Speeding up Multi-source Content Processing

February 15, 2023
All Rivers Meet the Sea

The success of the Video-on-Demand model means an unprecedented volume of content is being delivered to consumers. To ensure that those consumers have plenty of options to choose from, platforms acquire and aggregate media from multiple sources. As well as delivering original productions and mining the archive to tempt new audiences.

So as more content flows through media companies, how do VOD platforms prevent the bottlenecks that could cause a flood? In this 3-part series we’ll explore some of the challenges VOD providers face and explain how faster media playback can support more efficient content workflows.

Channelling the Flow of Media

The number of files that the media industry is processing has exponentially increased. VOD providers need to balance the enthusiasm their viewers have for more content, with the realities of processing thousands of hours of media from multiple sources. The assets curated by VOD platforms vary significantly. That’s part of the appeal for consumers of course, but it also means that operators could be working with files from the archive, recent acquisitions from third parties, and original productions – all in the space of an hour.

No platform wants to be associated with poor quality content. But when media assets are being pulled from different sources it’s understandable that some errors can slip through the net. Content processing teams are already at max capacity, and there are only so many hours in the day, so adding to the processing workload is not an option. Media companies need to empower their operators to take action as quickly as possible.

Avoiding Content Bottlenecks

It’s important to look at points in the chain where media teams are under time pressure and how this can be alleviated. Until now, video file formats such as MXF and QuickTime ProRes, have been extremely cumbersome to work with in their original state, particularly when checking content remotely.

In the most common workflows currently used by media companies, editors or operators either need to download assets, or wait for files to be transcoded so they can work with proxy versions online. This can be unnecessarily time-consuming, not to mention frustrating, if all you need to do is quickly check a specific timestamp.

But what if instead of waiting around, media professionals could get to work straight away? Real-time media playback now enables operators to work without delays. By playing full-resolution media files on-demand, directly in the browser.

Auto-scaling approach

Streamlining the Workflow

With real-time media playback, operators can browse archive assets, or check a new content acquisition, quickly and easily at scale. It provides operators with a seamless workflow, by removing the need to render proxies of the original file, eliminating the transcode step, and maximising the team’s efficiency. Operators can play high-resolution content in the browser, from anywhere. The original media is available immediately and can be viewed frame-accurately, with markers that highlight specific timestamps to be verified.

Viewing in high-quality means that small details and issues with visual effects are easier to spot. Real-time media playback ensures workflows stay super-efficient and reduces the risk of content bottlenecks. When users work on the fly, there is no need to define the quality required in advance, they can simply auto-scale as they go. If an operator is working remotely and bandwidth is low, they can adjust the bitrate of the playback engine to reduce latency. This allows teams to work frame accurately and in the highest resolution possible, wherever they are.

Codemill’s Just in Time (JiT) media playback engine is cloud-native and can play all video formats, with embedded and discrete audio plus subtitles. Original, high-resolution media can be played from any storage location, whether on-premise or in the cloud, and JiT is available as an option for Accurate Player, Accurate.Video, and Cantemo MAM software. Find out more here.

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