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Jan 24, 2020
Small steps for designers, giant leaps for users! How UX drives growth
Today, across the digital landscape, the emphasis on user ease and product enjoyment is a strategic mandate within most consumer software companies, where focused iterative and interactive user-centric design practices are front and center. This should also be the case in B2B software platforms and services.

The importance of UX

User research is at the center of our approach at Dalet, both for outbound activities (on-site interviews, regular visits to see the product in use, etc.) and inbound (through conducting surveys, facilitating user community forums, etc.). Learn more!

With the advent of omnipresent technologies (think smartphones) in our daily lives, free/try apps have transformed the way we make products and the way consumers expect to be served up products that are intuitive and enjoyable.

Just like consumers flocking from one social app to the other, a new generation of creative media professionals have adopted, from their personal digital lives, a “try and keep/throw” approach to media tools. i.e., "if I don't like it or can't get my work done, I'll look for another one."

As software vendors, we must embrace this change to enrich our user community's experience in their daily work, with minimal distractions from the application, i.e., focus on the craft, not the tools.

We have also seen a shift towards putting the emphasis on product design from users' feedback versus historically "Technical experts/Engineer," where the focus was on the technical capabilities of the solution with less importance on usability, complexity, intuitiveness for the persons actually doing the work.
 

Back in the day

Back in the day, you had to be an engineer to operate sophisticated technical software. Today you can cut a movie on your iPhone. Not that you would want to, but the fact that the tools are there for the masses has created a baseline from a user perspective, on expectations as to what they want and expect from a product.

Today, our media professionals need to work with software tools to tell their story. A UX (user experience)-centric approach in software design focuses on abstracting the complexity to surface and empower creatives. User Experience is at the center of a successful product and a primary axis to our commitment to user/market-driven approach to producing value for our client community.

This need for transformation in how software vendors interact with an organization, and users, means putting transformative approaches and processes to dynamically engage with the user community much earlier in the product development stage, from ideation to release, and onwards.
 

Your accelerator to market success

The value in implementing a user-driven feedback loop model is a tenfold accelerator to market, with well-received releases that provide incremental value. Ideas are great, but unless tested against the intended audience, the product output generates frustration and dissatisfaction, further introducing new cycles of product iteration.

Great designs can have a positive effect on the quality, accuracy, and user satisfaction/adoption of a product. This is what User Experience design practice enables.
 

I want Ketchup, not a workout

It is essential to differentiate UX (user experience) from UI (user interface), however.

While UX focuses on "how to do something and how something should work" in the most intuitive, precise, and efficient way, UI focuses on the presentation layer and visual appeal of the product.

A simple example: a button. UX design is focused on the position, discovery, feedback, and interaction with careful attention in taking into account both previous and following functions. Whereas UI design will focus on how to make the button visible, accounting for the shape, color, and typography to make the user want to press it.
 

Ketchup

Courtesy of the author


A great consumer-goods example that emphasizes this is ketchup bottles. When looking at the glass bottle, anyone can attest that it conveys elements of quality and aesthetics; however, the user experience is disappointing to everyone, including my grandmother, having users come up with workarounds for the poor usability. On the other hand, the plastic squeeze bottle, while looking cheap, is immediately intuitive in its use, and the fact that it stands on its cap, further adds a value of being ready to be dispensed by a simple squeeze.

 

The wheel is not enough

 

Image Blog post

Credit: Nima Torabi

 

The above example highlights the iteration of design of a user problem statement:  "I want a mode of transportation that gets me from point A to point B safely, comfortably and expeditiously".

While the top approach addressed the components of the product, each iteration was rendered useless on its own and not adopted (i.e., failed) as it didn't address the user's need.

What is vital here are tangible, usable deliverables, or MVPs (Minimum Viable Product). 

 

“User experience encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”

Don Norman, Nielsen Norman Group
(Credited with inventing the term UX) 

 

Back to the ketchup bottle, we can see that the first bottle was usable and formed the basis, by allowing feedback, which led to further iterations, each providing more intuitive designs. Note the middle image, where the bottle is now squeezable, would have never been initially designed without this user feedback.

 

It’s all about the user

User research is at the center of our approach at Dalet, both for outbound activities (on-site interviews, regular visits to see the product in use, etc.) and inbound (through conducting surveys, facilitating user community forums, etc.). This is the approach we took when we set out to re-design the user experience for our OoyalaMAM, the main user interface for the Ooyala Flex Media Platform: usability and speed were our top goals – but that’s a story for our next blog post.
 

Ooyala MAM

The recently refreshed OoyalaMAM user interface

 

We want to enable our user community to converse and contribute while gaining knowledge and identifying trends that would need to be slated in the roadmap.

As part of this user research, we are putting in place forums for the community to contribute, collaborate, and drive innovative ideas at the forefront of our practice.

We'd love to have you aboard!

 

Banner join us

 

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Show API Reference Some of the aspect ratio issues that may come up within the Pixel Aspect Ratio (PAR), Storage Aspect Ratio (SAR), and/or Display Aspect Ratio (DAR). The ideal AR should be as follows: PAR: the aspect ratio of the video pixels themselves. For 576i, it’s 59:54 or 1.093. SAR: the dimensions of the video frame, expressed as a ratio. For a 576i video, this is 5:4 (720x576). DAR: the aspect ratio the video should be played back at. For SD video, this is 16:9. Technical metadata detection within Ooyala Flex will, in most cases, correctly determine the aspect ratio characteristics, allowing the encoding profile in Bitmovin’s dashboard to be adjusted automatically. These are all characteristics of a video asset. Getting it wrong either in detection, encoding, or playback results in squashed video playback. Color-Correction Bitmovin’s encoder contains a powerful set of color space, color range, and color primary manipulation logic. 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About Dalet Digital Media Systems Dalet solutions and services enable media organizations to create, manage and distribute content faster and more efficiently, fully maximizing the value of assets. Based on an agile foundation, Dalet offers rich collaborative tools empowering end-to-end workflows for news, sports, program preparation, post-production, archives and enterprise content management, radio, education, governments and institutions. Dalet platforms are scalable and modular. They offer targeted applications with key capabilities to address critical functions of small to large media operations - such as planning, workflow orchestration, ingest, cataloging, editing, chat & notifications, transcoding, play out automation, multi-platform distribution and analytics. The integration of the Ooyala Flex Media Platform business has opened vast opportunities for Dalet customers to deploy successful strategies that better address their audiences with agile multi-platform content distribution in a wider range of markets, such as sports for teams and leagues, brands and corporate organizations, as well as Media and Entertainment companies looking to scale up their digital offerings. Dalet solutions and services are used around the world at hundreds of content producers and distributors, including public broadcasters (BBC, CBC, France TV, RAI, TV2 Denmark, RFI, Russia Today, RT Malaysia, SBS Australia, VOA), commercial networks and operators (Canal+, FOX, MBC Dubai, Mediacorp, Fox Sports Australia, Turner Asia, Mediaset, Orange, Charter Spectrum, Warner Bros, Sirius XM Radio), sporting organizations (National Rugby League, FIVB, Bundesliga) and government organizations (UK Parliament, NATO, United Nations, Veterans Affairs, NASA). Dalet is traded on the NYSE-EURONEXT stock exchange (Eurolist C): ISIN: FR0011026749, Bloomberg DLT:FP, Reuters: DALE.PA. Dalet® is a registered trademark of Dalet Digital Media Systems. All other products and trademarks mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.
Dalet 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.
RTV Slovenia Expands Partnership with Dalet to Transform End-to-End News Workflows for Radio and TV with Dalet Galaxy five
Dalet, a leading provider of solutions and services for broadcasters and content professionals, today announced that RTV Slovenia will migrate its entire news operations to Dalet Galaxy five. A Dalet radio customer for more than 25 years, Slovenia’s national broadcaster is expanding its partnership with Dalet to include its television news operation. The powerful Dalet Galaxy five platform will serve as the underlying editorial and orchestration solution that manages the broadcaster’s entire news production and distribution workflow for radio and television across the production hub located in Ljubljana and throughout their regional locations in Koper and Maribor. Dalet Galaxy five will also enable RTV’s entire radio production needs. The resulting solution, which was commissioned in collaboration with Dalet Business Partner AVC, will offer a converged environment that standardizes tools and streamlines the entire news operation. The new arrangement will significantly enhance news production efficiencies across all viewing and listening platforms. “We knew that moving to a converged environment would allow us to optimize content and resources, but it was not until the COVID-19 crisis that we realized just how critical this leap forward would be for our future operations. In particular, centralizing our content with standardized tools that drive a consistent user experience on an agile platform with native integrations means that, even in the middle of a crisis, we can continue to operate with maximum efficiency,” explains Igor Kadunc, MBA, Director General, RTV Slovenia. “The adaptability of Dalet Galaxy five will help us better navigate such challenging circumstances in the future while creating a more cohesive media ecosystem in which we produce our news content and radio production more efficiently than ever before.” The new RTV Slovenia workflow features the Dalet Galaxy five enterprise media asset management and editorial platform powered by the Dalet Workflow Engine, Dalet Newsroom Computer System and News Production System, Dalet Social Media Framework, and the Dalet OneCut multimedia editor for on-premises and remote editing. “RTV had previously used Dalet for its radio operations, with social media and TV supported by other products. Providing RTV employees a unified user experience for the entire news operation with Dalet Galaxy five, be it for Radio, TV or social media will enable a connected workflow with easier and more efficient access, sharing, assembly and distribution of content,” comments Johann Zemmour, General Manager EMEA / APAC, Dalet. “This is an ambitious workflow expansion and one that is taking place during the current pandemic. I would like to personally thank RTV’s technical teams for their incredible support, and our professional services team for their dedication to working on this project during a global crisis. We look forward to the official launch.” 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 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.
What is HDR, WCG and Dolby Vision and why does it matter?
Alphabet soup starring HDR and WCG "Hey Guys, let's re-invent the entire TV and Cinema chains from Camera to Screen!" said no high-ranking executive in any board meeting ever. The whole concept sounds like crazy talk when you say it out loud, but in reality that's what the High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Wide Color Gamut (WCG) revolution have done over the recent years. We've moved on from glowing goop The cinema world, shooting on film, has always had a little more freedom that the TV world when it comes to controlling brightness, color and contrast between the camera and the screen. There were limitations in physics and chemistry, of course. You could make the projector brighter assuming you didn't melt the film and you could make the film more sensitive provided you liked that grainy look on the screen. The TV world, however had a fixed and inflexible transmission infrastructure that was stabilized in the 1950s. The relationship between the photons going into a camera and the photons coming out of most of today's TV are still based on the response characteristics of the glowing goop you find inside CRTs (Cathode Ray Tubes) of that early era. So in comes HDR. "Hey guys the eye can capture about 14 stops of brightness so let’s transmit that." is the fundamental idea behind HDR. In a basic MPEG system, the brightness of most pixels is represented by a number between 0 and 255. This gives you the ability to represent 8 stops (28 values) whereas we would like to represent 214 values in our HDR chain i.e. the brightness of each pixel is represented by a number between 0 and 16383. Sounds simple really. But, what is Dolby Vision HDR? Let's redesign the entire Cinema and Broadcast Value chain The complexity comes with making sure that each and every device in the value chain from camera through switcher and ingest and transcode understands what these new numerical values actually mean. In an ideal world we would replace all the old kit with brand new kit, but that's not really practical so the HDR systems that were created have compatibility modes to allow these new bright, colorful pixels to travel across traditional SDI, H.264 and IP transmission paths with good integrity to appear at the final display to show wondrous pictures. Now, what is Dolby Vision HDR? Dolby Vision is one of the HDR systems that requires metadata to work. Its trick is identifying that in any typical scene you only use a portion of the total available dynamic range. A dark shadowy scene in a cave will need more bits allocated in the small numerical pixel value ranges. A bright seaside scene on a sunny day will need more bits allocated in the large numerical pixel value range. This scene by scene adaption is enabled with metadata that tells each device how to behave for that scene. The Dalet AmberFin team is really proud that it's the first software only transcoder and workflow engine to have full support for the Dolby Vision system. It can do this in a wide range of different codecs in parallel with the usual array of high quality video processing functions from scaling to Standards Conversion. The Dolby Vision metadata itself might be carried in a sidecar XML file or embedded within the media file as a data track. Whichever mechanism is used, it's vitally important to retain the synchronization between the metadata and the images to get the best results particularly when aligning metadata changes to hard cuts in the video. This becomes doubly important when frame rate converting because blended frames and mis-timing of metadata combined are highly visible, highly annoying and consume a lot of bitrate in the final encoding. A transcoder like the Dalet AmberFin platform gets all of those complex factors right first time, resulting in high efficiency, low bitrate, outstanding picture. In today's era, the consumer often lead the professionals So, what is Dolby Vision HDR and why is it important? HDR is important because the consumers of media get to see HDR on the content they make on their mobile devices. If the paid-for entertainment content they see on other platforms looks washed out and old-fashioned by comparison, then this will be a factor in what media gets consumed. If anyone has a spare crystal ball to help predict what this future might look like, then I would be very grateful to borrow it for a while!
Dalet Solutions Earn DPP 2020 Security Certification for Production and Broadcast
Dalet, a leading provider of solutions and services for broadcasters and content professionals, continues its commitment to the highest security standards, attaining the DPP Security Marks for Production and Broadcast under ‘The DPP Committed to Security’ program. The marks certify that all Dalet products and solutions are developed, configured and deployed according to stringent DPP cyber security best practices across R&D, code safety, and operational measures. As early adopters of DPP compliance and security initiatives, both Dalet, and Ooyala - now part of Dalet - have worked with the DPP on certification and security initiatives since 2014. The company also attained its ISO/SEC 27001:2013 certification in 2018, earning the highest level of security practices across Dalet internal development processes, its product line and its practices. “Security has always been of paramount importance at Dalet. With media organizations quickly pivoting their operations to enable work from home scenarios, security has taken on an even higher level of urgency for our customers,” states Rami Pinku, Dalet Deputy General Manager, R&D Operations. “Our commitment to developing and delivering highly secure solutions that embrace industry best practices is stronger than ever. Dalet security processes start from the moment we begin developing our solutions to the time they’re delivered. We are proud to have achieved the DPP’s security marks for our solutions as these are key criteria for media organizations investing in enterprise-grade workflow solutions.” Achieving the DPP security marks demonstrates Dalet’s commitment to working towards and adhering to cyber security best practice across its entire solution range. Powering exceptional user workflows from enterprise productions to OTT preparation and finished asset distribution, Dalet’s line of DPP accredited media supply chain and broadcast solutions, including Dalet Galaxy five, the Ooyala Flex Media Platform and Dalet’s latest SaaS offerings, Dalet StoreFront, Dalet Media Cortex and Dalet Galaxy xCloud, offer secure, hybrid and highly scalable workflows on-premises and in the cloud. "We're delighted that Dalet has been awarded the DPP's Committed to Security mark for both Broadcast and Production," says Rowan de Pomerai, DPP Head of Delivery & Growth. "Building on the great work they did with the Ooyala Flex Media Platform, all Dalet products are now developed in line with our Security guidelines, meaning that they remain part of a community of forward-thinking companies demonstrating a clear commitment to cybersecurity best practice, and to playing their part in building a more secure media supply chain." About the DPP Committed to Security program The DPP launched the Committed to Security program in October 2017 to help technology providers advance, hone and demonstrate their commitment to security best-practices. Participants are assessed according to a rigorous set of controls specifically applied within the categories of Production, including policies and procedures, physical security, incident planning, recovery management, IT security, business continuity and other areas; and Broadcast, including documentation & testing, authentication and controls. For more information go to https://www.dalet.com/platform and https://www.thedpp.com/security. 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.
Doing more for less! How Dalet OnePlay brings live production to the next level
It’s probably safe to say that there’s never been so much pressure for rapid change in the broadcasting industry. The demands for increasing production value with fewer resources is creating mounting pressure. Without a doubt, the year 2020 will be remembered for the need to quickly develop new production methods, new workflows, and new economies. Flexibility and adaptability have become even more “normal”. Higher expectations Just as viewers’ expectations have grown for high resolution video and high quality audio, they also have become accustomed to extremely sophisticated live studio productions. Viewers may not notice the individual visual elements that go into a slick news production, but what started out as a man or a woman behind a desk, statically reading a script to a camera, is now a multifaceted ballet of lights, camera moves and full-video graphical elements in the background and sometimes the foreground. News broadcasts have always been a multi-headed operation; a balance between editorial and production. Editorial has a different view on the task than those working on the production floor. A newsroom’s output is a list of stories, in the form of a schedule or running order. The last two decades have seen a steady growth in automated newsroom systems that have all the necessary attributes around flexibility and immediacy. Production’s output is what the viewers actually see and hear. But until now, there’s been little significant integration between editorial and production in an automated system. Which means that not only is there a potential disconnect between editorial and production, there are inefficiencies and lost opportunities - which equate to wasted budgets - as well. Dalet OnePlay is an add-on to the Dalet Galaxy five media asset management, workflow orchestration and editorial platform. It’s designed to add a crucial additional layer of control to a live production schedule. This new portfolio of capabilities goes way beyond simple news production and into all kinds of live-to-air and live for reuse shows. The intention is to bring sophisticated, precision control and automation to smaller live production facilities. It means that richer productions can be made with fewer manual resources, and while human input is needed to set up templates, once they’re made, they’re reusable forever. We’ll have a look at a real-world example of Dalet OnePlay in a minute, but first, let’s dive into the capabilities of the software. Less effort What Dalet OnePlay brings is the ability to generate live material with the lush “look and feel” of a big, sophisticated broadcaster, with less effort and manual input. Dalet OnePlay can control almost every aspect of a TV studio from a set of instructions - essentially a template - that’s built for each type of segment. A production that might have called for seven production staff can be made with two or three, with no visual difference to viewers. Typically, each segment of a live show will have the same requirements from day to day. An anchor’s opening monologue might involve an initial camera move - maybe from wide angle to a close-up. There may be an audio sting, with synchronised graphics. The lighting might change to make a more intimate connection with the presenter. The background graphics will change. Lower thirds will give the name of the presenter. A microphone channel will open on an audio mixer. It doesn’t matter how complicated the set-up or the running order: it’s all encapsulated in a template that’s re-usable as often as needed. A little more effort up front in setting up Dalet OnePlay automation templates is repaid many times over as they can be used over and over. <iframe width="100%" height="415" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/h4LzorPPKT4" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe> Tried and tested Because Dalet OnePlay is an add-on to Dalet Galaxy five, it is fairly straight-forward to deploy. An existing Galaxy five customer collaborated with Dalet in a proof-of-concept trial of Dalet OnePlay. The idea was the show could be freed-up for other urgent production tasks while those elements of the day’s production roster that were repetitive could be run under automation. There was no visible difference to the viewers. There were other benefits too: the control room was less noisy. There was no-one shouting “give me camera A. Throw me graphics on the left”. A really important part of the design ethos for Dalet OnePlay is that the new automation capabilities shouldn’t interfere with the editorial process. That’s because the elements being automated are on the studio floor. They include camera moves, lighting, audio (stings and jingles etc) as well as introductory or interstitial video sequences and end titles. Almost every aspect of live studio production can be included, and Dalet can either call on its existing library of “wrappers” for third party devices, or write new ones where necessary. (For developers reading this - it uses microservices and RESTful APIs). All of this is transparent to the editorial process. To production, the automation is visible on the schedule’s timeline as moving automated objects. Scalability and flexibility Dalet OnePlay is scalable and flexible. It can apply to almost any live production situation whether it’s news, sports or more general show control. One ideal application is the one-person weather update, the kind you’ll often see lasting about a minute and inserted into your morning news. Traditionally this would be the presenter and then three or four other people running the lights, the graphics and everything else. In a further proof of concept, Dalet OnePlay was set up so that the weather presenter controlled everything. There was literally no need for any other production personnel to be on site. Resources were then freed up to work on other productions.. All that’s needed for this, or far more complicated set-ups, is for some work up-front to create the template. Everything else is the same. There’s access to the same media, the same graphics and all the same resource. Dalet OnePlay automates camera moves, audio levels, library playback, and lighting. Once the template is made, it can be reused indefinitely. Existing templates can be modified for ongoing changes. Dalet Galaxy five users are particularly interested in the system when they realize that they could put Dalet OnePlay to work on all the short segments in their daily schedule “wheel”, without needing large numbers of control room staff. It’s a big saving for them both in terms of cost and efficiency. And, an additional benefit of Dalet OnePlay is that it reduces the amount of physical presence needed in a control room. There are other benefits, too. Dalet OnePlay is browser based, so it can be run from any computer, including tablets, with suitable authorization. Not only does that mean that schedules and control templates can be generated and updated remotely, but when big and unexpected news breaks, it’s possible to remotely “boot up” a cold studio so that it’s ready for the presenters, with everything in place, including lighting, camera moves and graphics. This reduces the number of personnel needed at the studio site on standby, and it increases the ability to function normally under conditions of social distancing. One technology for everywhere. Two massive advantages Dalet OnePlay fits naturally into the Dalet Galaxy five ecosystem. So it starts from a position of strength, with frictionless access to all of the resources - news media, media, graphics, archives - under Dalet Galaxy five’s control. Layered on top of this is an object-based automation system that becomes part of the scheduling process. From an editorial or content-planning perspective, nothing has changed. From a production and resources view, sophisticated live productions become massively automated, freeing up personnel to work on other production priorities, and lowering the overall costs for broadcasters while allowing them to maintain or even increase their production standards.
Dalet Announces Lineup of Webinars to Help Media Professionals Create, Manage and Distribute Compelling Content from Anywhere
Dalet, a leading provider of solutions and services for broadcasters and content professionals, has opened up registration for live virtual events on its new digital meeting platform, Dalet Connect. An online resource designed to serve and support the media and entertainment community, Dalet Connect is a dedicated space where media professionals can discover Dalet product offerings and engage in live events to learn how they can improve operations and strengthen their content workflows. Dalet’s upcoming webinars will cover topics like streamlining the content supply chain, AI-enabled news production workflows, and enriched graphics production. All live webinars are now open for registration. Streamlined media processing inside your supply chain In today’s resource-scarce and competitive landscape, efficient content supply chains are essential to business success. Learn how Dalet AmberFin enables streamlined media processing and discover its latest capabilities from Product Manager Eric Carson. EMEA - May 5th at 4 PM CE AMERICAS - May 5th at 10 AM and 2 PM E APAC - May 6th at 12 PM SG Four AI-enabled news production workflows that will save you time, money, and nerves In this webinar, Raoul Cospen, Dalet’s News Market Director, explores how Dalet Media Cortex AI-driven indexing, discovery, captioning and rough cut capabilities can boost content production, management and publishing. During a time where most production teams are working remotely, Dalet Media Cortex smart content recommendations will enable them to tell richer stories. EMEA - June 2nd at 10 AM & 7 PM CET AMERICAS - June 2nd at 1 PM ET APAC - June 2nd at 4 PM SGT Impactful graphics that will increase your viewer engagement With content consumption growth across digital channels and audiences craving image-rich news stories, it’s critical that broadcasters have a connected premium graphics workflow. In this webinar, Dalet and long-term partner Brainstorm join forces to show you the tools that empower content creators to drive a consistent brand message with engaging visuals EMEA - June 16th at 10 AM & 7 PM CET AMERICAS - June 16th at 1 PM ET APAC - June 16th at 4 PM SGT All webinars will be available for on-demand streaming after the event date. Register for the webinars to receive instant alerts when content becomes available and subscribe to Dalet’s newsletter to receive updates on future events. Watch the Dalet Pulse Encore This year, Dalet brought its Media Innovation Summit, Dalet Pulse, to the web. Watch the 30-minute online encore anytime to learn about the latest Dalet innovations and best enable new ways of working. Adapt quickly by leveraging the latest advancements in media technology to ensure business continuity while optimizing audience satisfaction. Register and watch the 2020 Dalet Pulse Online recording now. For more information on upcoming Dalet digital events or to book online product demos and virtual meetings, please visit connect.dalet.com. About Dalet Digital Media Systems Dalet solutions and services enable media organizations to create, manage and distribute content faster and more efficiently, fully maximizing the value of assets. Based on an agile foundation, Dalet offers rich collaborative tools empowering end-to-end workflows for news, sports, program preparation, post-production, archives and enterprise content management, radio, education, governments and institutions. Dalet platforms are scalable and modular. They offer targeted applications with key capabilities to address critical functions of small to large media operations - such as planning, workflow orchestration, ingest, cataloging, editing, chat & notifications, transcoding, play out automation, multi-platform distribution and analytics. The integration of the Ooyala Flex Media Platform business has opened vast opportunities for Dalet customers to deploy successful strategies that better address their audiences with agile multi-platform content distribution in a wider range of markets, such as sports for teams and leagues, brands and corporate organizations, as well as Media and Entertainment companies looking to scale up their digital offerings. Dalet solutions and services are used around the world at hundreds of content producers and distributors, including public broadcasters (BBC, CBC, France TV, RAI, TV2 Denmark, RFI, Russia Today, RT Malaysia, SBS Australia, VOA), commercial networks and operators (Canal+, FOX, MBC Dubai, Mediacorp, Fox Sports Australia, Turner Asia, Mediaset, Orange, Charter Spectrum, Warner Bros, Sirius XM Radio), sporting organizations (National Rugby League, FIVB, Bundesliga) and government organizations (UK Parliament, NATO, United Nations, Veterans Affairs, NASA). Dalet is traded on the NYSE-EURONEXT stock exchange (Eurolist C): ISIN: FR0011026749, Bloomberg DLT:FP, Reuters: DALE.PA. Dalet® is a registered trademark of Dalet Digital Media Systems. All other products and trademarks mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.