QC for file-based workflows in the hybrid cloud

In the 30 plus years from the mid-1980s to now, tapeless or file-based workflows have moved from being an expensive high-end niche application to being the default solution for professional video production and broadcast. So, what’s next? Well at NAB this year we’ll be hearing a lot about how hybrid cloud-based workflows are the next big thing. 

Let’s look at why cloud-based solutions are attractive for video workflows.

From a business perspective, many companies prefer to spend monthly operational expenses instead of larger up-front capital expenses for server, storage, and network equipment. Ongoing management and maintenance is included in those OpEx fees instead of requiring local IT expertise. It is easier to scale up (and back down again) on demand because of changing capacity requirements, as can happen when large projects start and finish.

From a technical perspective, some video workflow functions inherently use the cloud as in the illustration below. Streaming video services use Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to reach the end viewer. Further, since most Adaptive Bit Rate (ABR) architectures use multiple versions of each program (with a range of picture resolutions and bit rates), it often makes sense to perform the transcode from the master version to each resolution in the cloud rather than transcoding locally and uploading all the different resolutions to the cloud.

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Video workflows can be partially or fully implemented using cloud-based computing and storage.

As the illustration above shows, QC testing can also be done in cloud, pre-transcode or post transcode depending your needs. If you’re planning to make the move to the cloud, you’ll want to take a look at the latest version of our Aurora automated file-based QC software suite.

Aurora’s flexible architecture and its use of HTML5 web clients to control remote Aurora Verification Units (VUs) makes it ideal for deployment in cloud environments. Aurora is currently available on Amazon's AWS Marketplace, but can be extended to other third parties such as Microsoft Azure Media Services and your own cloud environments.

For a deep dive into all things related to quality and file-based workflows, download our new primer:  Quality Control for File-Based Workflows. Then, when you’re making your way around the NAB show floor, stop by the Tektronix booth (#SU5006) for a hands-on demo of Aurora.  In the meantime, here’s a full write up on what we have on tap for this year’s NAB as published in The Broadcast Bridge.

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