The rise of free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels has been one of the great media success stories of the past five years. Opening up a whole new avenue for monetising archive content and engaging with different audiences, FAST offers the opportunity for broadcasters to create niche channels inexpensively and with minimal resources; while simultaneously allowing them to maintain the premium linear and subscription services geared towards larger viewerships.
Inevitably, given the dramatic expansion of this sector in recent years, there has been considerable focus on developing solutions that enable media companies to process and prepare content quickly and cost effectively. The nature of the FAST model – which is reliant on internet delivery and largely dependent on cloud-based playout – makes a cloud-based media supply chain the most logical approach for service providers everywhere.
SDVI has recognised this requirement with the evolution of SDVI Rally, which is a cloud-native media supply chain platform that automates and orchestrates the deployment of best-of-breed applications and infrastructure. The end result is a dynamic, responsive media supply chain that is perfect for delivering content for FAST channels.
INSIDE THE WORKFLOW
The FAST solution from SDVI works as follows. The SDVI Rally platform accesses programmes stored in a content archive, linked via metadata to scheduling information supplied by a FAST channel playout system. Rally then initiates the supply chain with a file check by activating the preferred QC service
from the SDVI Rally Application Services Market, spinning up the necessary cloud resources to perform the job.
Once the file has been validated, Rally uses metadata from the QC check to decide how to proceed with the supply chain. If the file needs transformation work – such as deinterlacing, upscaling, HDR conversion, or other image or audio optimisation – Rally activates the relevant job using the preferred conversion tool from the Application Services Market.
Content that was created with no ad breaks may need markers inserted at appropriate points, so Rally is able to initiate an AI/ML job to detect scene changes and create a work order that leads to the selection of ad insertion points using Adobe Premiere Pro or Accurate.Video Edit.
Once all of the necessary stages are complete, Rally delivers the file and associated metadata to a location accessible to the playout system in the cloud. The playout system fetches the files as determined by the FAST channel playlist, then plays out the content while inserting ads in each break.
SUPERIOR CONSUMER EXPERIENCE
The FAST workflow based around SDVI Rally is robust, streamlined and suited to the requirements of these new services. It allows media companies to deliver a superior consumer experience by optimising their supply chains to be more agile, efficient and intelligent.
In other words: it’s just like the FAST phenomenon itself.