Telestream Continues To Build Out File-Based Workflows With Cloud-Native QC MicroService

For large media companies, especially those with global exclusive sports and entertainment rights that are delivered around the world simultaneously, the new frontier is streaming millions (and sometimes billions of viewers) of live events over an IP infrastructure. Or more specifically, a series of tightly linked cloud services that process media quickly and ultimately span the world.

While many organizations do much of their OTT streaming from on-premise workflows, the shift to cloud-native streaming that can be activated literally in a matter of minutes is where the bulk of the large-scale work is being accomplished. Indeed, as enterprises continue to scale up or shift load into the cloud, in addition to flexibility and security, they also gain access to a robust and far-reaching technology foundation they can rely on to meet their customized specifications for years to come.

However, deploying these IT-centric infrastructures to date has been a hodgepodge of tech solutions that combine different public and private cloud services to ensure reliable adaptive bit rate encoding and low latency delivery while also ensuring image and stream quality. Through a series of new developments in cloud-native QC services, Nevada City, California-based Telestream is now offering such a far-reaching video and audio signal quality assessment and reporting platform built to support major events like this summer’s UEFA EURO Championships in France or the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship in London. Both high-profile events used Telestream products extensively and were successfully viewed by millions—even at peak times.

Using such flexible infrastructures, which are modular and allow users to easily pick and choose specific processing and distribution tasks and launch them automatically—due to the use of a wide variety of microservices— and can easily be scaled up or down, is proving to be the key to success for Telestream’s customers now delivering live sporting events internationally.

“The OTT industry has been around for more than 20 years and there are still not many organizations that want a greenfield implementation,” said Prabu Chelladurai, Vice President of Product Manager at firstlight Media (based in Toronto, Canada). “They either want a transformation of their current signal or to surgically replace a couple of complements here and there.”

Cloud Qualify, a QC service that helps ensure optimal system performance and individual video file quality and scalability.

Cloud Qualify, a QC service that helps ensure optimal system performance and individual video file quality and scalability.

Addressing this critical period of streaming industry transition, Telestream has introduced Cloud Qualify, a cloud-based QC service that helps ensure optimal system performance. It combines existing Telestream’s Vidchecker (automated quality control and automated correction of file-based media) and Aurora QC (a customer service portal with 24/7 technical support) products, which have both been optimized for cloud workflows using the company’s expanding Telestream Cloud SaaS platform (introduced in 2016).

In a virtual NAB press conference, the company said that by combining these technologies, Telestream Cloud Qualify, offered via a SaaS model, provides the media QC tools customers require to build out their video IP streaming services. It’s inherent scalability is designed to allow customers to deploy proprietary APIs as necessary and includes a selection of scalable, end-to-end media processing services—such as API transcoding with transform, audio levels and automatic captioning—while ensuring that media is correct and compliant with regional and copyright rules.

The file-based Qualify service is based on the Telestream Media Framework—now used by media workflows around the world—and can be set up to run on most cloud provider platforms with a few button pushes and networking setup adjustments. This same media framework technology is now used to support a wide variety of OTT workflows around the world.

“Telestream Cloud Qualify allows media professionals to focus on their content instead of spending years learning and staying up-to-date on the countless video formats as they continue to evolve worldwide,” said Tim MacGregor, Senior Director, Head of Strategy and Product Development.

Of note: Continuing to innovate under the current pandemic-induced challenges of limited supply of processor chips and other components, Telestream CEO Dan Castles said the situation is negatively affecting product shipments, although the company has tried all summer to stay ahead of customer demand.

“We have some hardware products, both in terms of our Prism [test & measurement] and our Lightspeed server line. So, we bet big by ordering ahead. We wanted to make sure that the shortage would not be a problem for us, especially end of quarter. The only way around that is to buy big and buy early. We know we are going to bleed it off over time.

“In the case of our monitoring products, it’s been a challenge. We’re going through that right now, where for how we manufacture our products we are not immune and we’re scrambling. I can tell you for the third quarter [September 2021], where our bookings are very strong in those products areas, we will not match the revenue quite at the level. Part of that is directly due to the component shortages. We’re on plan C and D, for things you do where you are confronting this.”

As for how long it will take to return to adequate component shipment levels, Castle said he's planning for those shipments to increase in the first half of 2022. Thus far Telestream products shipments have not been unusually delayed.

“There’s no short fix,” he said, regarding when the existing components shortage will be resolved. “It’s going to be with [the industry] for a while.”

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