There is no ‘one size fits all’ in the media and broadcast industry and format, specification and codec diversity are certainly not new concepts. But, in the increasingly interconnected, messy and changeable media and broadcast world, global customers demand global solutions.
Regional formats have always caused somewhat of a headache for those serving global audiences, and the remedies have always been restricted, expensive and in all ways, vastly unsustainable! Our friend however, the omnipresent ‘cloud’, is stepping up to the plate and vendors are utilising the speed and power of the internet to make global content management simpler.
This blog looks at why motion compensated-, or for the cool kids, motion interpolated frame rate conversion has been the focus of our attention and what we have done about it! We’re not just all talk!
Generally speaking the US and its influenced territories around the world use 30/60 frames per second (fps) and Europe and its influenced territories use 25/50fps. This is based on a historical link between the energy supply and framerates. To complicate matters more, when the US introduced colour, they had to slow down the framerate slightly to 29.97. You can read more about why and general information about frame rates in this super easy-to-understand article.
Video created for live television such as sports, news and events is created in the local frame rate format, 25 or 29.97fps (with exceptions) but the majority of this content has a global audience and so needs to be compatible with broadcast equipment and viewer’s televisions in other parts of the world.
Imagine creating high-quality live television content and it not being broadcastable to half your revenue-generating audience – nightmare. This content therefore needs to be converted (transcoded or standards converted) to the other frame rates in a reliable and high-quality manner. But what are the options?
Frame Rate Conversion on Hardware
Most standards conversion is performed in the uncompressed SDI domain which requires dedicated hardware which in turn dictates the locations that it can be performed. These converters can cost anywhere from 5 to 6 figures ($USD) but crucially need to be prepositioned in advance and also provisioned in such numbers to handle peak use even if the peak is only for 10 days per year and perhaps only a few of the feeds actually justify the expense.
This equipment is often used sparingly week in and week out contributing to unnecessary power consumption (because no one dares to switch them off in case they don’t come back on again) and an under-utilisation which leads to a high cost per hour used whether for internal use or charged out to customers when performed as a managed service.
At a time when sustainability is a focus for many media organisations, we see a huge disconnect between the problem and the solution here.
Frame Rate Conversion in the Cloud
Leveraging Ateme’s award-winning R&D and their new Gen 7 Stream Encoding Engine it is now possible to perform high fidelity standards conversion in the compressed domain. Applying cloud orchestration and automation with this new solution from Ateme allows for an unlimited amount of standards converters to be launched, utilised and crucially shutdown when finished all while allowing ‘seamless motion in high-action sequences, achieved through high frame rates, top-quality deinterlacing, and motion interpolation’.
This removes the need for very expensive, single-use, on-prem hardware. Of course, resources are being consumed somewhere in the world and this is by no means a carbon neutral option, but the resources consumed are brought under control and, critically, can be managed remotely from anywhere.
We can hear you saying “Oh great, another software solution” – we know! But the diversity of requirements doesn’t have to be complex. This is why this standards conversion capability is now fully integrated into Livelink!
The ability to utilise cloud workflows to remove the traditional complexity associated with global distribution portfolios is the key to a revolution in global broadcast workflows. Alongside the on-demand resource provisioning capabilities, transcoders, packagers and multiviewers customers can reach new and existing audiences with single mezzanine sources. Adding cloud-based motion interpolated standards conversion capabilities on top makes Livelink the ultimate single system for global content management.
Think Livelink, think Swiss Army knife for media processing and transport!