Telestream has been working recently on cloud-native monitoring and quality control services for cloud video operations. Their work has resulted in a new cloud-native QC service called Telestream Cloud Qualify, and a partnership with FirstLight Media, whose live OTT platform helps content owners migrate OTT operations from hardware-based systems to cloud-native businesses.
Cloud-Native QC Service
The new Telestream Cloud Qualify service is based on Telestream's QC software and optimised for cloud workflows. Combining capabilities from two QC products, Vidchecker and Aurora, with the media processing services from Telestream Cloud, Telestream Cloud Qualify SaaS is a file-based QC service that runs on a customer’s chosen cloud provider.
The same tools and services contained in Cloud Qualify are already used in Telestream media workflows all over the world, which becomes significant as enterprises continue to scale up or shift workloads into the cloud. As well as flexibility, scalability and security, their teams also need a software foundation they can use to meet their varying specifications.
“As more media workflows move to the cloud to take advantage of cost-effective SaaS systems, it’s important to have a comprehensive QC strategy that resides where the media is being processed,” said Tim MacGregor, Senior Director, Head of Strategy and Product Development, Telestream Cloud. “Developing a QC environment from familiar functionality gives Telestream’s new service a point of difference.”
QC in the Pipeline
Built for broadcast engineers and operators, Telestream Cloud Qualify addresses content coming into the media pipeline, as well as content going out. For media ingest and post production, users want to normalise their content across all their workflows. They may want to maintain quality in a VOD library, for instance, or check incoming media that has recently been processed. For output and delivery, content must be inspected both for visual quality and for standards compliance.
Telestream Cloud Qualify also checks content before it is sent to archive with frame-by-frame video quality analysis. The service has a RESTful Open API for integrations into customers’ media supply chain workflows, and a robust UI for ease of use. The service supports ABR/IMF and HDR media formats, and many other common video codecs and containers.
Live OTT Monitoring - Firstlight Media
Telestream’s partnership with Firstlight Media, a Canadian sports content distributor, involves setting up comprehensive quality monitoring of Firstlight’s cloud-native live OTT platform, developed for sports and entertainment service clients. The system combines Firstlight Media’s Gen5 architecture with Telestream automated monitoring. The result is an OTT platform that FirstLight’s clients can use to achieve the quality and reliability of broadcast environments, with the agility and personalisation of digital operations.
Firstlight Media developed their Gen5 architecture to build and run scalable applications in the cloud, particularly OTT video services that rely on high concurrency, low latency and resiliency. It uses cloud-native tools such as containers, microservices, a service mesh, APIs and immutable infrastructure – that is, updating cloud servers with new instances, or versions, instead of modifying existing ones. Gen5 employs a modular approach for feature expansion and emphasises scalability, observability and security.
From On-Premises to Cloud-native
According to Telestream and Firstlight, migrating OTT operations from capex- and hardware-based, on-premises systems to reliable cloud-native businesses can give broadcasters and content creators a chance to identify market and business advantages. Sportsnet, a Canadian sports specialty channel, will be using the Firstlight Media platform to relaunch their SN NOW sports streaming service.
The Telestream integration helps Firstlight control the quality of their live event streaming. While most cloud-based distribution is still confined to VOD workflows, Firstlight has developed a cloud-native, Kubernetes microservices-based architecture that supports an agile, scalable end-to-end platform, and operates on the customer’s cloud platform. Firstlight delivers live, low-latency programs at high quality to today’s viewers who are less likely to tolerate technical issues.
Deployment of the system is partly automated, so that setting up live streams takes only a few minutes, and its architecture is serverless and containerised to help lower costs. Smart redundancy encodes and originates content simultaneously in two discrete locations, scaling to millions of viewers and achieving reliability of more than 99.99%.
QoS and QoE metrics
Firstlight is using Telestream’s Inspector Live and Surveyor products to operate their media platforms with granular Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE) metrics. Inspector Live virtual containerised probes detect content impairments and transport problems and produce actionable information to address issues before they impact viewers. The Surveyor tools assure that all adaptive bitrate (ABR) content, in each bit rate rendition, is available 24/7 and can be delivered at the quality needed for a competitive viewer experience.
By integrating Telestream iQ monitoring solutions into the technology stack, users have visibility from source acquisition through encoding to origin server output, on one dashboard. Also, having quality monitoring at each stage in the process means cloud native streaming applications like SportsNet SN NOW are able to find and fix faults quickly or proactively, and reduce the overhead required to deploy OTT services.
As SRT feeds enter the live headend, Inspector Live probes watch the input source quality to ensure the encoder output is error free. Surveyor continues to watch quality on the HTTP output side as ABR variants flow through the origin servers on their way out to the CDN. Meanwhile the Telestream IVSM ASM (Intelligent Video Management System for Adaptive Streaming Media) sets out the centralised management dashboard for a correlated service view. www.telestream.net