M+E Daily

From Akamai to Sony DADC, MESA Members Bring News to NAB

By Chris Tribbey

The NAB Show floor opened this morning, and members of the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) were quick to make a splash at the annual trade show.

Here’s a run-down on who announced what: Two MESA members — 3rd i QC and GrayMeta — announced a new partnership at NAB Show, with the former (which offers quality control for the home entertainment industry) tapping the latter (a big data company) for metadata extraction services. 3rd i QC will use GrayMeta’s MetaFarm (an automated big data SaaS offering that extracts metadata quickly for large amounts of silo-based data) to dig out the data on more than 25 years worth of content.

“Given the amount of data we have collected over the past 25-plus years, and MetaFarm’s ability to harvest and bring order and new perspectives to this data, we are excited about the prospect of not only having new insights into our own information, but also to offer this service to existing and new clients, in order to help them make sense of their data located across various internal silos,” said Al Limón, CEO and co-Founder of 3rd i. “We are eager to offer a service that will turn vast quantities of data into marketable metadata, thus providing our clients increased efficiency, visibility, and profitability. For 3rd i GrayMeta’s MetaFarm is the Swiss army knife of data collection.”

Mark Gray, president of GrayMeta, added: “We feel privileged to have the opportunity to collaborate with 3rd i QC and bring our innovative metadata solutions to data producers. After stringent evaluation, they selected GrayMeta as the top choice to collect their data and metadata across a broad array of data sources, deliver superior scalability, and provide a deep analysis of over 100,000 files. As I have always said, if you can’t find it, you can’t sell it!”

Deluxe Delivers Payout Services for SBS

Deluxe Entertainment Services Group announced it and Australia-based Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) have delivered a software-defined TV channels in the Asia Pacific region, and will show off the solution at NAB.

“SBS is the first Australian media company to evolve to digital software-defined playout of its television channels harnessing new technology to transform and enhance the business,” said Noel Leslie, CTO for SBS. “The flexibility of a software-defined platform like Deluxe MediaCloud allows us greater agility and efficiencies as we continue to deliver great services, on Charter, with significantly less funding than other broadcasters. Having the infrastructure managed externally allows us the ability to be able to launch a complete channel from scratch with greater speed and agility then we ever could before.”

The goal is to give SBS a future proof workflow for its channels, and give the company total control over its content, by moving outside of a legacy hardware infrastructure, and into a software-defined playout system was key.

“We’re thrilled to extend our partnership with SBS on this transformational project that represents the future of broadcast television,” said Deluxe MediaCloud CTO Alec Stichbury. “Hosted from highly secure data centers, MediaCloud was designed to bring enhanced functionality at an affordable cost, whilst at the same time improving quality and reliability. This, together with increased flexibility, also means pop-up channels can easily be accommodated without long term commitments and high cost.”

Sony DADC NMS and Amazon Web Services Head to the Cloud

Sony DADC New Media Solutions (NMS) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have partnered up, with NMS’ OTT consumer channel creation service Ven.ue being exclusively powered by AWS Cloud going forward.

The partnership calls for Ven.ue — which also offers supply chain distribution and broadcast playout solutions — to be offered by AWS through its AWS Partner Network Program (APN), for those looking for supply chain and OTT services.

“More and more enterprises around the world are realizing the benefits of agility, scalability and reliability that the AWS Cloud can offer, including meeting the need to deliver next-generation media services to consumers. At the same time, there is growing complexity in delivering a reliable video supply chain and OTT service to a global audience,” said Terry Wise, VP of worldwide partner ecosystem for Amazon Web Services. “We’re excited to team with Sony and the Ven.ue platform to offer content owners and distributers a new cloud-based approach to more quickly and efficiently deliver media services to consumers.”

As a result of the partnership, current Ven.ue clients — including Lionsgate, BBC Worldwide, Sony Pictures, Funimation Entertainment and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment — will now one-hour delivery for all their content delivered for OTT services.

“Sony recognizes the capabilities that AWS can help us achieve and will be fully migrating away from our on-premises infrastructure to AWS. As we look across our industry and see some companies still investing heavily into legacy infrastructures, we fundamentally believe that the only way to advance is committing to a future-proofed strategy with the cloud,” said Andy Shenkler, chief solutions and technology officer for Sony DADC NMS. “AWS provides not only an infrastructure to perform what we need to expand our business in a secure, efficient, and economically sound way, but we share a philosophy that focuses on providing services that can empower our clients and decrease their time to market across the entire supply chain.”

Akamai Opens Dedicated OTT Broadcast Control Center

At Akamai’s Cambridge, Mass. headquarters, you’ll now find a unique facility: a dedicated Broadcast Operations Control Center (BOCC), geared toward the demands and business requirements of OTT providers.

The 24-7 BOCC will offer those in the OTT business a bevy of services, including analytics, real-time quality and availability measurement tools, and operational insight for live, linear and VOD content. Approximately a dozen experts in broadcast OTT will be on hand at any given hour, with the ability for as many as 50 to be on hand for major events.

“With the new BOCC, Akamai is helping to address consumer quality-of-experience expectations for OTT by raising our customer service, support and component-level access into the CDN,” said Matt Azzarto, Akamai’s director of media operations, who designed and manages the facility. “We’re replacing help tickets and hold time with real-time communication and deep, proactive monitoring designed to alert customers to potential issues before they actually arise.”

Akamai will work with its customers to establish optimal player configurations and encoder profiles to address their needs, and will support multiple adaptive streaming formats. BOCC will provide real-time visibility into the quality of customer streams and networks, and will offer up troubleshooting.

The BOCC will be supported by both Akamai’s Network Operations Command Centers (NOCC) and Security Operations Centers (SOC).

“We’re taking the ubiquity of Akamai’s pervasive network and our Media Delivery Solutions, and empowering a specialized staff who have ‘eyes-on-glass’ 24×7 to support our customers with a unique set of tools that we believe deliver unprecedented visibility into hundreds of live video streams and linear channels at any given time,” Azzarto said.

AOL Looks to IBM Aspera

IBM’s Aspera will be used by AOL as the backbone for its new media management platform, allowing for high-performance transfers of between production facilities on both coasts.

AOL will use Aspera to enable large-scale content collaboration and distribution between its creative teams worldwide, with AOL On, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and Engadget among the properties that will benefit.

“All of the software solutions we deployed offer some form of workflow automation and only Aspera Orchestrator has the power to integrate all the components into a single system while operating with the speed, efficiency, and reliability we need.” said Vitali Bystritski, post technology lead at AOL Studios. “The scope and breadth of the project was unmatched, and we needed industrial strength tools and someone willing and able to work directly with us to understand our requirements, and that was Aspera.”

Michelle Munson, CEO and co-founder of Aspera, added: “We’re excited to be a part of this integrated solution for content management and distribution with next generation technologies, combining on-premises and cloud, that will enable AOL to scale out and continue to grow their content generation and advertising business.”

IBM also used the NAB Show to unveil new Aspera FASPStream software for live streaming of broadcast-quality video over IP networks. Aspera hopes the turnkey application software line will change how live video is transported.

“Bringing FASPStream to market in a turnkey product after our first decade creating FASP file transfer marks the beginning of a new chapter for Aspera where streams and files interoperate for exceptional transport quality and efficiency over today’s networks. Internet content delivery has exploded, demanding open file-based solutions in application software that are up to the challenge,” Munson said.