Finding new ways to connect with audiences is vital in the competitive age of media and entertainment. Creating short, snappy videos, or frame-perfect artwork that can be shared on social media, is one way to stand out from the crowd. Despite the industry-wide demand for frame accurate playback and the ability to efficiently extract relevant content, many broadcasters are struggling to find suitable solutions to fulfil their needs. RTLZWEI embarked on a journey with Codemill, to leverage content metadata in an intuitive visual timeline, and optimise its fast-turnaround promo workflows.
Surprising, unconventional, optimistic, up close and personal: That is what RTLZWEI is all about. The Munich-based TV station’s programming features shows about life in all its many facets making it Germany’s home of reality. RTLZWEI presents documentaries, reports and docusoaps that showcase fascinating people with emotional and moving destinies. On top of that viewers enjoy the very best in series and feature films.
RTLZWEI addresses its audience as equals – everywhere, at all times and on all relevant platforms and end devices. Having such a close connection to the audience and familiarity with its needs also benefits RTLZWEI’s partners and advertising clients. It is for them that the station’s very own sales house El Cartel Media creates unique offerings for modern and effective brand communication.
RTLZWEI typically develops its infrastructure and workflow tools in-house. However, the company came across challenges with content playback and promo creation, and enlisted Codemill’s help to create a customised media solution. The requirement was for a video player that would provide a frame accurate overview of all activated audio and subtitle tracks. RTLZWEI’s content team would also need to utilise time-based markers, to highlight and distinguish sections of the content for subclipping.
RTLZWEI’s segmenting and subclipping workflows are primarily for the creation of short-form social media content. The assets are typically accessed by external teams, to prepare content for promotional purposes. After starting to develop an application prior to the pandemic, widespread remote working increased the urgency of launching a remotely accessible tool. RTLZWEI had already used some preview applications, but its team needed a player that could offer a high-level of frame accuracy, handle metadata tags, and filter search results. The player would also need to process archive formats used in professional media workflows, that are not typically supported by a standard web browser.
Despite RTLZWEI’s usual process of in-house software development, the team was open to integrating a vendor’s product into content workflows. But RTLZWEI found that an existing solution wasn’t readily available on the market. The company decided to integrate a custom video player that could overcome the limitations of existing web players. After a demo of Codemill’s Accurate Player SDK solution, the team realised its cloud-native, professional media player framework would solve the challenges.
Following a successful testing period, RTLZWEI chose to integrate Accurate Player SDK within its existing infrastructure and provide external users with secure access to media files. The customisable nature of Accurate Player SDK meant RTLZWEI could implement the features it needed and discard any irrelevant components. Additionally, many of the UX features from previous workflows could be replicated in the new application, meaning users would benefit from familiar functionality and shortcuts.
“The Accurate Player SDK was the only viable solution for RTLZWEI. It provided the components that we needed, it was easy to integrate, and straightforward to adapt. It has been seamlessly implemented and has simplified many of our workflows. Codemill’s focus on collaboration, and the support we have received throughout our transition, has been exceptional.”
Petertho Pesch, Application Engineer, RTLZWEI
The integration of Accurate PlayerSDK has allowed RTLZWEI’s external users to cut and navigate to the correct timestamp, grab still images or subclip video segments, and add metadata tags. It is used both as a web player and as a standalone application for promotional editing workflows.
“Having worked on many digital projects with RTLZWEI over the years, we were fully on board with the integration of a solution that would allow our production teams to work without restriction. We had previously found that we were having to compromise or develop workarounds for limited browser capabilities, which would often cause disruption. But having a solution that runs natively on the web, and still provides features such as frame accuracy and metadata markers, has enabled us to be more efficient with content processing workflows.”
JasminMärz, Project Manager, biz2byte
In addition to the standard SDK components, RTLZWEI also added a search function. The search use case depends on the content type and users can filter for specific details to create promotional material. In the case of reality TV and docu-soaps, it is important to quickly identify scenes which feature a specific character or strong emotions that convey a dramatic high point. Whereas in a documentary, the RTLZWEI team might need to find a particular location to help set the scene in promotional content.
Accurate Player SDK has simplified and optimised RTLZWEI's content processing. The solution allows for bespoke functionality that fits the needs of fast-turnaround workflows. External users can efficiently create subclips and export them to a location of their choice, ready to use for social media, the website and mobile app purposes. A viewer’s social media feed might always be changing, but speedier promo creation will ensure that RTLZWEI’s content stays in the spotlight.
“Accurate Player SDK was specifically developed for frame-accurate broadcast and post-production workflows. The web-based framework is built with the latest web component standards and can easily integrate with a broadcaster’s infrastructure. The customisable media solution has many features as standard but has the increased benefit of incorporating client specific tools.”
Andreas Stockinger, Sales Manager, Codemill
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