Video: The Evolution of Video APIs

APIs underpin our modern internet and particularly our online streaming services which all. An API is a way for two different programs or services to communicate with each other; allowing access, sharing locations of videos, providing recommendations etc.

Phil Cluff from Mux, takes a look at the evolution of these APIs, showing the simple ones, the complex and how they have changed as time has gone on, culminating in advice to the APIs writers of today and tomorrow.

Security is a big deal and increasingly is in focus for video companies. Whilst the API itself is usually sent over secure means, the service still needs to authenticate users and the use of DRM needs to be considered. Phil talks about this and ultimately the question comes down to what you are trying to protect and your attack surface.

APIs tend to come in two types, explains Phil, Video Platform vs ‘Encoding’ APIs. Encoding APIs a more than pure encoding APIs, there is transcoding, packaging, file transfer and other features built in to most ‘encoding’ services. Video Platform APIs are typically for a whole platform so also include CDN, Analytics, Cataloguing, playback and much more

In terms of advice, Phil explains that APIs can enable ‘normal’ coders – meaning people who aren’t interested specifically in video – to use video in their programs. This can be done through well thought out APIs which make good decisions behind the scenes and use sensible defaults.

API is so important, asserts Phil, that it should be considered as part of the product so treated with similar care. It should be planned, resourced properly, be created as part of a dialogue with customers and, most importantly, revisited later to be upgraded and improved.

Phil finishes the talk with a number of other pieces of advice and answers questions from the floor.

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Speaker

Phil Cluff Phil Cluff
Streaming Specialist,
Mux

Video: Engineering a Live Streaming Workflow for Super Bowl LIII


Super Bowl 53 has come and gone with another victory for the New England Patriots. CBS Interactive responsible for streaming of this event built a new system to deal with all the online viewers. Previously they used one vendor for acquisition and encoding and another vendor for origin storage, service delivery and security. This time the encoders were located in CBS Broadcast Centre in New York and all other systems moved to AWS cloud. Such approach gave CBS full control over the streams.

Due to a very high volume of traffic (between 30 and 35 terabits) four different CDN vendors had to be engaged. A cloud storage service optimized for live streaming video not only provided performance, consistency, and low latency, but also allowed to manage multi-CDN delivery in effective way.

In this video Krystal presents a step-by-step approach to creating a hybrid cloud/on premise infrastructure for the Super Bowl, including ad insertion, Multi-CDN delivery, monitoring and operational visibility. She emphasizes importance of scaling infrastructure to meet audience demands, taking ownership of end to end workflow, performing rigorous testing and handling communication across multiple teams and vendors.

You can download the slides from here.

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Speaker

Krystal Mejia Krystal Mejia
Software Engineer,
CBS Interactive

Webinar: Automated media workflows in the cloud

Date: September 3rd 2019 Time: 15:30 BST, 10am EDT

Across the media and entertainment industry, more organisations are moving to modern, cloud-based applications to meet growing demands for scale and flexibility.

As a complement to the scale and efficiency of high-volume cloud-based IT operations, process automation can greatly streamline media workflows.

In this webinar, James Wilson from IBM Aspera on Cloud shows its impact on routine processes whilst BASE Media Cloud joins to describe purpose-built cloud workflows for digital media companies, including automated quality control and content distribution.

Register now!

Speakers

James Wilson James Wilson
Director of Engineering,
IBM Aspera on Cloud
Ben Foakes Ben Foakes
Managing Director,
BASE Media Cloud

Video: Broadcast and OTT monitoring: The challenge of multiple platforms


Is it possible to monitor OTT services to the same standard as traditional broadcast services? How can they be visualised, what are the challenges and what makes monitoring streaming services different?

As with traditional broadcast, some broadcasters outsource the distribution of streaming services to third parties. Whilst this can work well in broadcast, there any channel would be missing out on a huge opportunity if they didn’t also monitor some analytics of the viewer using their streaming service. So, to some extent, a broadcaster always wants to look at the whole chain. Even when the distribution is not outsourced and the OTT system has been developed and is run by the broadcaster, at some point a third party will have to be involved and this is typically the CDN and/or Edge network. A broadcaster would do well to monitor the video provided at all points through the chain including right up to the edge.

The reason for monitoring is to keep viewers happy and, by doing so, reduce churn. When you have analytics from a player telling you something isn’t right, it’s only natural to want too find out what went wrong and to know that, you will need monitoring in your distribution chain. When you have that monitoring, you can be much more pro-active in resolving issues and improve your service overall.

Jeff Herzog from Verizon Digital Media Services explains ways to achieve this and the benefits it can bring. After a primer on HLS streaming, he explains ways to monitor the video itself and also how to monitor everything but the video as a light-touch monitoring solution.

Jeff explains that because HLS is based on playlists and files being available, you can learn a lot about your service just by monitoring these small text files, parsing them and checking that all the files it mentions are available with minimal wait times. By doing this and other tricks, you can successfully gauge how well your service is working without the difficulty of dealing with large volumes of video data. The talk finishes with some examples of what this monitoring can look like in action.

This talk was given at the SMPTE Annual Technical Conference 2018.
For more OTT videos, check out The Broadcast Knowledge’s Youtube OTT playlist.
Speakers

Jeff Herzog Jeff Herzog
Senior Product Manger, Video Monitoring & Compliance,
Verizon Digital Media Services