By Richard Pialat, Media Solutions Architect
At IBC 2018 we officially launched our Digital Media Hub (DMH) suite of integrated, yet modular, services. DMH has been developed in conjunction with a number of rights holders with services already having been used by them.
While it garnered a great deal of interest, and we’re working with new and existing customers, there are many people jaded by the – sometimes outlandish – claims made for new services.
DMH began life back in 2015. We worked on a very quick turnaround project around the French Open tennis tournament for an advertising agency. In under two months, we had to develop a service that allowed short form, interviewed-based content with the players, produced by the agency, to be transcoded in multiple formats by us and then delivered through a web portal that included user access management. We delivered this content to more than 20 broadcasters around the world for their TV channel coverage of the tournament.
We then worked on a major soccer project and this meant adding the ability to ingest live broadcast feeds and then output each game live to an OTT service as well VOD for later viewing. We also developed an API to be able to clip that ingested content. Working on a motorsport project and another soccer customer led to us enhancing the GUI, making the content management and user access of that functionality simpler to use.
At Globecast we manage thousands of events each year. We’ve seen the boom in delivery to the internet, either to social networks or communications agencies. As a consequence, we’ve greatly enhanced our streaming solutions, and these are also now a key DMH output. Not only that, but we’ve added the ability to either automatically or manually clip highlights from content in very close to real time, feeding social media or websites to engage viewers.
We wanted to help our customers share their valued content, not only live but also after the event took place. Of course, we already ingest live feeds for them but sharing that content can be complicated due to rights issues, alongside the plethora of required video formats. This is why we developed the Content Market Place as part of DMH. Working with rights holders, we can create and store content – short or long form – in formats ranging from 4K to very simple lower res previews for web portals. This content can then be reused and resold.
Let’s look at one example. A standard use case of the DMH is a sports event, let’s say a soccer match. We send an SNG onsite – or a third-party supplier is used – and that delivers the video feed to one of our teleports. The downlink can then be streamed to any social network or other web-based destination and to a third-party in charge of analyzing internet traffic to make sure the live content is not republished on pirate sites. As highlighted above, we can also stream it to Live Spotter (part of DMH) so that a customer’s operators can clip highlights in real time to enrich their social networks; and we can insert this into a live pop-up channel created via our cloud playout services.
The downlink can then be simultaneously transcoded into several profiles and packaged on-the-fly in HLS, Smooth Streaming or DASH and delivered via CDN to millions of users across the globe. It’s also ingested in broadcast format. This high-res content can then be transcoded in multiple formats to be delivered through the Content Market Place to TV channels, federations, clubs or news agencies. And that content is stored by us and can still be used years later. VOD/OTT content can be created and published to enrich the customer’s or rights owner’s VOD catalogue.
The key challenge has been working with and understanding the requirements of multiple customers, condensing that knowledge quickly to create the various modules that form DMH. We have often had to develop modules very quickly for them to be used in real world situations almost immediately. It’s that modularity that is absolutely essential to the development and use of DMH. It allows us to create bespoke customer packages fast, wherever that customer is in the world all from us as a single supplier. DMH increases content monetization; it’s as simple as that.