Enterprise Cloud Workflow

  • With Adrian Pennington

Enterprise Cloud Workflow

Enterprise cloud workflow By Adrian Pennington...

There’s an old tech industry joke that "the cloud" is a fancy way of saying "somebody else’s computer." That’s a bit of an oversimplification since cloud computing services are a lot more involved than just providing access to a server someone else owns.

Increasingly that means everyday post-production processes and crafts like editing too. Like much of post-production activity, the real shift to cloud came with COVID. If productions were to continue behind closed doors then remote and collaborative ways to continue the job had to be found.

Today, hybrid work-office scenarios are common, with cloud-based workflows no longer considered unusual across all genres ranging from live news and sports to scripted TV and documentaries.

Vizrt are putting their focus on TriCaster Vectar, a software-based enterprise-grade 4K cloud switcher previewed at this year’s NAB and soon available in HDR. It is deployable on-premises, in the cloud, or as a hybrid solution; easing the process of incorporating cloud-based software into different productions. 

Jon Raidel, Global Center of Excellence Lead Cloud & Live Production, explains: "With built-in media players, recording, streaming, audio, and graphics control, TriCaster Vectar effortlessly masters the art of reaching more audiences with aspect ratio, resolution, and frame rate independence - providing simultaneous delivery for distribution to multiple destinations supporting various screen types."

A re-entry function makes it easy to deliver different versions of programs with alternative, additional, or modified elements to different outputs. In addition, millions of NDI sources and remote collaboration enables teams to produce more stories.

At NAB, Vizrt was at the Verizon Business booth for a simulcast of a NHL game with Zixi, AWS, and NDI. "Using TriCaster Vectar and the Flex Dual control panel, brilliant operator Michael Lange switched the entire cloud-based production over 5G. It demonstrated the full potential of cloud productions for a major league sport, showcasing the possibilities of remote production and underlying its benefits - including hiring the best people for the job, wherever they are.

"Operators can work from anywhere, comfortably, and they don’t have to be road warriors anymore. Plus, production can save on travel and accommodation costs, which reduces the carbon footprint of the production. As more productions switch to cloud, the impact can be huge."

Among the benefits offered by Grass Valley’s AMPP SaaS platform is that it ensures precise signal timing and low latency, crucial for live streaming, even over typical residential internet connections. The platform's microservices architecture allows it to be quickly scaled to any project size, enhancing flexibility and efficiency.

Klaus Weber, Director Product Marketing says: "AMPP's unified user interface simplifies system management and enables easy application customization when needed. AMPP is cloud-enabled, but can also be run entirely with COTS hardware on premise, supporting different infrastructure working environments so that teams can work in the studio, remotely or entirely in the cloud with any combination of hardware or software combination. This flexibility greatly facilitates remote collaboration, allowing dispersed teams to access the same content and tools in real time, reducing travel costs and boosting productivity. AMPP provides a streamlined, scalable, and collaborative environment that optimizes production workflows.

Italian facility company NVP, for example, was tasked with producing all games for LegaPro, the third Italian soccer league. Given the large number of games and relatively small spectator turnout per game, traditional production methods were financially unfeasible. By using AMPP and its microservices architecture for all production applications, which were initially run in a cloud-based environment, NVP was able to quickly create a production environment that allowed for the efficient and cost-effective production and distribution of numerous games within a constrained budget.

LiveU Studio is described as hundred per cent cloud native and one designed for digital distribution, allowing shows to be quickly produced with monetisable live content. 

Ronen Artman, VP of Marketing says the product enables digital audiences, via the simultaneous publishing of content to up to 30 destinations, to be served in parallel to linear viewers. "Content creators can produce more for less. LiveU Studio can sit alongside existing primary content workflows, leveraging deployed assets for extra production. From any web browser, journalists/content producers can create and control shows, applying flexible, easy-to-use features - video switching, graphics and audio - and managing remote guests." 

A usage-based model allows customers to "easily and swiftly" respond to higher, or lower, volumes meaning they only pay for what they need. Being cloud-native and browser-based enables customers to be up and running from day one, Artman added.

French production company 714 Production is using LiveU Studio to complement its coverage of Ligue 1 and made available on Free Ligue 1's app which has over three million users nationwide.

"LiveU Studio is being used as part of a cost-effective remote production workflow," Artman explains.

"It manages the production from its control room in Paris with its team streaming live video from different football stadiums across the country direct to them. Using LiveU Studio, the production team streams the feeds in real-time direct to Free Ligue 1's app, live editing the content and preparing the clips. Content is also uploaded to social media channels including YouTube, Facebook and TikTok."

Cloud-native Vimond VIA is presented as a comprehensive CMS and OTT platform for production operations, from the initial ingest of content to its monetisation and distribution. The platform supports a streamlined workflow that efficiently handles digital content, enhancing media entities' reach and revenue. 

Steffen Fuglerud, Head of Business Development and Organisation, explains: "Vimond VIA's capabilities allow content owners and broadcasters to easily ingest content, manage video libraries, and leverage dynamic monetisation strategies. This means a simplified, end-to-end management of the content lifecycle for production teams."

The product’s integration with cloud technology from Mimir and Edgio ensures that the platform is capable of adapting to the evolving demands of cloud production asset management, content delivery and audience engagement. 

"Vimond VIA supports the creation of personalised streaming frontends with the new VIA App Builder, making content accessible across a wide range of devices - a crucial factor in today's fragmented media consumption landscape," adds Fuglerud.

The recent launch of DTC service ‘Jme’ by NHK Cosmomedia America (NCMA) is an example of the "transformational impact" of Vimond VIA. 

By transitioning from traditional broadcast models to a digital-first strategy, NCMA now offers three linear TV channels and an expansive SVOD library directly to its audience, bypassing conventional distribution channels. This move caters to the preferences of a digitally savvy audience and disrupts traditional distribution models, demonstrating the substantial benefits of adopting a cloud-based platform like Vimond VIA."

"The deployment of Vimond VIA by NCMA marks a significant milestone, showcasing how traditional broadcasters can successfully navigate and thrive in the digital landscape. NHK has effectively transformed its operational capabilities, ensuring a more direct and engaging connection with its audience across North America."

EditShare’s approach is to deliver workflow-based solutions and then work with customers to decide if those solutions are cloud-based, on-premise based or a hybrid of both. 

"Using EditShare EFS and FLOW software we can deploy all or part of the workflow in the cloud and provide customers with different configurations," explains CTO Stephen Tallamy.

"It allows them to make the right choices both initially and also as their requirements change. This is why we call our approach to cloud FLEX, as it provides customers a pathway that fits around their needs."

This combination of storage and asset management can fulfill a wide range of production needs, he says. For example where content needs to be moved, EditShare provides tools invisible to the user to manage the transfer of full resolution media or proxies as required and as bandwidth allows.

"We also actively promote the use of the third-party software the industry relies on - like editors from Adobe, Avid, Blackmagic and others - whether they are running in a cloud environment or on physical infrastructure, we can bring our storage and workflow to the application. That minimises the amount of media that needs to be moved, greatly speeding up productivity as well as reducing bandwidth demands."

The Florida Panthers, the Miami-area NHL team, use EditShare storage as the heart of its production, from shooting to scoreboards. "Seamless integration of cloud storage means that crews shooting on the road with the team upload raw footage over VPN, making it instantly available for editors to start work back at base, getting stories out online and into the arena far faster than any other route," Tallamy says.

Camera to Cloud (C2C) massively speeds up content creation workflows, says Steve Wise, Global Marketing Director, Atomos.

"It reduces the time between acquisition and post-production because there’s no need to ship hard drives or copy large files. C2C sends high quality, small file size H.265 video from the camera directly to the cloud so that the editor or director can access content from anywhere in the world, with just an internet connection. Atomos, with its network-connected range of monitor-recorders - which includes the recently-announced Ninja Phone - provides a portable and easy to use entry point to C2C from almost any camera.

To help evolve their production workflow and enhance efficiencies, the LA Clippers’ media production team turned to the Atomos Ninja Ultra monitor-recorder. With its new AtomOS 11 operating system, optimised for camera to cloud, coupled with the Atomos Connect module it allows the media team to simultaneously share files and collaborate in real-time using Frame.io. 

"The beauty of our new workflow is that our videographers no longer worry about rushing to get clips to our remote editors. Our editors, who are working on a variety of software applications, have instant access and once edited, content gets uploaded to social for our fans to have real-time Clipper updates," says Clippers’ Head of Content Tommy Zweibel. "Whether we’re instantly populating our social feeds, or producing a team story, this way of working has enriched our creative output, not to mention our productivity."