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Mar 17, 2020
Virtualization - is it always best? And is cloud a one-size-fits-all solution?
As global health concerns disrupt our traditional working models, companies need to consider how to fine-tune their infrastructure choices for business continuity.

How can hardware accelerators help?

Finding the right balance between virtualized infrastructure and optimising your in-house data centre keeps all IT-driven organizations constantly innovating.

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!

AmberFin

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!

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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!
The story behind Dalet StoreFront: open innovation, team collaboration and workflow expansion
Economists have an unusual word to describe the value in simple commodities like gold and platinum. It’s “fungible,” meaning that a substance is exchangeable. One piece of gold is the same as another piece. When you’re ordering gold, you don’t need to specify anything apart from how much of it you want to buy. You can split it up, mould it, melt it, recombine it and absolutely nothing has changed. You still only ever need to specify the weight of gold that you want to buy - or sell. Most things are not like that. Cars aren’t fungible. Nor are houses. And nor is media. You can’t buy media by the ounce. Media has many more dimensions and characteristics, all of which affect its value. But that’s only part of the story, because any given piece of media will have a different value to different buyers. Wildlife footage has very little value to an organisation that specialises in motor racing. Let’s look at this in more detail The media landscape today is significantly different in almost every way to how it was thirty years ago. Films are now files. Negatives are numbers. Cupboards full of tapes and reels have migrated to the cloud. And “supervising” all of this is a Media Asset Management system (MAM). Files are not physical things, and that opens up an incredible range of possibilities, but, because you can’t store non-physical things on shelves, you need an all-embracing MAM system like Dalet to keep track of all the ephemeral properties of millions of blobs of data. What is Dalet StoreFront? Dalet StoreFront is a window into the hidden value of a media organisation's media assets. It allows existing Dalet users to display their content to other media organisations, safely and simply. Essentially, it uses Dalet’s ability to orchestrate content to provide a browsing and fulfillment back-end to Dalet StoreFront’s users. The beauty of this arrangement is that there is virtually zero extra effort needed to prepare media. All the information - the metadata - about the media would have been input to the Dalet MAM as part of the normal process of onboarding media files. This is likely to include information about the title, authors, rights (including restrictions about usage) and also data about what’s contained within the clip, possibly including timecode references. There would also be information about format, resolution and whether or not the clip is in HDR, for example. This metadata, which needs to be there anyway as part of the normal usage of a Dalet MAM system, is exactly what’s needed as the basis for a transaction with a potential buyer. And because of the richness of the metadata, Dalet StoreFront is able to make sure that a media purchaser only sees content that it is allowed to acquire. Dalet StoreFront in Use Imagine a subscription based television provider specialising in travel and wildlife programming. Their world-class media content – programs, trailers, and B-roll content – needs to be distributed to a global network of broadcasters and partners. In a traditional model, the broadcaster/partner would need to email a request for materials. This request could be for marketing material to promote a program, highlights or materials to create the highlights, or the program itself. On the receiving end of the request – the television provider would need to check the rights of the content, the agreement with the partner, search the materials and send over a selection proxy assets. Once confirmed there is yet another step is to finalize the transaction and send assets, hopefully in the right format, via a file transfer service like Aspera. Every step requires manual interaction and investigation. When pressed for time, corners get cut and a sampling of what could be offered from the rich archives is shared for consideration. It’s a daunting process that affects the entire operation and more importantly, could shortchange the impact of the final material if a lesser quality asset was provided. Marketers Love Self-Serve Partners and broadcasters require marketing materials to promote programming. Eliminating the one-to-one requests, access to assets is predetermined, so only pre-approved marketing content is exposed to shoppers. Not only does this simplify the mass distribution of marketing material for new shows, it also makes it far more efficient to serve those broadcasters looking for a very specific asset...one that could promote the re-airing of an older program in a specific region. Find that B-Roll! Even a five-second shot used as B-roll can make all the difference to a producer looking for a specific shot to use in their highlight reel or production. Dalet StoreFront flips the traditional model and lets producers browse the catalog as opposed to an individual sending producers a handful of shots that may or may not be relevant. Dalet StoreFront broadens the selection to include ALL suitable content available for use. Requests for assets are sent to sales bringing the process down to a few simple steps. Prep Your Content for Global Delivery Much like marketing, handing localization of programming content under the traditional model involved many steps and efficiencies. New programs slated for worldwide distribution often need to be dubbed/subtitled in multiple languages. Dalet StoreFront presents localization entities (ex. companies like SDI Media, a Dalet customer) with the required proxy videos to begin their work. This eliminates the guesswork of who is to translate what along with the transfer back and forth of materials. 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The sheer value of the material means no direct access for outside partners. Dalet StoreFront connects to the Dalet MAM archive, creating a separate security layer that tethers the archived assets in a safe manner. This allows clubs, leagues and other partners to browse the archives and select the materials they want to use in their productions whether it’s for highlights, programs or game recap. The Dalet back-end manages the entire process from presenting the materials, to requests for assets and delivery. Running on Amazon Web Services, Dalet StoreFront makes these and many other workflow scenarios happen. Every shape and form of content becomes searchable, browsable - and obtainable. It’s safe, efficient, and is set to transform the way businesses find, acquire and incorporate content into their own productions. Do You Need Dalet StoreFront? 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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. All other products and trademarks mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.
With the Acquisition of Ooyala Flex Media Platform, Dalet Enters the Digital Distribution Space
The deal, officially announced last Monday, moves Dalet closer to being an end-to-end solutions provider By Brandon Costa, Director of Digital - SVG Monday, July 22, 2019 Last Monday, Dalet, a technology provider known largely for its production and content-management–media solutions, made a major move into the live-streaming–technology space, announcing the acquisition of Ooyala Flex Media Platform... Read more
Dalet Orchestrates Media Intelligence and Reveals Next-Gen Studio Automation at IBC2018
Dalet, a leading provider of solutions and services for media organizations and content professionals, today announced that it will showcase the latest version of its flagship Dalet Galaxy five platform for Media Asset Management (MAM) and Workflow Orchestration, along with two major product introductions: the Dalet Media Cortex AI services and the Dalet OnePlay new-generation studio automation solution, at the upcoming IBC2018 exhibition held in Amsterdam from September 14–18, 2018 (stand 8.B77). “Today’s media businesses need to become more data-driven and build new paths to go direct to their consumers,” comments Arnaud Elnecave, vice president of marketing, Dalet. “This starts with a strategic investment in an open, agile technology platform with core workflow orchestration capabilities that enables a cohesive, agile digital media supply chain and puts content personalization at the forefront of the workflow design.” Elnecave elaborates, “The new products we announce at IBC2018 tackle strategic areas of your operations, bringing the entire value proposition of Dalet Galaxy five yet a level higher for your business. Dalet Media Cortex introduces tailored, managed cognitive services that will maximize the usability and effectiveness of your content at every step of its life cycle. Dalet OnePlay will augment shows by further optimizing the operational efficiency of your productions while enabling a much richer and personalized multiplatform experience for audiences." A nominee alongside Euronews for the coveted IBC2018 Innovation Awards content creation category, Dalet will showcase the new version of the market-leading Dalet Galaxy five MAM and Workflow Orchestration platform, introducing the following major enhancements: Dalet Media Cortex - Orchestrated AI Services for Media Workflows Unveiled at IBC2018, the new Dalet Media Cortex SaaS enables Dalet Galaxy five customers to connect and consume AI services on demand in a pay-as-you-go model. For media organizations to get full business value from their AI investment and operate at scale, they need the right method and the appropriate platform. Dalet Media Cortex makes it simple and effective. It connects and orchestrates smart combinations of cognitive services while managing all the complexity of data alignment. The AI-generated data is displayed at various levels of the Dalet Galaxy five application, in a set of new intuitive UIs, to provide contextual, actionable insights and recommendations to the users. Dalet OnePlay - Modern Automated Studio Production Dalet will also unveil Dalet OnePlay at IBC2018, a new-generation studio automation solution designed to modernize live production with synchronized multiplatform distribution. An extension of the Dalet Galaxy five platform, Dalet OnePlay fully leverages the MAM, NRCS and workflow orchestration capabilities to open up new forms of collaboration inside productions, automating more complex events, and eventually helping create new forms of audience engagement and revenue opportunities while optimizing costs. Dalet OnePlay benefits any sho production, making it an ideal solution for newscasts, sports magazines, live and live-to-tape studio shows. Dalet OnePlay’s modern and efficient UI and UX combined with the agile Dalet Galaxy five News Production and Workflow Orchestration platform enables custom live production workflows with more advanced collaboration and unrivaled operational flexibility, way beyond traditional automated production control solutions. Cloud, Remote Editing and IMF Workflows In addition to the new AI and studio automation product introductions, Dalet Galaxy five features several important enhancements that will be showcased at IBC. For hybrid on-premises and cloud deployments, the platform offers auto-scaling capabilities to balance infrastructure load and optimize costs. This new feature allows selected media processes to scale up and down automatically, according to a combination of process predictions, business rules and real-time demand. Dalet will also showcase new remote editing capabilities that leverage the AWS infrastructure as a service resource. Dalet OneCut editors - such as journalists working in the field - can connect to the central bureau or facility to search and browse content, seamlessly mix it on their timeline with locally stored content (even in offline mode), and offload the rendering to the central site. Elnecave adds, “The real advantage of leveraging AWS for remote editing is in the user experience. For editors connecting from the field or from another facility, the combination of S3 storage and Cloudfront gives a much more efficient workflow and a more fluid editing UX.” A pioneer of component-based workflows, including IMF workflows industrialization, Dalet Galaxy five creates real business opportunities for global distribution. Key Dalet Galaxy five MAM and Orchestration functionality stores rich technical metadata, with workflow design tools, to automate IMF processes such as complex CPLs creation/rendering and supplemental IMF Packages management. Shown at IBC are new Dalet WebSpace tools for preview, review and approval of all objects of an IMF package, including the CPL, with a glance at the Video Timeline available on any web client, eliminating the need for mastering tools. IBC2018 attendees can book a private demonstration or workflow consultation with a Dalet expert to learn more about Dalet Galaxy five, Dalet Media Cortex and Dalet OnePlay feature highlights. Dalet Press Briefings at IBC Show 2018 To schedule a press briefing with Dalet, please contact Nick Govoni at nick@zazilmediagroup.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. Dalet solutions and services are used around the world at hundreds of content producers and distributors, including public broadcasters (BBC, CBC, France TV, RAI, RFI, Russia Today, RT Malaysia, SBS Australia, VOA), commercial networks and operators (Canal+, FOX, MBC Dubai, Mediacorp, Mediaset, Orange, Charter Spectrum, Warner Bros, Sirius XM Radio) 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.
Dalet Introduces Dalet Galaxy five at NAB 2018
Dalet, a leading provider of solutions and services for broadcasters and content professionals, today announced that it will unveil Dalet Galaxy five at NAB 2018. The new version of the award-winning media asset management and workflow orchestration platform brings a number of important functional enhancements and three major technology innovations that augment media operations and enable new forward-thinking business models. The first enables broadcasters and media organizations to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) across the workflow, the second leverages hybrid infrastructures with on-premises and Cloud deployments, the third puts social media at the core of the operations. “Dalet Galaxy five converges new media frameworks and leading-edge technology that enable true business and operational transformation,” states Arnaud Elnecave, vice president of marketing, Dalet. “At NAB, we will show how this new version delivers more value with practical applications of new AI integrations, hybrid operations and social media workflows, along with the many enhancements across editing, show automation, multiplatform production, workflow orchestration and collaboration.” NAB 2018 attendees can book a private demonstration or workflow consultation with a Dalet expert to learn more about the following Dalet Galaxy five feature highlights: Artificial Intelligence Framework The new Dalet Galaxy five AI framework connects, orchestrates and fine-tunes purpose-driven combinations of AI models, enabling media organizations to build intelligent workflows that assist users with recommendations, facilitate collaboration with smart matching, and use predictive analytics for better provisioning and automated decision-making. Elnecave elaborates on the key aspects of the new framework, “For media operations to get full business value from AI, it requires the right method and the appropriate platform. The new AI framework is designed to orchestrate combinations of cognitive services, fine-tune the models, version the data sets, align them with customers’ taxonomies, and eventually surface the results at various levels of the Dalet application stack to provide actionable insights and real business value to the users and to the organization.” Dalet Content Discovery, the first application to leverage this new AI framework, will be showcased at NAB 2018. The new module uses data generated by cognitive services, combined with existing metadata, to build smart content recommendations for editorial and creative teams. Deployed as part of the Dalet Unified News Operations and Sports Production solution, Dalet Content Discovery leverages automatic content tagging, topic extraction and key phrase searches, orchestrating a combination of Auto Indexing and Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology. Social Media Framework The Dalet Social Media framework enables newsrooms to treat social media as an integrated part of their overall news operation. Journalists can harvest, analyze, produce and deliver fast-paced news on social media platforms alongside traditional outlets. The story-centric workflow offers familiar indicators such as number of views, likes, shares, as well as audience comments and threads. Visual engagement data lets journalists know how their posts are performing with their audience and discover new angles audiences are expecting. With analytical tools and dynamic content at their fingertips, journalists can quickly evolve posts into deeper stories or segue into a new angle. New capabilities include social media popularity indicators, Twitter harvester, scheduling and approval of social posts, expanded emoji library, contextual graphics and subtitles. Hybrid Workflows and Operations Dalet Galaxy five introduces new integrations with AWS infrastructure services, enabling hybrid scalable architectures that help minimize content handling costs and introduce more mobility in the user experience while enhancing the security of content. Elnecave elaborates, “Dalet is offering a tight and seamless integration with AWS. Two examples, which will be shown on the stand, are the auto-scalability capability to save on infrastructure costs and the native support of S3 and Glacier. The latter provides a seamless user experience; for instance, content served to our web-based and mobile app clients Dalet WebSpace and Dalet On-the-Go respectively can be hosted on and streamed directly from S3.” The new hybrid capabilities will be illustrated at NAB 2018 with four distinct Dalet Galaxy five workflows – Archive in the Cloud, External Content Review, Multi-Site Federation & Content Sharing, and Disaster Recovery. Enhanced Workflow Orchestration The new version of the Dalet Workflow Engine included in Dalet Galaxy five offers enhanced task management, high availability and new API services that simplify the integration with third-party systems. Recently added capabilities shown at NAB 2018 include top-down view of group tasks and shared task lists as well as task time tracking and data aggregation for reporting and analysis. Component-Based Workflows Power Multiplatform Productions Dalet Galaxy five disintermediates the media supply chain, allowing users to produce, manage and distribute content at the component level, a much more efficient and flexible way to facilitate complex and mass content volume workflows such as multiplatform news production and international programs preparation, localization and versioning. Elnecave explains, “In a traditional workflow you need to re-render your entire project several times throughout its lifecycle including every version you need to distribute. The Dalet Galaxy five data model and toolset allow comprehensive component-based workflows. A much more flexible approach that de-duplicates media and offers significant savings on production time and delivery, both critical for managing complex international versioning workflows.” The model is particularly adapted to new families of standards such as the Interoperable Mastering Format or IMF. Dalet Galaxy five features a comprehensive set of tools within Dalet Webspace to manage end-to-end component-based IMF workflows from acquisition to production, versioning, packaging and distribution. This includes receiving IMF packages, referencing IMF assets in a central repository, leveraging IMF metadata, both technical and editorial, to search on all assets and data; generating proxies for preview of track files and CPLs in Dalet WebSpace; visualizing assets relationships (track files and CPLs, CPLs and OPLs), automating the creation of new versions, connecting CPLs using EIDR (Entertainment Identifier Registry) and ISAN (International Standard Audiovisual Number) ids. Enhanced Collaboration Beyond media management, Dalet Galaxy five is a full communication and collaboration platform for connected teams. New collaboration enhancements include Media Bins that provide the ultimate in media sharing flexibility; Dalet On-the-Go brings programs management tools to your phone and tablet; the updated Dalet Chat capabilities allow users to work by thread and embed assets such as graphics, audio and video files to provide a more comprehensive communication stream. Comprehensive Editing Experience Dalet Galaxy five offers a more comprehensive and collaborative editing experience to fit any workflow and editor's needs. Dalet Webspace features a story-boarder for cut editing anywhere; the Dalet OneCut built-in desktop editor gets richer with more editing tracks, new transitions and effects; the Dalet Xtend integration with Adobe Premiere Pro CC expands to support Adobe Projects as well as the Dalet CG-on-the-Timeline model. Enhanced Show Automation Expanding production control automation capabilities, Dalet Galaxy five offers a new version of Dalet On-Air, featuring new automation events macros for control of studio devices such as lighting, audio and camera position but also deep integration of these automation events with the full orchestration layer of the platform. Business Intelligence The new version of the Dalet Report Center features new set of data extractions and data model that supports analysis and reporting on a new set of business indicators. At NAB 2018, Dalet will illustrate this with some first business reports focused on a typical news operation and its contents. Learn More About Dalet Galaxy five at Dalet Pulse Join 250+ media and technology executives at Dalet Pulse to discover latest innovations from Dalet and technology partners. Dalet Pulse will take place on April 8th at the SLS Hotel in Las Vegas. To register, please visit: http://createsend.com/t/r-8CC34E99D2F084F42540EF23F30FEDED. Dalet Press Briefings at NAB Show 2018 To schedule a press briefing with Dalet, please contact Alex Molina at alex@zazilmediagroup.com. About Dalet Digital Media Systems Dalet solutions and services enable media organizations to create, manage and distribute content faster and more efficiently, fully maximizing the value of assets. Dalet products are built on three distinct platforms that, when combined, form versatile business solutions that power end-to-end workflows for news, sports, program preparation, production, archive and radio. Individually, Dalet platforms and products offer targeted applications with key capabilities to address critical media workflow functions such as ingest, QC, edit, transcode and multiplatform distribution. The foundation for Dalet productivity-enhancing workflow solutions, Dalet Galaxy is the enterprise Media Asset Management (MAM) & Orchestration platform that unifies the content chain by managing assets, metadata, workflows and processes across multiple and diverse production and distribution systems. Specially tailored for news and media workflows, this unique technology platform helps broadcasters and media professionals increase productivity while providing operational and business visibility. Dalet AmberFin is the high-quality, scalable transcoding platform with fully integrated ingest, mastering, QC and review functionalities, enabling facilities to make great pictures in a scalable, reliable and interoperable way. Addressing the demanding needs of studio production, multi-camera ingest, sports logging and highlights production, the innovative Dalet Brio video server platform combines density and cost-effectiveness with high reliability. Adopted by leading broadcasters, Dalet Cube is a suite of applications to create, manage and deliver graphics in a newsroom scenario. Dalet supports customers from the initial planning stages to well beyond project execution. Our global presence includes 17 offices strategically located throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, North America and South America, and a network of more than 60 professional partners serving 87 countries worldwide. This collective experience and knowledge enables our customers to realize potential increases in productivity, efficiency and value of their assets. The comprehensive Dalet Care program ensures deployments remain up and running with 24/7 support 365 days a year. Dalet systems are used around the world by many thousands of individual users at hundreds of TV and Radio content producers, including public broadcasters (ABS-CBN, BBC, CBC, DR, FMM, France TV, RAI, RFI, Russia Today, RT Malaysia, VOA), commercial networks and operators (Canal+, FOX, eTV, MBC Dubai, MediaCorp, Mediaset, Orange, Time Warner Cable, Warner Bros, Sirius XM Radio), and government organizations (Canadian House of Commons, Australian Parliament and UK Parliament). Dalet is traded on the NYSE-EURONEXT stock exchange (Eurolist C): ISIN: FR0011026749, Bloomberg DLT:FP, Reuters: DALE.PA. Dalet® is a registered trademark of Dalet Digital Media Systems. All other products and trademarks mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.
MAM Moves to the Cloud – Dalet has a View
The Cloud changes everything else in broadcast and since most MAMs are not cloud-native, will cloud kill MAM as we know it? Kevin Savina, director of product strategy, Dalet answered all your questions. Who actually makes money from MAM? Organizations using Media Asset Management (MAM) to increase their financial bottom line usually do so by reducing costs, increasing revenues or a combination of both. The big question is: how do we measure that? As you know, big questions often come with multiple answers... In this case, the main issue is that measuring the Return on Investment (ROI) of the implementation of a new MAM solution is not an easy task, because there is no baseline to measure it against. At Dalet, we believe the value can be measured. First let’s define what we mean by MAM. Dalet define it as the platform that helps with the management of an organization’s media assets, cataloging assets for search, browse and retrieval. When properly used, the MAM should be the primary access point for ingress, access and egress for media in the organization. The productivity boost from a properly designed catalog is the ability to find things when you need them and retrieve them for use as quickly as possible. The second key aspect of a modern MAM platform is the ability to orchestrate workflows to create value from these assets. MAMs that offer ‘If This, Then That’ (IFTTT) type of policies enable organizations to automate and keep tabs on all kinds of processes, including ingest operations, review & approvals, transcoding, automated QC and media distribution. Even at the basic IFTTT level, the ability to have a system route media within the organization has the value of eliminating wasted time (tasks no longer sit for a human resource to trigger or operate them), as well as providing limited reporting on proper completion. A well-designed MAM system with IFTTT policies will be able to report on the processes that were started and completed by this policy control. We can see the value brought by these platforms from two angles: Reducing operational costs by automating processes and facilitating human operations, through the cataloging of assets on one side and the orchestration of workflows on the other side. Increasing revenues by providing the ability to produce more and better content and/or to deliver this content to more outlets, thus maximizing the value of assets. Dalet customers who have implemented MAM systems have been able to substantially increase their productivity by a factorx4 to x6, and expand their content distribution by a factorx8 to x11. Has MAM delivered on its promises? From our point of view, the fact that a MAM project delivers on its promises is based on a combination of factors: - On the end-user side: Are the expectations well understood? Have the end-user needs been well taken into account? Is the choice of the vendor / solution motivated? Has the project been well managed? - On the vendor side: Is the product appropriate for the needs? Has the project been well managed? The issue isn’t so much whether MAM has delivered on its promises, but whether or not specific vendor promises of what a MAM is actually capable of, beyond the catalog, were fulfilled. There are numerous examples of vendors that have over-promised MAM capabilities for the ability to integrate with external metadata sources, interoperate with third-party systems, handle specific media formats and data models, or manage specific workflows. How does the Cloud change things? The Cloud implies multiple things at once: Virtualized machine instances Machines that are not in the local data center Storage that is not in the local data center Business rules to create and deploy machine instances and storage when required (i.e. elasticity) Billing models that align with operations, based on subscriptions or ‘pay for what you use’ Media customers are choosing to utilize some or all of these items as they implement a ‘cloud’ workflow. In some cases, they want media transformation and distribution to run as close to the edge as possible, thus lowering their costs of distribution. In other cases, we’re seeing entire pre-production workflows operate in the cloud in order to provide elastic costs to match job order billing. Cloud changes things in the sense that it adds a whole new level of flexibility to MAM deployments. Things that used to be fixed and constrained can now be used as needed. For example, cloud allows for: Flexible, dynamic and scalable IT infrastructure (compute or storage), with new pricing models IaaS/PaaS/SaaS models and access to new cloud-related services - for example Artificial Intelligence (AI) Just as there is no one definition of ‘cloud’ there is no one ‘cloud’ implementation or business model that is right for every customer. Vendors should be prepared to talk about each of the items the ‘cloud’ makes possible and discuss how their solution can fit within the customer needs. Point 1 impact is that MAM solutions need to support this new type of infrastructure. This is a new generation of infrastructure. The broadcast industry started with proprietary, ad-hoc hardware, then moved to off-the-shelf IT systems (servers, storage). Cloud is a similar change. Point 2 is the real game changer as it has real operational and business impacts. The core of MAM products is not impacted by such change. Assets will continue to be referenced in a system and tools will still be required to process the content. What is impacted is the eco-system around the MAM, which can now become much more dynamic. A MAM should be able to leverage cloud services so that users can benefit from the cloud through the MAM. And there again orchestration will be a key component, giving the ability to provision, control and monitor the various services available. Can you simply virtualize a MAM in the cloud and make it a success? The ability to successfully virtualize a MAM in the cloud obviously depends on how you measure success. We see success as customer-driven, not vendor-driven. If a customer wants to migrate their existing workflows and software licenses to an external datacenter for the purposes of offloading hardware management and gaining simpler, high availability / disaster recovery scenarios, virtualizing the existing MAM would be 100% appropriate. Some of our customers have been fully virtualizing their MAM solution for years and consider the project a success. Of course, simply virtualizing your existing MAM infrastructure and hosting it in a cloud environment (public or private) doesn’t gain the other cloud benefits of elastic business rules and elastic costs. To truly enable these items, MAM and workflow orchestration systems built around them should be architected to enable individual processes to be created and deployed as business needs require them, which requires that vendors have knowledge of the cloud platform the customer has chosen in order to properly create either a virtual machine instance or virtual container host, clone the proper process, start the machine/container, start the process and connect it to the central system (and of course, the opposite, when the business need expires). How do you architect asset management for the cloud without losing a lot of money? Like anything in a software organization, you start by listening to your customer’s needs, and then you build the pieces necessary to fulfill those needs. Controlling costs in software builds is a matter of two things: Proper architecture and planning up front Good project management to control engineering processes and minimize the impact of external changes Does MAM have a future? If so, what form will it take and why? MAM catalogs are an essential part of media operations, and they are not disappearing. Media organizations will always need to be able to search, browse and retrieve their media assets, retaining metadata from the interaction with external systems, and enabling workflow orchestration on top of those media-aware data models. Tapping into the deep, multi-layered data model of MAM platforms such as Dalet Galaxy, internal or external reporting and analytics tools allow users to analyze vast amounts of data and offer Business Intelligence (BI) specifically tailored for media operations in order to measure performance throughout the chain and build sound data-driven strategies. This is one of the keys to growth for media organizations who greatly benefit from the agility and accessibility of the Cloud. Smart vendors see the cloud as an enabler of new business models, providing customers what they want, when they want it. MAM needs to move from a solution to a smooth part of a business workflow. For a MAM to be future-proof, it must enable more and more workflows around it, provide a high level of agility, and last but not least, be easy to integrate. Cloud is not a destroyer of worlds, it is a creator of them. Thanks to The Broadcast Bridge for the interview of Kevin Savina. Read the full interview here: https://www.thebroadcastbridge.com/content/entry/8847/mam-moves-to-cloud-dalet-has-a-view
2017 Trends in Media Asset Management - Q&A with Kevin Savina, Product Strategy Director
This Q&A article is a repost from The Broadcast Bridge website. Kevin Savina, Product Strategy Director for Dalet, discusses with The Broadcast Bridge important 2017 trends in media asset management – multi-platform distribution, collaboration, workflow orchestration and business intelligence reporting – that broadcasters, facilities and content producers should keep at the forefront of their decision-making. The Broadcast Bridge (TBB): How are changing audience consumption habits combined with the continued rise of social media impacting multi-platform distribution? Kevin Savina (KS): In order to be addressed efficiently, Multiplatform distribution workflows need to be considered at the heart of the operations, and not as an afterthought. The MAM solution is key to enabling efficiency in this process. Not only does it need to manage the stock and the preparation flow of all the program elements needed for outbound content on all distribution channels, but it also needs to cater for a return path of data, and even more so with social channels. Let’s start withthe program preparation aspect. In multi-platform distribution, we still face challenges of similar nature as the ones traditional linear broadcasting faces - dealing with multiple languages, multiple audio tracks, multiple subtitle tracks, and different delivery formats - but these need to be taken to a much larger scale. By providing the right toolset and automating the packaging process, the combination of MAM & orchestration optimizes that preparation, facilitating a much more efficient multi-platform distribution workflow. Now let’s move to the aspect of the return data path from the distribution platforms back into the MAM, as it is key for collecting important data on content performance. Typically, traditional MAM solutions preparing content for delivery on linear channels have not been concerned with any consumption data flowing back. But with digital platforms (OTT and social media), this data is now available and not tapping into it for new strategies is a missed opportunity. To lay properly the foundation for the new ‘game’, these data sources should be connected back to the MAM, mapped in the data model, and made available in various aggregates, to various users groups, at various stages, in order drive more informed decisions at the editorial and content preparation level, as well as longer term strategies. COLLABORATION TBB Question: We operate in a work-anywhere world with multi-disciplinary teams, how is MAM keeping pace with this trend? KS: MAM started out as the platform to manage your media assets, but has now evolved into a solution that manages workflows to prepare these assets. To do this efficiently, it is not enough to manage access rights and share content, you need native collaboration tools. Having users accessing the system from different locations, over secured web clients or mobile applications allows for distributed teams to operate. Providing built-in chat and notification tools ensures they operate with maximum productivity. And finally, providing solutions for multi-site operations, brings together cross-geography workflows, making the walls of separate offices & facilities a distant memory. The combination of these tools, if done right, can turn the MAM into a true collaboration platform. WORKFLOW ORCHESTRATION TBB Question: We have more content to produce, more tasks to manage, more technologies to connect, more changes to come – how is workflow orchestration evolving to manage the growing demands? KS: Well, there is indeed a need for workflow orchestration to optimize efficiency around MAM driven workflows. From a design perspective, there has always been a divide between 2 schools of thought: should orchestration be part of the MAM platform or a separate system? There is no definite answer to this question, but I would tend to believe that the most efficient solution is to have an orchestration layer very closely coupled to the MAM. This scenario would make full use of the comprehensive metadata available in the MAM to drive business rules as well as ensure consistency when continuously changing these business rules and operations – as mentioned in the first topic. Our choice has been to have orchestration as an open component that is natively integrated with the MAM. If we look at the orchestration component itself, it needs to be a BPM platform based on standards such as BPMN 2.0, which will orchestrate a combination of automated technical processes and human tasks/operations. This is key to efficiency. Any partial solution will limit what can be accomplished. What’s interesting today is that we even see some organisations, who already have MAM systems in place, but no built-in orchestration, looking for solutions like Dalet as a complementary layer that facilitates workflows across their legacy siloes, improving efficiency and bringing visibility at a higher level. CLOUD TBB Question: Cloud – what can we expect from MAM & the Cloud? KS: Well, let me start by making an important distinction between “MAM in the Cloud” and “MAM and the Cloud”. In general, moving some part of an operation to Cloud is not just a technology change, it will also affect other areas such as financial planning, operations, personnel, etc... As such it typically requires a transition phase. A first approach, that we see with our customers is what I would call “MAM and the Cloud”. It consists, in keeping a traditional MAM solution, running on premise, but taking advantage of some Cloud services as IaaS (Compute and Storage on AWS or Azure are the most common) but also some SaaS services. It does not fundamentally change the MAM operations work, but it does bring a significant first layer of flexibility to our customers. A second approach would be “MAM in the Cloud”. There you have the whole MAM system running in the Cloud. There are some customers that have made this move to “All-in on Cloud”, but very few so far. What we expect to see more often is what I would call ‘Edge Cloud Workflows’, whereby we work with our customers to provide a ‘Cloud-based solution’ to a specific existing business or workflow problem and nicely integrate this with their pre-existing workflow. The key aspect here is that this gives full flexibility to our customers to decide what area makes the most sense to gradually implement in the Cloud. BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE TBB Question: How is MAM helping content owners collect, model and exploit data? KS: “Data-driven” is one of the current buzz-words of Management Gurus. Well, if you look at the point of view of the broadcasters and content owners, a well-structured MAM back-end, tightly combined with orchestration is the only way to enable data-driven media operations. First, to build the proper data model for a data-driven media strategy you need to combine: The metadata - of the media assets, their taxonomy and the relationships between assets (available in the MAM) The data about the users the groups they pertain to and their rights (available in the MAM) the time they spend on their tasks (available in the BPM) The data fed back from audiences on each asset (available in the MAM) The data about the infrastructure and all the connected software services (combining data available in the MAM and in the BPM) Then to make it actually usable for decisions you need to consolidate this data and aggregate it into actionable insight for various users and in various tools: In the MAM and its production tools In the BPM, the tasks it displays or its provisioning algorithms In the BI and the set of reports it facilitates CLOSING The key question to ask is whether the MAM will respond to the business requirements of your facility. Can it enable true integration between silos of production? Can it offer you the services you need in such a way that the cost savings can be established without compromising the quality of the content produced? Is it sufficiently scalable and extensible so that it can deliver the agility required to respond to new business and new business models? What would be required to add a new broadcast channel? What would it take to deliver content out to a new content distribution network? What would it take to integrate a new content production unit? What would it take to rapidly scale up the number of users? How is it integrated with the Cloud? These are the essential features that will ensure you are truly future-proofing your facility.
The Power of the Cloud - Part 2
Last month, in the first part of our blog series on the Power of the Cloud, we discussed the importance of evaluating your organization’s business needs before exploring any technology projects – especially cloud-based technology projects. Whether it’s growing your business by launching a new OTT service or streamlining your organization by bringing down geographical barriers, all projects must be based on well-defined, shared business goals. An equally important task is to identify the right partner(s) for your project. While many technology vendors within the media industry use the word “cloud” in their marketing collateral, few of them actually possess all the key ingredients required to envision, architect, deploy and maintain such forward-looking, media management solutions in real life. At Dalet, our approach to the cloud is unique – like your workflow. With a quarter century tradition of innovation at the intersection of media and IT technologies, we have developed rock-solid foundations: award-winning technology platforms for media management and operations based on the last IT technologies and featuring targeted, user-friendly applications to address all types of media workflow functions full-fledge professional services with regional teams that count some of the best talents in the industry broad ecosystem of technology partners, especially for strategic infrastructure and cloud technologies long-term relationships with customers and vast, diversified experience in the broadcast & media industry Building on these foundations, we are monitoring trends and new technology developments in order to continuously adapt and, most importantly, always provide as much value as possible to our customers. That’s why, almost one year ago, we revealed the company’s long-term vision of the ever-evolving content supply chain: Dalet xN! Re-architecting business solutions in the cloud with Dalet xN Far beyond a simple replication of existing infrastructure and media workflow, Dalet xN solutions exploit the new business and technological possibilities brought about through the advancement of cloud, virtualization, dynamic scalability and hybrid on/off-premise deployments, expanding opportunities and increasing the effectiveness of the media economy. While the concept of migrating a workflow or specific element of one’s workflow to the cloud or virtualized environment itself is not revolutionary, Dalet xN solutions go beyond this by extending and augmenting cloud and hybrid environments to provide a truly dynamic and flexible business infrastructure. Whereas today many organizations offer a specific service or product that often puts limits on the type of workflow you can implement, Dalet offerings can be tightly integrated or loosely coupled to fit a user’s specific workflow needs. Dalet xN solutions give you the power to reimagine your operations and invent the future, at the right pace! 3 key concepts, 3 core values When it comes to developing world-class, cloud-based media management solutions, three fundamental concepts rapidly emerge: infrastructure, operations and business. Dalet xN was built from the ground up on the three following core values: Agile infrastructure NextGen operations New business horizons Through smart management of physical and virtual technology, Dalet xN solutions allow content owners, creators and distributors to easily respond to resource needs and dynamically scale workflows, or parts thereof, at will. Accessible administration and user tools deliver the ease of use that users have come to expect from virtualized and cloud-based services and solutions. Intuitive mobile apps and web-based user interfaces combined with robust automation and advanced metrics reporting give users more information and more freedom to be creative at every level of the business, from artistic tasks to business direction. No longer do users need to be tied to their desk. With Dalet xN, they can be more mobile, more creative and more informed. With the ability to scale an enterprise workflow or components of it up and down at will, Dalet xN allows content owners to not only react to their changing environments, but to also innovate the many ways they interact with their suppliers, users or audience. By lowering the cost of the initial infrastructure investment required for new projects and project expansions, operators can explore new revenue streams and rethink the way they work in their own media supply chain, opening doors to new opportunities. From standalone point solutions to tailored deployments A key differentiator of Dalet xN is the breadth of the offering. From affordable, on-demand marketplace apps, to hybrid, standard image solutions and native, enterprise-wide tailored deployments, Dalet xN solutions suit all needs. The frosting on the cake? All of these are backed up with world-class professional services and global support. 1. Standalone, Marketplace Apps Collaborating with Microsoft Azure and AWS Marketplace, Dalet develops packaged, targeted and pre-configured applications based on its technology platforms. On-demand, scalable, powerful and payable by the hour, the Dalet xN apps democratize specific media operations once only available to media professionals with high-end equipment. The first two apps available are based on the Dalet AmberFin media processing platform. Both xN Standards Converter and xN IMF Maker help streamline international distribution operations, with intuitive interfaces, simple settings and all the power behind AmberFin. 2. Hybrid, standard image solutions These standard or specialized solutions allow our customers to make creative use of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to add flexibility to their operations by moving individual services to the cloud. The mindset is usually about taking a progressive approach by identifying bottlenecks and inefficiencies that can be addressed with cloud technologies, while preserving existing investments. Coherent subsets of workflows are moved to the cloud but keep a tight connection to the on-premise system. Use cases include business continuity / disaster recovery, dematerialized ingest hubs, and temporary cloud-based newsrooms (see here). 3. Native, cloud-based tailored solution The third type of solutions are native, enterprise- wide tailored deployments, where the mindset is to completely rethink operations. Here, entire workflows are developed and/or moved to the cloud. Customers frequently ask us to create media management platforms that are highly extendable in terms of new services that can be added into the workflow, as well as the ability to scale the infrastructure in terms of number of users and volume of content processing on any given day. Let’s take a look behind the scenes! Take a sneak peek into some Dalet xN solutions used by our customers: Multi-location review and approval workflow for a major TV network Dalet deployed an agile Media Asset Management (MAM) platform for a wide array of internal content sharing, documentation, review and approval, which importantly had to accommodate contributions from staff in multiple locations. The full system runs on Amazon Web Services. International, fast turnaround workflow for a global content supplier Dalet provided a very low-latency workflow for content ingest, review and distribution. Dalet AmberFin nodes on Amazon Web Services can be turned on and off on demand. Bursts in demand that require intensive computing can be managed by using business rules controlled by the customer, helping them decide when to increase or decrease the processing power. Online publishing with complex editorial / workflow for a news outlet To manage a mix of original and externally acquired content and to prepare, package and publish growing amounts of content to online video platforms, Dalet deployed a sophisticated MAM-driven production system on a fully hybrid infrastructure. Robust, cloud-based media management workflow for a leading stock footage supplier To support Clippn in the highly dynamic market place for stock footage, Dalet deployed a complete, end-to-end cloud-based media production and management system in partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS), enabling Clippn to be highly responsive and scale their infrastructure on demand. Having the solution entirely in the cloud was a must for Clippn to handle its numerous contributors and geographically dispersed workforce. Want to elevate your media workflow to the cloud? Contact us and explore xn.dalet.com!
The Power of the Cloud - Part 1
“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.
Clippn Reimagines Media Enterprise with Dalet xN
Dalet Digital Media Systems, a leading provider of software-based solutions for media organizations, announced today that Clippn, an online platform delivering ready-for-sale video clips to stock footage distributors, has moved its production and distribution infrastructure to the Dalet xN business solution. In partnership with Amazon Web Services, the new cloud-based infrastructure leverages the Dalet Galaxy media asset management (MAM) and Dalet AmberFin media processing platforms. Clippn, which distributes through multiple stock footage sites, is a leader in stock content distribution with a 50% global market penetration. Citing the increased demand for content across multiple screens and an industry year-over-year growth rate of nearly 30%, Clippn sought a partner who could help reimagine its operation, providing an agile infrastructure to meet contracting and expanding demands at will. Video: Clippn Reimagines Media Enterprise with Dalet xN “Getting these clips to market has traditionally been a problem,” comments Mick Reed, founder and CEO, Clippn. “We had to streamline the complexity of the product chain from initial ingest through processing and distribution. We knew we could not achieve that with our current on-premise infrastructure, which is why we started looking at building a flexible cloud-based infrastructure and approached Dalet, who we knew as the leading Media Asset Management provider on the market.” “We realized that this project perfectly matched our vision with Dalet xN – how cloud-based technologies can provide innovative answers to modern business challenges in the media industry,” reflects Kevin Savina, Dalet director of product strategy. In addition to needing a flexible and scalable solution, gaining from the experience of Dalet in program preparation workflows has been critical for Clippn. As a result, they have a complete solution for collecting, managing and delivering footage, starting with content gathering from multiple contributors, followed by ingest, editing, color correction, verification and QC, and finally, distribution to stock footage sites. The final installation provided Clippn: Agile Infrastructure: Dalet xN is highly configurable, enabling Clippn to adapt their operations on a constant basis. Supports Next-Gen Operations: Having the system hosted in the cloud was a must for Clippn to be able to handle contributors and a workforce that are completely geographically spread. Enables New Business Horizons: Thanks to a scalable and elastic architecture, Clippn was able to put in place a solution that will scale with their needs. “Dalet has everything we need. It is a robust platform that can handle the volume of video content that moves through our pipeline. It is also elastic so higher volumes of content don’t slow us down,” adds Mick. “We were able to create a cloud-based workflow that maximizes efficiency and actually integrates craft editing and curation, which I believe is a first.” The automation built into the platform is critical, avoiding wasted steps and letting the Clippn team focus on what actually adds value to their product. And because each one of the Clippn distributors has different metadata and delivery specifications, the system has to be both adaptable and future-proof so new distributors can be added, allowing them to continuously scale their success. Proven Dalet technology (Dalet Galaxy and AmberFin) in partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) delivers this in a robust, dynamic, cloud-based ecosystem that will help Clippn grow its business for many years to come. See Dalet xN at the 2016 NAB Show To find out more about Clippn and meet Mick Reed, visit the Dalet xN area of the Dalet booth SL3905 at NAB 2016, near the “Re-Charge Bar.” For more information on Dalet xN, please visit xn.dalet.com. About Dalet Digital Media Systems Dalet software-based solutions enable media organizations to create, manage and distribute content faster and more efficiently, fully maximizing the value of assets. Dalet products are built on three distinct platforms that, when combined, form versatile business solutions that power end-to-end workflows for news, sports, program preparation, production, archive and radio. Individually, Dalet platforms and products offer targeted applications with key capabilities to address critical media workflow functions such as ingest, QC, edit, transcode and multiplatform distribution. The foundation for Dalet productivity-enhancing workflow solutions, Dalet Galaxy is the enterprise NRCS and MAM that unifies the content chain by managing assets, metadata, workflows and processes across multiple and diverse production and distribution systems. Specially tailored for news and media workflows, this unique technology platform helps broadcasters and media professionals increase productivity while providing operational and business visibility. Dalet AmberFin is the high-quality, scalable transcoding platform with fully integrated ingest, mastering, QC and review functionalities, enabling facilities to make great pictures in a scalable, reliable and interoperable way.
Addressing the demanding needs of studio production, multi-camera ingest, sports logging and highlights production, the innovative Dalet Brio video server platform combines density and cost-effectiveness with high reliability. Dalet supports customers from the initial planning stages to well beyond project execution. Our global presence includes 17 offices strategically located throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, North America and South America, and a network of more than 60 professional partners serving 87 countries worldwide. This collective experience and knowledge enables our customers to realize potential increases in productivity, efficiency and value of their assets. The comprehensive Dalet Care program ensures deployments remain up and running with 24/7 support 365 days a year. Dalet systems are used around the world by many thousands of individual users at hundreds of TV and Radio content producers, including public broadcasters (ABS-CBN, BBC, CBC, DR, FMM, France TV, RAI, RFI, Russia Today, RT Malaysia, VOA), commercial networks and operators (Canal+, FOX, eTV, MBC Dubai, MediaCorp, Mediaset, Orange, Time Warner Cable, Warner Bros, Sirius XM Radio), and government organizations (Canadian House of Commons, Australian Parliament and UK Parliament). Dalet is traded on the NYSE-EURONEXT stock exchange (Eurolist C): ISIN: FR0011026749, Bloomberg DLT:FP, Reuters: DALE.PA. Dalet® is a registered trademark of Dalet Digital Media Systems. All other products and trademarks mentioned herein belong to their respective owners. For more information on Dalet, visit www.dalet.com
Why Ingest to the Cloud?
With Cloud storage becoming cheaper and the data transfer to services such as Amazon S3 storage being free of charge, there are numerous reasons why ingesting to the Cloud should be part of any media organization’s workflow. So, stop trying to calculate how much storage your organization consumes by day, month or year, or whether you need a NAS, a SAN or a Grid, and find out why Cloud could be just what your organization needs. Easy Sharing of Content Instead of production crews or field journalists spending copious amounts of time and money shipping hard drives to the home site or being limited by the bandwidth of an FTP server when uploading content, with object storage services like Amazon S3 or Microsoft Azure, uploading content to the Cloud has become easy and cheap. Once content is uploaded to the Cloud, anyone with secure credentials can access it from anywhere in the world. Rights Access to Content In recent news, cloud storage services such as Apple iCloud were hacked and private content was stolen, increasing the concern about security and access rights to content in the Cloud. With secure connections such as VPN and rights access management tools, you can specify, by user, group access rights and duration of how long content can be accessed on the Cloud. Both Microsoft and Amazon have setup security features to protect your data as well as to replicate content to more secure locations. Cloud Services to Process the Data By uploading content to the Cloud, in the backend you can setup services and workflows to run QC checks on the content, stream media, transcode to multiple formats, and organize the content for search and retrieval using a Media Asset Management (MAM) System hosted on the Cloud. Cloud Scalability Rather than buying an expensive tape library or continuing to purchase more hardware for a spinning disk storage, with cloud storage, one can scale down or scale up with the click of a button. No need for over-provisioning. Disaster Recovery An organization can easily set up secure data replication from one site to another or institute replication rules to copy content to multiple virtual containers, offering assurance that content will not be lost. Amazon S3 provides durable infrastructure to store important data and is designed for durability of 99.99999999% of objects. Moving Towards an OPEX Model As operations and storage move to the Cloud, you can control your investment by paying as you use services and storing content on the Cloud. Instead of investing on infrastructure maintenance and support, with operations on the Cloud, you can focus the investment on what makes a difference, the content and not the infrastructure to support it. Why Upload to the Cloud? The Cloud is no longer a technology of the future, with cloud storage adopted by Google, Facebook and Instagram, Cloud technology is the reality of today. By adopting this technology you control your investment by usage needs, backup your data and provide secure access to content to anyone with credentials anywhere in the world. The biggest limitation now is bandwidth, and the hurdle is adjusting the current infrastructure to support Cloud operations. Many organizations are turning towards a hybrid Cloud model, where content and services are hosted both locally and via Cloud solutions. Learning from the Cloud experience, Dalet has made initiatives over the past few years to evolve existing tools and services for the Cloud. Dalet now offers direct ingest from the Dalet Brio video server to Amazon S3 Storage and, at NAB this year in Las Vegas, Dalet showcased the first MAM-based Newsroom on the Cloud. To learn more about Dalet ingest solutions, please visit the ingest application page.