In Broadcast - April 2013 - 44

I N T E R N A T I O N A L

WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | ISSUE 18 - APRIL 2013

N E W S

InFILE

Serving Up Video Content Over The Top
OTT is now an established and very rapidly evolving market. Consequently, the stakes are higher in
terms of the ability to prove financial return with operators looking for video processing solutions that
help them make money. Vendors have arguments for saving – or making money...

By Adrian Pennington
Contributing Editor

N

ot only is more and more video
being streamed into home but
the number of devices accessing the
content has proliferated to include
media streaming appliances (Roku,
Apple TV, Smart TVs); tablets (IOS,
Android, Windows; phones (IOS,
Android, Blackberry, Windows);
Hulu, Amazon Video, Google Play,
iTunes, Netflix; content owners
apps (iPlayer); content distributors
apps (Comcast’s XFINITY) and the
desktop.

Hiren Hindocha
CEO of Digital
Nirvana

44

“…It is not enough to
just broadcast your
content

”

What this means is that content
owners now have to transcode to
various formats and ensure that they
have the widest distribution to reach
the widest audience,” states Hiren
Hindocha, CEO of Digital Nirvana.
“It is not enough to just broadcast
your content.”
In a nutshell, a good transcoding
solution removes the pain of
managing and testing the various
video bitrates, codecs, form factors
and quality. The cost-saving /
money-making attributes that
operators seek in encoding and
transcoding solutions might be
summarised as: flexibility, workflow
efficiency, scalability, future-proofing.
In fact, this oversimplifies the matter
when their needs are much more
sophisticated than a few years ago.
According to Mike Nann, Marketing
Director, Digital Rapids, flexibility
stems from the fragmentation of
technical requirements between
today’s range of viewing devices –
differing standards for ‘packaging’,
metadata and delivery protocols
and even the display resolution of
the devices themselves that result
in incompatibilities or sub-optimal
experiences. Operators need
transcoding solutions to flexibly and

“

efficiently support all the targets they
choose, he says.
“The diversity of deliverables
combines with the exploding volume
of content to be processed to create
greater operational pressures than
ever before,” says Nann. “Part of
the answer is wringing even more
efficiency out of their automated
processes – for example, bypassing
unnecessary workflow steps that
don’t apply to a particular piece of
content entirely based on automated
decision-making – while part is
the ability to integrate the media
transformation processes with the
rest of their business operations
more tightly than typical workflow
orchestration.”
The ability to scale up transcoding
operations on-demand, while
minimising up-front investment, is
also front-of-mind. To do this some
operators are looking to move their
transcoding to the public cloud or
their own private clouds.
“Others are considering hybrid
models that integrate on-premises
and cloud-based media processing,
‘bursting’ into the cloud as demanded
by workload,” says Nann. “While
still others are looking to scale
dynamically within their facilities
by maximising resource utilisation
across underused systems capacity.”
Speed remains a major
consideration, particularly for
Adaptive Bit Rate (ABR) encoding,
where there are significant
computational demands, both
in video processing and actual
encoding, because a single asset
may be transcoded dozens of times.
“Operators should look for
solutions that use high-performance
computing platforms such as
GPUs, and which specifically
optimise speed and packaging
for ABR encoding,” recommends
John Pallett, Telestream’s Product
Marketing Director. “For example,
a transcoder that uses GPUs to do
encoding for twelve bit rates, and
re-uses H.264 information across
all the bit rates, will generally be
significantly faster than one which
is CPU-bound and which treats
each stream separately. Further, a
transcoder which can re-use H.264
streams across different distribution

Digital Rapids Transcode Manager 2.0 powered by its Kayak workflow platform

channels (for example, encoding
12 streams and then using eight for
Smooth Streaming and nine for HLS)
will offer a significantly more efficient
workflow. These considerations
not only ensure that operators can
hit their deadlines, but also allow
faster quality control of the output
streams and the ability to respond
more quickly in case content needs
special attention.”
For Pallett the quality of the final
encode remains pre-requisite and
for which the main driver is lower
distribution costs. “Transmitting a
bit costs money, and if a transcoder
can offer the same quality at a 25%
lower bit rate, then operators can
offer a better product, reduce bit
rates and save money. Quality is
generally a factor of two things: video
processing and encoding technology.
Great video processing can remove
noise and speckling that otherwise
would waste bits transmitting visual
artefacts. This ensures that the only
content transmitted is that which

Mike Nann
Digital Rapids
Marketing Director

“…The diversity
of deliverables
combines with the
exploding volume
of content to be
processed to create
greater operational
pressures

”

the viewer cares about. After that,
a great encoder will do a good
job of optimising the use of bits to
transmit video.”
When it comes to workflow
automation, many operators are
dealing with hundreds or thousands
of assets a week, and the ability to
not only transcode, but manage high
volume in a reliable way is critical.
“Without this full enterpriseclass approach, and without full
automation of the workflow, the
need for manual steps or restarts
can make the entire process
grind to a halt,” says Pallett. “For
example, if a transcoder finishes in
20 minutes, but it takes hours for
an operator to move files by hand,
QC them, encrypt and manually
deliver them, this will be far less
efficient than a transcoder which
can ingest, transcode, automatically
QC, encrypt and deliver files in 40
minutes. It is important to think
beyond the actual transcoding and
view the entire workflow to ensure
that it is efficient and bulletproof.”
When it comes to future-proofing,
Elemental Technologies – which
has built a very satisfying business
on software-based encoding
products – contends that its software
programmable products can readily
support new video requirements
like 4K and next-generation DRM
and are therefore safer investments
than hardware based on nonupgradeable ASIC or DSP solutions,
says Marketing Chief Keith Wymbs.
Haivision, which markets
the Kulabyte software-based
platform holds a similar view. “For
live transcoding, the long-term
efficiencies come with running your
own transcoding farm or cloud
CONTINUED ON PAGE 46


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In Broadcast - April 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - April 2013

In Broadcast - April 2013
Contents
InNEWS: Chyron to Merge With Hego Group
InNEWS: Studiovision Lebanon HD OB Truck
InPREVIEW: Nab Show 2013 Keynote Address: Disruptive Media
InREPLY: Harmonic Answers on MPEG DASH
InGEAR: Camp Digital Hits the Road
InVIEW: Hyper-Local TV Channels
InMEDIA: Digital Nirvana’s Cloud Based Anystream IQ
InMEDIA: Keeping One Step Ahead With on Demand Video Streaming Technology
InMEDIA: Understanding Media Asset Management
InTEST: Oversight via Monitoring & Logging
In Broadcast - April 2013 - In Broadcast - April 2013
In Broadcast - April 2013 - Cover2
In Broadcast - April 2013 - Contents
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InNEWS: Chyron to Merge With Hego Group
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 5
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InNEWS: Studiovision Lebanon HD OB Truck
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 7
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 8
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 9
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 10
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 11
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 12
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In Broadcast - April 2013 - 27
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 28
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 29
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InPREVIEW: Nab Show 2013 Keynote Address: Disruptive Media
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 31
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 32
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 33
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InREPLY: Harmonic Answers on MPEG DASH
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 35
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 36
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 37
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InGEAR: Camp Digital Hits the Road
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 39
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 40
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 41
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InVIEW: Hyper-Local TV Channels
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 43
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 44
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 45
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 46
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 47
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 48
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 49
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 50
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 51
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 52
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 53
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 54
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 55
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InMEDIA: Digital Nirvana’s Cloud Based Anystream IQ
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 57
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 58
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InMEDIA: Keeping One Step Ahead With on Demand Video Streaming Technology
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 60
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 61
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 62
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 63
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 64
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 65
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 66
In Broadcast - April 2013 - InMEDIA: Understanding Media Asset Management
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 68
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In Broadcast - April 2013 - InTEST: Oversight via Monitoring & Logging
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 89
In Broadcast - April 2013 - 90
In Broadcast - April 2013 - Cover4
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