Cloud will solve one of the great international broadcasting headaches
By Callum Elsdon, Product Marketing Manager, M2A Media
You’ve secured the broadcast rights to the biggest event this year.
It’s going to be big. HUGE.
The countdown clock is ticking.
Then hits the realisation.
Tens of feeds need converting simultaneously from one frame rate to another over numerous weeks and all you have are a couple of aging frame rate converters. Alarm bells begin to ring. Buying hardware will take too long and your CAPEX budget has been spent on other priorities. Besides, who wants to buy stacks of hardware that will sit gathering dust once the event has finished?
Reading it like this makes it hard to believe but I’ve seen this happen. Sometimes you need a creative, software-based solution to adapt quickly.
Or perhaps you’ve got a single event you want to convert between frame rates to be turned around within a matter of hours. The physical logistics of traditional hardware are too slow to react in time sensitive scenarios like this.
The old way of doing things doesn’t always cut it.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
M2A Media are the cloud video experts. We live and breathe broadcast-grade video aggregation and distribution workflows in the cloud. Working with InSync Technology and Hiscale, we’ve recently introduced M2A CONNECT | Cloud Frame Rate Converter. This is an additional feature integrated directly within M2A CONNECT to convert feeds between frame rates on a pay-as-you-go basis, without the need for hardware.
CASE STUDY – CLOUD-BASED FRAME RATE CONVERSION
Let’s take a closer look at how M2A CONNECT | Cloud Frame Rate Converter can help. International sporting competitions are the most prestigious events in the broadcast calendar, bringing huge audiences and ad revenue with them – but they can be a logistical nightmare for production planning. This is made even more complex when the events take place in regions with different frame rates to your home broadcast country, for example taking sports feeds from Japan or the US to broadcast in Europe.
But how does M2A CONNECT | Cloud Frame Rate Converter actually work? Feeds can be ingested directly into the nearest AWS Cloud region in their native frame rate and, orchestrated by M2A CONNECT, can be delivered to your local AWS region with broadcast-quality SLAs. Utilising InSync Technology’s FrameFormer software in the cloud, you can provision the conversion of these feeds to the frame rate needed for your operating country. This can be scheduled alongside event bookings within the M2A CONNECT product. Feeds converted are outputted in the required frame rate at your desired destination to ensure they go out to air on-time and with minimal latency. Once your booking is complete, all resources are stopped and you are only billed for the time used as well as AWS resources consumed.
Voila! The complexity of frame rate conversion streamlined with your broadcast operations.
But why should you be bothered?
We’ve doubled down on making sure the experience of M2A CONNECT | Cloud Frame Rate Converter takes the best bits of the hardware experience while harnessing the benefits of the AWS Cloud. InSync Technology is well known for high quality frame rate conversion across hardware and software instances. Using their technology, the output of converted feeds is akin to that produced by commonplace high-end hardware-based solutions while exceeding the performance of existing software options on the market. That shouldn’t come as a surprise; InSync has spent almost two decades perfecting its technology and algorithms to create some of the best conversion hardware on the market – this time it’s just in the form of software.
This attention to detail is important as we see the most demand for scalable frame rate conversion coming from sports where high quality, motion-compensated conversion is a necessity to ensure the end viewer has a sublime experience. This technology has been designed to run exclusively on CPU giving users of M2A CONNECT | Cloud Frame Rate Converter the ability to run on a greater range of cloud-based instances with more flexibility than GPU options on the market.
By integrating this feature directly into M2A CONNECT, your conversion workflow is streamlined. Removing the handoff between on-prem and cloud infrastructure reduces latency, as well as fiddly equipment setups – while ensuring you can enable or disable frame rate conversion at will. Any organisation will want to ensure their operations are kept as simple as humanly possible to reduce the potential for failure. M2A CONNECT embraces this – it can handle acquisition, distribution through to live content processing features such as frame rate conversion, as well as live video capture – all within one product.
Simplify your content acquisition or distribution, enrich your video and embrace the potential of M2A CONNECT. For too long, the broadcast industry has been limited by how things have always been done. We recognise there’s a place for hardware in some circumstances but the broadcast world is evolving. Integrating frame rate conversion into M2A CONNECT is enabling access to this technology. Whether that’s giving major broadcasters the ability to scale up their capacity on the fly for huge events, or allowing smaller media organisations to access this technology for one-off events without the investment hurdles they may otherwise face.
Callum Elsdon is M2A Media’s Product Marketing Manager in which he is responsible for bringing product ideas to life in the market – and making sure people, like you, take note. He is an alumni of Ravensbourne University, loves travelling the globe and creating meals to die for.