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Sep 03, 2020
Trailblazing Transcoding in the Cloud. Anywhere, at scale and with premium results!
New Dalet AmberFin Cloud Transcoder gives access and scalability with outstanding high-quality results

An interview with Eric Carson

Eric is Dalet’s general manager for West Coast US & Canada, who is bringing his expertise in media processing to accelerate the AmberFin roadmap.

Dalet AmberFin has been a go-to media conversion platform for high-end content for years now. Its scalable media processing tools offer transcode, color conversion, packaging, and file transport with an emphasis on the quality of the output. The AmberFin transcode engine was initially designed to run on cost-effective, commodity IT hardware on-premises, but on September 1, 2020 that all changed with the launch of Dalet AmberFin Cloud Transcoder.

 

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The same great picture quality… with unlimited processing power and scalability!

The new AmberFin Cloud Transcoder service is accessed through the same workflow engine as the on-premises transcoder, with the added advantage of immediate access to extra processing power in the cloud any time it’s needed. This gives facilities the ability to control an on-premises, fixed-capacity deployment and a burst-capacity deployment from the same workflow engine and REST API.  

We know our customers come to rely on AmberFin because of the quality and complexity of their requirements. Simpler transcode services can’t handle problems like having to do a standard conversion, in addition to a mezzanine conversion and putting a file package together at the end. AmberFin excels at that sort of complexity. So every feature that our customers know, like and love from the on-premises AmberFin solution, also works in the cloud.

 

AmberFin_Cloud Illustration

 

Nothing changes. Everything changes!

There is no need to port any existing conversion profiles or workflows to get the cloud service running. AmberFin customers can use the new cloud service by logging in with a simple set of credentials and gain immediate access to extra burst capacity at comparable speeds. 

The service is offered as a low-cost multi-tenant environment offering geographical flexibility, with the transcode container being cloned into the bucket closest to the request. Customers can also deploy the AmberFin container inside their own VPC (virtual private cloud) infrastructure, giving the more security-conscious customers the peace of mind to have everything within their own infrastructure, which is already under audit control.

 

Media professionals… Start your engines!

With the halt in productions in Q2 and Q3, there is now a backlog of material that needs to be processed and distributed to a growing number of platforms. Leveraging AmberFin in the cloud is the fastest way to transcode and still achieve the highest quality results. And for those companies that are now coming to the end of the lifespan of their on-premises transcoder capacity, they should consider going straight to Dalet AmberFin Cloud Transcoder. More options, better flexibility and agility to run your business.

 

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Eric Carson

General Manager, Dalet West Coast US & Canada

 

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Kevin explains the simplicity and its importance, “Because the Dalet-hosted service extends the capabilities of existing on-premises systems, our customers can quickly transition to working from home using the same tools and workflows within a safe and controlled environment. Security and scalability are incredibly important for our customers who must quickly turn on remote capabilities for hundreds of users and multiple workflows.” For more information, you can visit https://www.dalet.com/business-services/galaxy-xcloud In addition to Dalet Galaxy xCloud, Dalet offers a number of existing solutions to address the challenges introduced by new working conditions: Dalet OnePlay to run your studio with a reduced crew while preserving quality. Learn more: https://www.dalet.com/platforms/oneplay Ooyala Flex Media Platform to scale and meet all of your OTT packaging and multi-platform distribution needs. Learn more: https://www.dalet.com/ooyala-flex-media-platform Dalet StoreFront to source content remotely and expose your inventory to B2B clients and partners. Learn more: https://www.dalet.com/business-services/storefront Facilitate all digital interactions and online meetings with Dalet Connect As physical meetings and events cannot currently take place, Dalet has created a dedicated site called Dalet Connect. An extension to the main Dalet website, Dalet Connect aims at helping media professionals discover Dalet product offerings and online happenings, enabling fast demo, meeting and webinar bookings. Media professionals will be able to discuss their immediate needs and specific projects by engaging with the Dalet team in a dedicated online meeting environment. Robin Kirchhoffer, Dalet Marketing Director for Operations and Content, concludes, “Right now, we are fully focused on helping our customers and the industry as a whole. That’s been our driver since the beginning of this crisis. Through Dalet Connect we can talk to our clients, future users, and partners about specific challenges and help them find the right mix of solutions. It’s an incredibly challenging time for everyone and we are here to provide a pathway to business-as-usual, putting in place mechanisms that will serve the community now and in the future.” Join Dalet online today: connect.dalet.com About Dalet Digital Media Systems Dalet solutions and services enable media organizations to create, manage and distribute content faster and more efficiently, fully maximizing the value of assets. Based on an agile foundation, Dalet offers rich collaborative tools empowering end-to-end workflows for news, sports, program preparation, post-production, archives and enterprise content management, radio, education, governments and institutions. Dalet platforms are scalable and modular. They offer targeted applications with key capabilities to address critical functions of small to large media operations - such as planning, workflow orchestration, ingest, cataloging, editing, chat &amp; 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.
Why newsroom production has to adapt NOW to the new normal
Fierce competition for viewers along with a rapidly changing multiplatform environment has put newsrooms under immense stress. In the space of just a few weeks, news broadcasters have had to discard a lifetime’s worth of practices and hard-earned experience as anchors and reporters are dispatched to their homes where they continue to broadcast, but not always with the same technical finesse as viewers are accustomed to. And yet viewers are adaptable and readily accepting this vastly more ad-hoc content, while still appreciating high quality production where it’s possible. At the same time, as experienced broadcast practitioners deal with the fastest and most dramatic changes of their lifetimes, video is being distributed on more platforms, to more devices, in more places than ever. Viewers rely on traditional broadcasters Despite all of this, viewers still rely on traditional broadcasters. Even though social media is encroaching, when it comes to news, the world turns to familiar faces and channels. In fact, according to the Edelman Special Trust Barometer Report on COVID-19 (March 2020), the most relied-on source of information is mainstream news organizations: the major news outlets are relied on nearly twice as much as global health organizations (like WHO) or national health organizations (like the CDC). 54% of young people rely on social media and 56% on mainstream media, while people ages 55+ rate mainstream media as nearly three times more reliable than social. In the face of the new, socially-distanced reality, broadcasters have little choice but to rapidly pivot towards remote workflows, not just because this is an emergency, but because this could easily become the new normal. News moves from Hub to Home Until recently, the big challenge blocking a viable in-the-field or remote editing workflow was the costly and somewhat limiting infrastructure that was needed for even the most basic working system. Dedicated hardware, additional layers of security for accessing the central storage hub, and the difficulty of navigating VPNs limited broadcasters’ ability and willingness to deploy and scale at will. Vital collaboration between users was poor or lacking completely. To address these challenges, Dalet Galaxy five supports cloud-based workflows, using “intermediate media” to reduce performance issues and leverage cloud-based infrastructure to scale. Working in the cloud this way also reduces security issues as there is no need for a VPN or any VDI-like connection or a direct connection to the main content hub. This approach, which minimises overheads and keeps costs low, is immediately attractive to broadcasters and media companies, while giving editors and journalists a much better experience in the field and when working from home. Proxy editing enables a seamless remote editing experience, from home or the field Dalet OneCut, which is typically used in the newsroom to package stories, can be used - without limitations - in the field and at home. Its proxy editing capabilities mean working with lightweight files and lower bandwidth requirements, allowing journalists to work almost anywhere - even on a mobile phone connection. Because Dalet OneCut is a component of the Dalet Galaxy five platform, journalists can connect to the production hub and securely access assets, archives and resources. It's almost the same experience as working inside the newsroom. Journalists can pick up story assignments, retrieve assets and mix with local content, assemble packages and submit for distribution. Dalet’s smart caching protocol and secure connections to content hubs, archive systems and servers offer a friction-free exchange of resources and assets to keep the news content and stories flowing fast from anywhere. Journalists can mix the content from the central hub with their local content (media on a laptop or desktop). It’s a simple search and retrieve process - users don’t even need to know where the content lives. Reporters can share EDLs with colleagues and the production center, which is particularly important when sending a story back to the main news hub for finalization or developing a storyline for collaboration with colleagues. It’s fast, efficient and easy-to-do. And when the package is finished, Dalet Galaxy five offers a clever way of downloading and uploading only the media that is needed for the project edit-and-render, so the system is never bogged down. &lt;iframe width="100%" height="415" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Xob4QoOKpLY" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen&gt;&lt;/iframe&gt; Mainstream news production operations have, for decades, been typically on an enterprise scale with technology and equipment that can’t easily be moved out of the building and into the field. But remote working - and even presenting - is today’s reality. The world can work efficiently anywhere. The benefits of this type of workflow are many - too many to list in our blog. If you have additional requirements, please contact us. We are here to help in any way we can!
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!
NBCUniversal promotes collaboration through tech in new Boston facility
With six studios and a 265-desk newsroom, the new NBCUniversal Boston Media Center is ready for content production and distribution, both via traditional linear television and streaming or podcasts. The facility, which officially opened its doors on Jan. 15, 2020, is located outside of Boston in Needham, Massachusetts. At 160,000 square feet, the building combines the operations of four properties that were previously in two separate locations, including WBTS, NBC 10 Boston; WNEU, Telemundo Nueva Inglaterra; cable news channel NECN; and NBC Sports Boston. Read more
Introducing Dalet StoreFront: A Frictionless and Secure Way for Media Organizations to Showcase Their Content to Their Clients
Dalet, a leading provider of solutions and services for broadcasters and content professionals, today announced Dalet StoreFront, a new SaaS-based solution that enables Dalet customers to create a content marketplace that offers a familiar shopping experience for their B2B clients, partners and affiliates. Dalet StoreFront manages multi-user access to Dalet MAM stored content with advanced search tools to quickly locate assets, filtered to only show relevant materials to a qualified client. Underpinned by Dalet MAM orchestration engine for content preparation and delivery, Dalet StoreFront creates an optimal content shopping experience that maximizes inventory exposure, repurposing and retail opportunities, bringing value to the overall media operation and business. This service will benefit just about every Dalet customer from news networks sharing assets across affiliates to sports leagues servicing licensees. “As audiences grow at a global scale, so does the need for more content. Maximizing exposure and facilitating discoverability of our customers’ new or untapped materials is more important than ever before,” states Luc Comeau, Market Director for MAM and Supply Chain at Dalet.“However, with this opportunity for increased content ROI comes additional supply chain complexities. Dalet StoreFront enables clients to tap into a rich Dalet MAM inventory with greater efficiency and speed, resurfacing and monetizing otherwise dormant archives, all within the familiar shopping experience that today’s digital shoppers come to expect.” The Dalet StoreFront shopping experience is easily actionable, discoverable through an intuitive browsing and online shopping model, and eliminates the need for back and forth email exchanges. Comeau explains,“Today many media operations rely heavily on unconnected processes to fulfill partners’ and licensees’ requests. Requests for content via email and disparate file delivery services are manually intensive and leave far too many opportunities to repurpose and resell content on the table,” states Comeau. “Dalet StoreFront identifies the ‘shopper’ and presents all of the relevant content options they can choose from, ensuring maximum catalog exposure while keeping content rights intact.” With Dalet StoreFront, licensing content is easier than ever. Content owners can easily identify and tag content rights for their community of licensees as well as establish rights to visitors and potential licensees. Dalet StoreFront secures your rich content inventory by keeping all the source content under the control and management of Dalet MAM. Only after an order has passed through all checks, automated by Dalet Orchestration, can the fulfillment happen, thus creating a segregated browse/shopping experience from the source catalog. For more information on Dalet StoreFront and other Dalet solutions, please visit https://www.dalet.com/business-services/storefront. Additionally, to learn even more about this innovative solution and the story behind it, check out our blog post here. About Dalet Digital Media Systems Dalet solutions and services enable media organisations 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 &amp; 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 &amp; 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 organizations (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. All other products and trademarks mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.