired out of the video-streaming paradigm. This means, in essence, that no sooner have established methodologies proliferated than new questions and answers start hurtling down the chute that can change some of those methodologies over time. “The delivery side has settled overall,” Spiteri says. “We have the means to deliver high bandwidth, so the adaptive streaming side is there. Edge providers like Akamai and AWS Cloudfront, among others, and also cloud services being offered by the likes of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft Azure are providing the ability to anyone who wishes to deliver content over the top via the internet to be able to do so. In terms of delivering generalized services, all the building blocks are now understood, and they are on the verge of becoming commoditized in many new ways. It’s a global phenomenon where people are consuming video on an incredibly large scale. “But if you think about the disruption that Netflix and others have brought about in terms of being able to monetize their platform on such a large scale, by providing incredibly high-quality video and, nowadays, producing content themselves, I think that also drove the adoption, because consumers ultimately tend to gravitate to quality. On one side, you have big content producers spending billions of dollars to create compelling, original content they can distribute [online]. But then, on the other hand, you have the ongoing phenomenon of YouTube, which probably offers the most video content on the Internet in terms of volume. And a lot of that is from small-time content makers—homegrown content. The need for those people to also be able to produce and distribute is an interesting development from a technological point of view. “So there is something to be said about knowing what happens upstream in terms of acquiring or producing content [for distribution on the Web]. But the question arises, how do you do that efficiently to meet all sorts of different criterion at different distribution points, when targeting all sorts of different devices and platforms?” Managing digital video assets more efficiently Spiteri says the answer lies in figuring out how to manage digital video assets more efficiently all along the chain. “You have to have a good grip on your assets and have good metadata describing those assets,” he adds. “You need a way to prepare assets for consumption on a wide variety of devices and media platforms. That allows you to go back into your archive, and basically monetize not just the new content you are making, but also your existing assets.” Thus, among other developments, manufacturers like the company Spiteri works for, Dalet, and others are pushing into the marketplace various “media logistics platforms,” which he calls “the orchestration piece of the streaming puzzle,” designed, he says, “to make it easier and less costly to manage, package, and distribute content.” After all, he says, we live in a world where content not only has to be streamed, but in fact, has to be captured, edited, packaged with robust production values intact, and distributed or re-distributed to a wide range of destinations, often in a matter of minutes. Some examples of such platforms come from companies like Dalet, SDVI Corp., and Ownzones, among others. “For news and sports especially, time is of the essence,” he says. “That’s what I mean about ‘orchestration.’ We have a sports client in the UK, and they are required as a virtue of their license to deliver clips from a game within, say, five minutes of the event happening. This could be a two-minute package that needs to be sent off to perhaps 100 licensees to use [as highlights]—the package will be placed on someone’s Web platform or their applications for mobile consumption. So these orchestration platforms are needed to drive those sorts of things—to capture, edit, and produce packages within minutes out of a live event, and then enable it to be distributed immediately in a format that is the right format for whomever is receiving that package. So the development of tools that can make streaming of such content fast, robust, reliable, and scalable is very important.” In other words, tools that can “bring in a high level of automation” on the front end are now helping to democratize the streaming revolution, Spiteri suggests. “The idea is we can marry the media asset management side with metadata and with orchestration so that you can bring in that high level of automation, be able to prepare packages and, at the same time, make sure they are being reviewed for compliance purposes and then be ultimately delivered to whomever is putting the material online,” he explains. Spiteri emphasizes that the content industry has invested heavily in recent years in not only managing and protecting data, but in ways of tracking their users viewing habits and interests. That’s why, he suggests, you will often see content streaming providers “behaving like digital agencies to a certain extent, readily experimenting with their user interfaces to see what is working and to understand what their customers are viewing. They have a sophisticated level of analytics for that sort of thing, gathering an amazing amount of data.” Related to all this, Spiteri feels it is inevitable that artificial intelligence tools will “naturally play a bigger part” in how this data on users is gathered and taken advantage of, as well as how content is packaged and streamed around the world going forward. He points to new initiatives from several companies trying to weave AI tools into the video streaming tapestry. These include his company, Dalet, Amazon, Azure, and Graymeta. Further, some industry players are taking advantage of open-source AI learning framework services such as Tensorflow, developed by Google, and Facebook’s Pytorch, among others. “The AI community is definitely growing at a fast rate, now that we can run things through the Cloud,” he says. “So I think we will see some interesting applications of AI coming, as a result, with innovations combining analytics coming from users and helping companies learn about usage patterns and things like that.” On the importance of cyber-security He particularly feels that the security issue for content distributors has also largely stabilized in terms of delivering material over encrypted channels, thanks to established digital rights management (DRM) standards and services, including Google Widevine, Microsoft Playready, Apple FairPlay, and Adobe Content Server, among others. Additionally, he points to an increasing trend across the industry whereby companies are joining forces to develop new and more stringent cyber-security protocols, such as the DPP initiative and the Trusted Partner Network. “All the major means of delivery allow you to deliver encrypted content—I think that is pretty much a done game,” Spiteri says. “Those things are very robust at this point. They are still evolving, but there is no magic sauce. They use the fabric of the Web itself—the core technologies are acting as part of a framework and infrastructure that allow us to deliver content at scale. And now, various CDN’s [content delivery networks] allow you to essentially geo-fence your content [using geographically distributed servers to transport files] so that it can’t be touched by anyone outside the region it is intended for. So we have all sorts of mechanisms for providers to understand who their users are, what their level of access should be, and they are all very mature at this point with well-established operators and practices.” Iterate and innovate Still, he expects the industry “to continue to iterate and innovate” in terms of user interfaces and other ways of simplifying the experience, with greater use of voice control technologies and more powerful, AI-powered content recommendation engines on the way, among other things. Spiteri says other interesting advancements coming down the chute include increased reliance for some providers on the notion of an API-first platform—what he calls “a headless OVP” for certain kinds of applications. “There are various companies, including one called Mux, that are built around the idea of having an easier way for the technology needed to deliver content to be more open with API-first delivery,” Spiteri relates. “I think we will see more of these in the near future. They are not necessarily there to build the best content management system, or to provide an end-to-end tool chain to let anyone who wants to build an OTT platform to do so, but they focus very specifically on a particular piece and make it as good as it can be.” He also emphasizes that the evolution of adaptive bit rate streaming standards such as MPEG-DASH, Apple’s HLS (HTTP Live Streaming), Microsoft Smooth Streaming, and others has “removed a lot of the fragmentation” in the video streaming world. By that, Spiteri means that, “it’s now fairly easy to be able to package your content and scale it up or down based on the conditions the stream is being delivered in.” Thus, Spiteri largely feels that the standardization issue in the streaming world is not an impediment anymore on a mixed-platform landscape. However, more generally, he also points out that what has really changed is the fact that, in this realm, “a significant part of the standards is carried by software now, not hardware. Devices can be upgraded over the air to fix certain issues or meet certain changes in a standard now. Therefore, the whole dynamic is changing. TV’s, phones, tablets are so powerful these days that the standards have to become agile. We can’t wait four or five years anymore for a new standard to be developed.” And related to that, he points out that the OTT side of things will, for the foreseeable future, remain linked to one degree or another to the OTA side of things due to the “bigger role that OTA still plays when it comes to live events—it’s typically more reliable for sporting events and so on. So OTA still has room to grow, as well.” As a consequence, the ATSC 3.0 next-generation terrestrial TV broadcast standard’s growth and evolution in the US is having an impact also in the streaming world, as discussed in Newswatch in 2019, because of the hybrid nature of the viewing landscape for the foreseeable future.     “Many companies are beginning to mix streaming content with live channels,” he says. “I’m sure several of the platforms are heading that way. In the UK, we have a service called TalkTalk, for example, which has created a pretty seamless mixture of over-the-air and over-the-top means of delivering content to the set-top box. Their software makes it pretty indistinguishable, whether you are receiving a channel over IP or a broadcast coming from your cable. “Ultimately, this is due to the set-top box technology, or the new Smart TV technology generally. With the processors they are putting into these things now, it gives them a lot of power and the ability to make the experience pretty seamless.” At the end of the day, Spiteri expects “more disruption from the content delivery side” over time. “They want more 8k content, but it is questionable whether there will be much 8k content in the next year or two,” he says. “But we can probably expect a lot more 4k content, more high dynamic range content, and that sort of thing. But we will also see a market disruption in terms of new players coming into the fore. In other words, there will be more disruption because the technology is now able to deliver the content more efficiently for more people to give it a try.”
Dalet and Bitmovin Join Forces to Power OTT Content Packaging and Delivery for the National Rugby League of Australia
Dalet and Bitmovin announced today a new collaboration that improves preparation and accelerates delivery of OTT content for broadcasters, sports leagues and teams, brands, and other media-rich companies. The first organization to take advantage of the new technology partnership is Australia’s National Rugby League (the NRL). The workflow integration, which features the advanced media logistics of Dalet’s Ooyala Flex Media Platform and Bitmovin’s blazing fast encoder technology, provides the NRL with the flexibility and agility to fully optimize their OTT strategy. Deep integration through the Dalet and Bitmovin open APIs enables them to expand existing offerings into new markets and geographies at scale; engage fans through multiple services such as VOD, apps and subscriptions; and augment revenue opportunities thanks to better visibility across their production and distribution operations. “Dalet’s Ooyala Flex Media Platform, deeply integrated with Bitmovin’s encoding, player and analytics offerings, redefines the economics and the experience of OTT video distribution for brands like the National Rugby League,” states Stefan Lederer, CEO, Bitmovin. “Viewers will be delighted with higher quality and a more diverse range of content. Streaming costs are drastically lowered through better use of bandwidth. With greater transparency across the operations, media organizations are able to make smarter decisions about legacy and future content and video reach.” “Both our solutions are developed on the principle of openness and provide sophisticated automation for business scalability. This approach empowers our joint customers like the NRL to build integrated solutions and remain in total control of their asset life cycles,” comments Lee McMullan, Market Director - Multiplatform Distribution, Dalet. “Efficiency through automation and asset tracking enables digital and marketing teams to tap into archives, orchestrate content preparation, scaling distribution of rich content to a wider audience.” The National Rugby League (NRL) is one of Australia’s most popular and entertaining sports. The NRL telecasts have grown to become the most watched sporting programs on Australian television. Branching off the NRL is NRL’s Digital division; creating, producing, archiving and live-streaming hundreds of hours of content to NRL’s official website, NRL.com, and the Telstra NRL Official app on smart devices as well as the Telstra TV OTT device. NRL Digital’s underlying media technology also powers the 16 clubs and two states, as well as NRL operational websites and mobile applications content delivery, enabling better fan and members content experience online. The combined Ooyala Flex Media Platform and Bitmovin solution made it easier for NRL’s staff to build ad-hoc workflows that could better tap into their rich inventory and distribute more editorial content, imagery and video across the NRL’s websites and mobile applications. Ooyala Flex Media Platform’s powerful and efficient workflow and content management capabilities orchestrated the media catalogs’ encoding, media movement and content discovery to surface near-live video to their audiences. “When working with video content from varying sources that needs to be published online (live, near-live or on-demand content), every workflow, metadata layer and media processing step adds time and complexity getting content to the audience. By combining the Ooyala Flex Media Platform and the Bitmovin solutions we have been able to reduce complexity and issues, optimising inefficient steps while successfully accelerating our online delivery workflows,” comments Quanah McBride, Head of Digital Media Operations, The National Rugby League. Ooyala Flex Media Platform The Ooyala Flex Media Platform reinforces business continuity with a hybrid or poly-cloud based content supply chain. In addition to integration with Bitmovin, Ooyala Flex Media Platform offers enhanced security capabilities and improved content discovery tools, improving OTT preparation and multiplatform distribution workflows that help content owners quickly scale their operations. To learn more, please visit: https://www.dalet.com/ooyala-flex-media-platform. Bitmovin Designed To Deploy Content Anywhere And Integrate In Any Workflow Bitmovin’s encoding, playback, and analytics software solutions enable OTT video providers and development teams to deliver elevated, efficient viewer experiences on the largest number of devices and platforms in the market today. For more information, please visit www.bitmovin.com. See It In Action - Ooyala Flex Media Platform and Bitmovin Webinar on June 18th Dalet and Bitmovin will showcase the Ooyala Flex Media Platform and Bitmovin integration on a joint webinar on June 18, 2020. Hosted by Bitmovin’s Solutions Director, Adrian Britton, and featuring Patricio Cummins (Dalet General Manager, APAC) and Brett Chambers (Dalet Solutions Architect), the trio will highlight benefits and real world applications of the combined solution. To register, visit: https://connect.dalet.com/#join or https://go.bitmovin.com/apac-live-dalet-ott-workflows. You can find out more about Dalet and Bitmovin’s combined solutions here: https://www.dalet.com/partner/bitmovin. About Bitmovin Built for technical professionals in the OTT video market, Bitmovin’s software solutions help you optimize customer operations and reduce time-to-market, resulting in the best viewer experience imaginable. This is achieved through our device reach, flexible and scalable integration, and commitment to supporting our customers. Learn more at www.bitmovin.com. About Dalet Digital Media Systems Dalet solutions and services enable media organizations to create, manage and distribute content faster and more efficiently, fully maximizing the value of assets. Based on an agile foundation, Dalet offers rich collaborative tools empowering end-to-end workflows for news, sports, program preparation, post-production, archives and enterprise content management, radio, education, governments and institutions. Dalet platforms are scalable and modular. They offer targeted applications with key capabilities to address critical functions of small to large media operations - such as planning, workflow orchestration, ingest, cataloging, editing, chat & notifications, transcoding, play out automation, multi-platform distribution and analytics. The integration of the Ooyala Flex Media Platform business has opened vast opportunities for Dalet customers to deploy successful strategies that better address their audiences with agile multi-platform content distribution in a wider range of markets, such as sports for teams and leagues, brands and corporate organizations, as well as Media and Entertainment companies looking to scale up their digital offerings. Dalet solutions and services are used around the world at hundreds of content producers and distributors, including public broadcasters (BBC, CBC, France TV, RAI, TV2 Denmark, RFI, Russia Today, RT Malaysia, SBS Australia, VOA), commercial networks and operators (Canal+, FOX, MBC Dubai, Mediacorp, Fox Sports Australia, Turner Asia, Mediaset, Orange, Charter Spectrum, Warner Bros, Sirius XM Radio), sporting organizations (National Rugby League, FIVB, Bundesliga) and government organizations (UK Parliament, NATO, United Nations, Veterans Affairs, NASA). Dalet is traded on the NYSE-EURONEXT stock exchange (Eurolist C): ISIN: FR0011026749, Bloomberg DLT:FP, Reuters: DALE.PA. Dalet® is a registered trademark of Dalet Digital Media Systems. All other products and trademarks mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.
Virtualization - is it always best? And is cloud a one-size-fits-all solution?
I like to be told that I'm wrong. It usually means that I've made some broad sweeping assumption that over-simplifies the world. My most recent blunder was assuming that the whole world will obviously move 100% of its media operations to the cloud. It seems to me that in the space of a few short years, the media industry has changed its mindset from cloud is unsafe through a brief dally with cloud is good and has now ended up with everything cloud as the way to go. Considering current global events around mobility and remote working, this is a highly topical discussion. One-size-fits-all solutions do not exist! In the unused bit at the back of my brain, I know that there is no such thing as a one size fits all solution, but at the same time I cling to the everything cloud marketing philosophy as some kind of justification for forward motion. Very often, it's a mix of technologies that gives the best performance for a given price and it's the ability to choose the right technology at the right time for the right job at the right price that ensures that any business continues to thrive. Transcoding is a curious business. To select a service or a device, you first must be sure that it meets your needs for scaling, deinterlacing, frame rate conversion, image filtering, SDR and HDR conversion, range of codecs, compression efficiency and compression quality. In today's time-pressed environment choices are often done with a service rate card rather than by testing with real content and real people. This is a shame because very often the idea of taking a high-quality device with a Capex price tag is eliminated, even though the per-transcode costs of an alternative service can be higher for a lower quality. Nothing is ever simple - what's the real business problem? So why all this heavy philosophy? Dalet asked me to look at a hardware accelerator for an offline transcoder. I initially thought that I had stepped into a time machine because that sort of solution is just not fashionable now. I stopped and thought about it for a while in the context of todays reduced operating margins, remote infrastructure requirements and ever-increasing platform support requirements. If you have a fixed and stable volume of content that needs to be converted every day / week / month then actually the costing of that core transcode is a key fixed cost of the business. If a hardware accelerator reduces that fixed cost with a one-off investment rather than a pay as you go continuous commitment, then it is a no-brainer providing you still have a local data center to house it and you have the ability to manage it remotely. There is a business sweet spot for accelerators! So I found myself looking at an HEVC encoding accelerator, connected to a cloud-enabled Dalet AmberFin transcode farm and realized that it was the right solution for many customers to fulfil their core needs of doing a lot of transcoding for the minimum TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). Like many things in engineering, it might not be fashionable or glamorous, but for the right application it makes good business sense. It serves the needs of working and managing remotely, since you can build a hybrid architecture that works in the background and yet, can be accessed anytime, anywhere, assuming your data center has some solid business continuity in place (let’s face it, who doesn’t these days?) As 2020 makes its way, with major issues at global scale, it seems that there is a sweet spot for hardware accelerators - high throughput with less energy consumption than a raw software solution. It also seems that I should avoid jumping on today's fashionable technology for everything and to keep my mind open to a wider range of practical solutions to solving real business problems!
Why Cloud Content Supply Chains Are The Answer to Today's Media Consumption Demands
Today’s content creators and publishers are faced with a rapidly changing landscape. Any company and brand looking to engage viewers, followers, sports fans, consumers and buyers needs to refocus on their video strategy. Creating great content is no longer sufficient - you also need to keep at least one eye on trends. If you don’t, the rate of change is so fast that you’ll quickly be faced with demands that you simply don’t have the resources for. Today’s world is radically different Just twenty years ago, the first primitive video streaming technology emerged, and to early adopters, it was exciting. It was shaky and flaky, but showed potential. Neither YouTube nor Facebook existed. Video was consumed via broadcast or DVD. The rigid standards that bound broadcasters were necessary because TVs at the time couldn’t display anything else. After years of technology evolution, it became easy to get video to where it was meant to be consumed, and the idea that one day there might be hundreds of video platforms to address, all different in some way or other, was either a distant one or not there at all. Today, it’s a radically different world, where everyone has a video device in their pocket, where digital video is better than film in every measurable way, where 8K video resolution measured by pixel count per frame is 85 times that of standard definition from two years ago. There’s a variety of video codecs, HDR vs SDR, not to mention complex distribution rights, which might vary from region to region. Viewing habits are vastly different Inevitably, viewing habits have changed dramatically. There’s anecdotal evidence that in a typical class of 30 ten - year - olds, precisely none of them will have watched linear TV the night before. Between them, YouTube, Social Media and OTT/OVP sourced media are the dominant platforms for video consumption. “Traditional” linear TV is just one of a myriad of video distribution formats. The Ooyala Flex Media Platform was developed to be the answer to this explosion of video formats and platforms. It automates content distribution, guided by orchestrated packaging workflows that users create, based on the number and nature of video destinations to be served. A cloud-native platform at your service A “cloud-native” platform means that it is modular, scalable and almost infinitely flexible. This is perfect for modern media creators, because their distribution demands will grow quickly, and sometimes unpredictably. Applications in the cloud are not restricted by size or scale. There are no physical boundaries. If you need more, just ask for it. It’s the same if you need less. A cloud architecture means that you don’t have to make business-critical investments in hardware that risk losses through depreciation, or though an inability to grow and contract with customer demand. The Ooyala Flex Media Platform is your Cloud Media Factory. An automated content supply chain that allows your team to meet all OTT and multi-platform distribution needs! Adaptable and secure Building a cloud-native application - especially one that is optimised for media production and distribution - requires an approach that is both adaptable and secure. For the ultimate in flexibility, the Ooyala Flex Media Platform has microservices as its basic functional blocks. These are essentially “atoms” of functionality. They’re elements of the application that have been made as lean as possible without affecting efficiency. Indeed, breaking down an application like this is a major enhancement to efficiency, because it dispenses with monolithic programs that belong in the cretaceous period. Microservices communicate with each other and with the outside world through APIs (cCarefully designed gateways that “talk” in a very controlled way to other parts of a program - like a user interface or an external software request for some media). This approach is intrinsically secure. Even though an application talks to external services, it has to do so in a very specific way. Unusual requests will simply be rejected. There is security at every layer in the system. What’s the answer? The answer to the extraordinary rate of change in distribution platforms is to have a flexible, modular, scalable cloud-based application to deal with the complexity. Dalet’s Ooyala Flex Media Platform is designed to deal with a wide range of media operations and scale with them to almost any size. Closely integrated with other Dalet products such as Dalet AmberFin for media processing and Dalet Media Cortex for AI-powered media enrichment, the Ooyala Flex Media Platform can take media from anywhere, to anywhere, automatically and without drama. Sooner or later (most likely sooner) every organization will be impacted by the rate of change in multimedia content operations. Strategic thinking based on linear growth is no longer an option. The Ooyala Flex Media Platform, a first class citizen of the cloud, is the answer to this sign of the times. The good news? It’s ready for you to use now, and it will make you fighting fit for the future. Learn more about the Ooyala Flex Media Platform <iframe width="660" height="415" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bakCmFWjbhI" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Ooyala Flex Media Platform Moves into Its Next Chapter With Dalet
Paris, France – March 3, 2020 – Dalet, a leading provider of solutions and services for broadcasters and content professionals, has made significant advancements with the development of the Ooyala Flex Media Platform. Acquired in July 2019, Dalet has accelerated engineering of the solution across four key areas: User Experience; Core Platform Performance and Features; APIs; and OTT workflows. The firepower brought by the Dalet acquisition has enabled a larger scale of development, increasing the Platform's capabilities to serve a wider range of organizations looking to take control of their video strategy, such as digital media teams, sports leagues and teams, as well as brands and media companies that are scaling up their digital offerings and going Direct-To-Consumer at an accelerated pace. “Stepping beyond the traditional broadcast space where Dalet has been a leader for years, the Ooyala Flex Media Platform is filling key media logistics requirements for companies like EnhanceTV, Arsenal Football Club and Migo in the Philippines - a startup that is looking to make OTT consumption of premium content affordable for developing countries,” comments Bea Alonso, Director of Product Marketing at Dalet. “With video as a core component of today’s business plans, these organizations require a content management platform that allows them to collaborate seamlessly, produce outstanding content fast, and take control of their media processing and distribution chain. The Ooyala Flex Media Platform is designed to streamline workflows, empowering companies to better monetize their content. It offers tremendous distribution versatility, allowing these companies to spin up campaigns and content offerings for social, digital and OTT quickly and efficiently.” Key development initiatives over the last six months include: Enhanced Support for OVP/OTT workflows The Ooyala Flex Media Platform extends its support for delivering content to a range of OVP providers, including the latest enhancements to the Brightcove Plug-in. “Our commitment to supporting OTT workflows is a top priority on the Dalet roadmap and is demonstrated in recent releases. Going forward, we will continue to expand on multi-platform distribution capabilities”, says Lincoln Spiteri, VP Engineering at Dalet. New OTT capabilities include support for MPEG-DASH and increased support for complex metadata hierarchies and taxonomies. Exceptional User Experience The latest OoyalaMAM, web interface, which has been designed with direct customer input, provides an exceptional user experience that enables fast adoption of tools and workflows. Rich new features include advanced asset search capabilities - including descriptive and temporal metadata, easy metadata curation, and tools to organize large asset collections. In addition, OoyalaMAM also provides media visualization aids in the form of audio waveform and audio level meters and a frame-accurate HTML5 video player, plus MP4, MPEG-DASH and HLS with audio switching and captions. Formidable, Scalable Framework Dalet R&D has significantly advanced the scalability, operability and reliability of the Ooyala Flex Media Platform. The Platform has consolidated its poly-cloud credentials and is available for deployment in Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure. It also supports on-premise bare-metal deployments. Spiteri adds, “Running in the cloud is one thing, running well in the cloud is another. Since 2015, the Ooyala Flex Media Platform has taken a cloud-native approach towards its underlying architecture. The Platform is fully containerized, built as a collection of microservices that play well with modern DevOps practices.” An updated storage abstraction layer improves the placement of assets across storage solutions, enabling more efficient multi-site operations with options to move assets and workflows to the cloud via hybrid-cloud deployments. Open Platform Ready for Integration Designed to integrate with any system with an open API, the Ooyala Flex Media Platform can extend workflows through messaging plugins and custom scripts. Alternatively, its own REST API allows clients to build their own applications on top of the Platform. New API advancements allow customers to develop native plugins that can be deployed into the Platform’s runtime. The job execution framework (JEF) and related SDK are available to customers who wish to extend the platform beyond what is achievable via scripting. Monthly Release Cycle Moving forward, Dalet will employ a monthly release cadence that allows Ooyala Flex Media Platform’s customers to adopt new capabilities and evolve workflows faster than ever before. The rapid R&D schedule will also ensure that the Platform and its numerous integrations remain secure and in compliance with strict industry standards, such as the DPP Committed to Security marks for Broadcast and Production. For more information on the Ooyala Flex Media Platform, please visit https://www.dalet.com/ooyala-flex-media-platform. Additionally, to learn more about how the Ooyala Flex Media Platform can address today’s media consumption demands with cloud-based content supply chains, see the blog post by Lincoln Spiteri here. About Dalet Digital Media Systems Dalet solutions and services enable media organizations to create, manage and distribute content faster and more efficiently, fully maximizing the value of assets. Based on an agile foundation, Dalet offers rich collaborative tools empowering end-to-end workflows for news, sports, program preparation, post-production, archives and enterprise content management, radio, education, governments and institutions. Dalet platforms are scalable and modular. They offer targeted applications with key capabilities to address critical functions of small to large media operations - such as planning, workflow orchestration, ingest, cataloging, editing, chat & notifications, transcoding, play out automation, multi-platform distribution and analytics. The integration of the Ooyala Flex Media Platform business has opened vast opportunities for Dalet customers to deploy successful strategies that better address their audiences with agile multi-platform content distribution in a wider range of markets, such as sports for teams and leagues, brands and corporate organizations, as well as Media and Entertainment companies looking to scale up their digital offerings. Dalet solutions and services are used around the world at hundreds of content producers and distributors, including public broadcasters (BBC, CBC, France TV, RAI, TV2 Denmark, RFI, Russia Today, RT Malaysia, SBS Australia, VOA), commercial networks and operators (Canal+, FOX, MBC Dubai, Mediacorp, Fox Sports Australia, Turner Asia, Mediaset, Orange, Charter Spectrum, Warner Bros, Sirius XM Radio), sporting organizations (National Rugby League, FIVB, Bundesliga) and government organizations (UK Parliament, NATO, United Nations, Veterans Affairs, NASA). Dalet is traded on the NYSE-EURONEXT stock exchange (Eurolist C): ISIN: FR0011026749, Bloomberg DLT:FP, Reuters: DALE.PA. Dalet® is a registered trademark of Dalet Digital Media Systems. All other products and trademarks mentioned herein belong to their respective owners. For more information on Dalet, visit www.dalet.com. Press Contact Alex Molina Zazil Media Group (C) alex@zazilmediagroup.com (T) +1 (617) 834-9600
Dalet Inks Deal to Build World's Most Advanced Multi-platform Newsroom with Leading North American Broadcaster
Dalet, a leading provider of solutions and services for broadcasters and content professionals, has signed a landmark deal with a prominent North American broadcaster to build its next-generation, borderless multi-platform newsroom on Dalet Galaxy five. The broadcaster’s expansive operation is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service that includes four distinct traditional and digital news entities dedicated to delivering breaking news to more than 90 million homes. The digital transformation will leverage advanced Cloud and AI technologies and move all production and distribution operations to the cohesive Dalet Galaxy five platform, a unified Media Asset Management (MAM), Workflow Orchestration and Editorial environment. Frederic Roux, vice president of sales, Americas, Dalet, comments on the multi-workflow advantages Dalet Galaxy five offers: “This particular news network is on air 24/7 and what they must deliver is far more diverse than straightforward news shows. They need to produce studio news programs and documentary-style shows, which are much closer to long-form programming workflows and often feature multi-camera productions. In addition, a new kind of storytelling is required when producing for OTT and digital, which adds complexity to the production chain.” Roux continues, “Dalet Galaxy five is able to facilitate standard news, long-form programming and digital workflows simultaneously. The transition to the platform brings immense efficiency to the operation with limitless options to implement future workflows and iterate quickly with new, digital-first initiatives. The consolidation of systems required to drive these disparate workflows will also help optimize the total cost of ownership for the broadcaster. In this era of fast-changing news consumption behavior, our customers need an agile platform that can adapt quickly to their new business reality. This agility is inherent to the Dalet Galaxy five hybrid architecture.” Based on a modern, video over IP infrastructure that uses the SMPTE 2110 standard, Dalet Galaxy five platform leverages the elasticity of the Cloud and offers federated production capabilities enabling the news network to effectively scale remote bureaus, field resources, and workflows at will. Cognitive services integrated with Dalet Galaxy five will accelerate the metadata enrichment of content archives making news assets easier to discover and readily available for creating deeper news stories across all platforms. Thanks to the hybrid architecture leveraging AWS, Dalet Galaxy five will provide native disaster recovery capability by offloading on-premise capacity to the Cloud when needed and processing scalability. “Today’s audiences crave more detailed news information on the viewing platform of their choice, especially for major sporting and political events,” adds Roux. “Broadcasters need a solution that enables them to deliver that deeper coverage whenever and wherever these events take place and create a content journey that engages audiences across all platforms. Dalet Galaxy five industry-leading remote access and editing provides a seamless news gathering and reporting experience enabling journalists to prepare robust multimedia stories whether they are in the newsroom or in the field on assignment.” Dalet Galaxy five will underpin the entire multi-platform production and delivery workflow, integrating key broadcast systems and propelling game-changing field and bureau workflows with a significantly improved remote editing user experience. Dalet Galaxy five’s orchestration capabilities will facilitate metadata-driven operations that automate complex media processes, distribute tasks and streamline workflows, simplifying the technical hurdles of media handling while simultaneously providing staff greater control over assets and monitoring capacities. For more information on Dalet Galaxy five and Dalet solutions, please visit www.dalet.com. About Dalet Digital Media Systems Dalet solutions and services enable media organisations to create, manage and distribute content faster and more efficiently, fully maximising the value of assets. Based on an agile foundation, Dalet offers rich collaborative tools empowering end-to-end workflows for news, sports, program preparation, post-production, archives and enterprise content management, radio, education, governments and institutions. Dalet platforms are scalable and modular. They offer targeted applications with key capabilities to address critical functions of small to large media operations - such as planning, workflow orchestration, ingest, cataloguing, editing, chat & notifications, transcoding, play out automation, multi-platform distribution and analytics. In July 2019, Dalet announced the acquisition of the Ooyala Flex Media Platform business. An acceleration of the company’s mission, the move brings tremendous value to existing Dalet and Ooyala customers, opening vast opportunities for OTT & digital distribution. Dalet solutions and services are used around the world at hundreds of content producers and distributors, including public broadcasters (BBC, CBC, France TV, RAI, TV2 Denmark, RFI, Russia Today, RT Malaysia, SBS Australia, VOA), commercial networks and operators (Canal+, FOX, MBC Dubai, Mediacorp, Fox Sports Australia, Turner Asia, Mediaset, Orange, Charter Spectrum, Warner Bros, Sirius XM Radio), sporting organisations (National Rugby League, FIVB, Bundesliga) and government organisations (UK Parliament, NATO, United Nations, Veterans Affairs, NASA). Dalet is traded on the NYSE-EURONEXT stock exchange (Eurolist C): ISIN: FR0011026749, Bloomberg DLT:FP, Reuters: DALE.PA. Dalet® is a registered trademark of Dalet Digital Media Systems. 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Dalet launches new media platform - a FEED Magazine article
If there’s one point everyone in the media industry can agree upon, it’s that the amount of content that needs to be produced, managed and archived effectively is now growing at an unprecedented rate. For content creators, this means their choice of media asset management (MAM) technology could hardly be more critical. And for MAM developers and vendors, it means an ever-lengthening list of requirements they must work tirelessly to accommodate...Read more Read the full article