As broadcasters and streaming operators look to get channels on-air ever more rapidly, Telestream is introducing a cloud-based system for creating new services easily and quickly. OptiQ is described as performing “one-click channel creation” and will be launched at the 2019 NAB Show in April.
Telestream says OptiQ was the result of "a strategic research initiative" with a "major European telecoms service provider" but has not as yet released which company it is. The aim behind the collaboration was to reduce the time it takes to create a new channel from months or weeks to a process that is only a few minutes long.
The resulting video channels integrate monitoring features and are able to switch between multiple sources, whether they are live feeds or pre-recorded files. The process is based on a 'pay-as-you-go' principle, allowing any future variations in demand for the service to be accounted for while keeping expenditure in relation to revenues. Because of this the operators do not have to put money up front to make sure they hit audience targets.
With the 'pop-up' channel already a reality through software-based systems, Telestream appears to have taken the concept further by employing what it calls "dynamic innovation". This came out of talking to customers and allows operators to start a new service and expand it if it works out or close it if it doesn't. Among possible features is the ability to create channels or a platform for an event - both premium and regular - for a limited period. There is also the option to put out supporting material, such as highlights, biographies and background, in parallel to a premium channel.
All this is facilitated by employing a containerised approach and multiple orchestration systems that are programmed to respond to industry dynamics and audience response. The containers, described as Linux-based 'elements', can be encoders, packagers, origin servers or monitoring probes, which are then instantiated in the cloud using an orchestrator. Once assembled these are automatically configured to produce a live streaming channel with real-time monitoring.
Part of OptiQ is a new Telestream Channel Orchestrator for channel design. This carries out orchestration management as well as connecting and arranging the different components while also providing back-up and self-repair functions. OptiQ is partly intended as a transition to hybrid on-premises/cloud operations for companies that do not have extensive experience of working in the cloud. Another potential user is one that does not want to commit to a single cloud provider or wishes to move from an existing service and so needs more choice and flexibility.
Telestream envisages OptiQ as supporting the majority of leading cloud operators, with a longer-term goal being to work with fixed site data complexes. The system is able to integrate new encoding and packaging methods, with streaming based on cloud technologies. In this way it can offer a hybrid route for migration, with SD and HD processes handled in the cloud while hardware installations provide the processing and power capabilities needed for Ultra HD/4k and HDR.
Dynamic software, providing orchestration and real-time diagnostics, is used to provide what Telestream is calling Self-X capability, incorporating self-healing, self-optimisation and self-scaling. OptiQ also combines live streaming, workflow, cloud, integrated monitoring and containerisation tools already offered by Telestream. "It is an ambitious project and the intention is that the initial release will be a SaaS offering so we can rapidly evolve the system in the early pilots and fine-tune it before committing to an on-premises version," explained Telestream chief executive Scott Puopolo.
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