Every evening, millions of people sit on their couch looking for entertainment. Switching on a device is easy, but what really happens behind the scenes? How is your favorite content prepared so you can see it through your chosen streaming apps, TV channels or websites?
The challenge that media companies face today is huge, as millions of consumers call for on-demand content, served quickly and without interruption. Therefore, flexibility, elasticity, and agility provided by AWS technical solutions is key to their success.
In this blog post, we will show how MEDIAPRO has built its infrastructure around AWS technology. This has enabled them to become one of the largest media service providers in the world.
About MEDIAPRO and OVERON
MEDIAPRO is a leading independent production group in the European audiovisual sector, offering content integration, production, and audiovisual distribution. It has 58 offices distributed across 36 countries on four continents. MEDIAPRO provides the creative and technical solutions necessary to design, produce, and distribute any audiovisual project.
OVERON is the technical division within MEDIAPRO that focuses on providing cloud-first services and solutions for any need related to audiovisual creation and distribution.
The key challenges that any Media and Entertainment global project must address are:
- Audience and fan engagement: Audience and fans are becoming increasingly difficult to attract and keep engaged. Companies must delight them with new initiatives and content, in addition to keeping up with their pace of consumption.
- Broadcast operations: Media is a heavy operations business, which can make it difficult to be profitable. The solutions have to be straightforward and flexible in order to capture all the benefits of the cloud.
- Data and AI: Any project must be fully under data control, in order to make better business decisions. By using data to improve and iterate, you can manage costs, while boosting audience share.
Media content architecture
For the creation, contribution and distribution of their content, OVERON decided to develop a full stack service on AWS. They are global, but also deliver locally. The benefits include:
- Content ingestion: Ingest the video content into a highly reliable and resilient platform.
- Cloud playout system: Process that content and transform it into the appropriate format so that it can be served through different platforms.
- Multi-language content distribution: Distribute that content while generating multilingual subtitles in an automated and transparent way.
Giving their customers the ability to upload their content in a simple but efficient manner was key for OVERON. The process had to be completely transparent, so OVERON allows its customers to upload their content in exactly the same manner as they were doing before.
Cloud playout system
OVERON creates dynamic channels by assembling the playlist from the media content library and inserting live transmission into their customer channels. OVERON receives playlists from their customers with the broadcasting data, including attributes such as air date, time, and order of different TV programs. OVERON’s smart rendering orchestrator executes the process in the most cost-effective way with nearly continuous rendering, storing, and requesting. Once all the rendering jobs are finished, OVERON generates a TV channel that will be distributed to customers or end users anywhere in the world. The service provides:
- Full redundancy, failover capability, and scalability
- Disaster recovery (DR)
- Cloud rendering to reach maximum broadcast standards
- Any kind of graphics requirement
- Workflow customization
- Format agnostic source files and scheduling
- A flexible and complete asset management system internally developed and powered by OVERON Proteus Orchestrator
Multi-language content distribution
The last step in this process is the distribution of the generated content. For live content, this step is the stream that a camera generates from any global location (like a stadium). We will explain how OVERON does this and how they attach subtitles to the distributed content automatically.
Once OVERON receives the content, two different processes are triggered. A transcription process identifies the audio, detects the language, and extracts the text. Then, the subtitles can be converted to any other language desired.
After all these steps are finished the content is then assembled and published for distribution.
AWS services used for OVERON audiovisual services
OVERON’s added value is architecting, implementing, and operating an efficient audiovisual service that includes a broad scope of AWS services such as:
- Amazon EC2: Secure and resizable compute capacity to support virtually any workload.
- Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3): Object storage built to store and retrieve any amount of data from anywhere.
- Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS): Set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud with a few clicks.
- Amazon DynamoDB: Fast and flexible NoSQL database service at any scale.
- AWS Transfer Family: Straightforward and seamless file transfer to Amazon S3 and Amazon EFS using SFTP, FTPS, and FTP.
- Amazon Cognito: Simple and secure user sign-up, sign-in, and access control.
- AWS Lambda: Run code without thinking about servers or clusters. Only pay for what you use.
- AWS Batch: Fully managed batch processing at any scale.
- AWS Elemental MediaConvert: Process video files and clips to prepare on-demand content for distribution or archiving.
- AWS Elemental MediaLive: Encode live video for broadcast and streaming to any device.
- AWS Elemental MediaPackage: Easily prepare and protect video for delivery to internet devices.
- Amazon Translate: Fluent and accurate machine translation.
- Amazon Transcribe: Automatically convert speech to text.
- Amazon CloudFront: Fast, highly secure and programmable content delivery network (CDN).
OVERON and MEDIAPRO are now prepared to deliver:
- Better audience and fan engagement with faster time to market: Provisioning time per channel reduced from 1 month to 2 hours, while increasing the revenue streams and building strong customer engagement.
- More flexible broadcasting operations: Elimination of expensive investment in hardware (CAPEX) while managing a much more efficient and predictable environment (OPEX). Pay-as-you-go model and process optimization have allowed us to achieve 1000x real-time renderization, an amazing value compared to hardware costs for an on-premises scenario.
- An efficient environment fully controlled by data: All resources are monitored for nearly continuous improvement in business processes. Currently we operate with up to -35% compute cost reduction and -40% storage cost reduction per channel (estimated in a 3-year scenario).
In this post, we demonstrated how MEDIAPRO Group and OVERON are building on top of the AWS platform, enabling them to build complex and professional broadcasting media services. This simplifies the provisioning of different components in the media supply chain process, without a commitment to long term license fees, service contracts or specialized hardware.