NBC Olympics Taps Telestream for Conversion, Transcoding Needs
NBC Olympics made use of Telestream products to provide file-based standards conversion, transcoding, and workflow orchestration during its production of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The announcement was made by Darryl Jefferson, Vice President, Digital Workflow, NBC Olympics and Dan Castles, CEO, Telestream.
“We were excited to continue working with Telestream and used their next-generation Vantage hardware and software toolset for advanced workflow orchestration,” says Jefferson. “We used Vantage file-based standards conversion, transcoding, audio re-mapping and down-mixing, closed captioning extraction, and more. The GPU-accelerated Lightspeed Server ensured that processes kept up with the rigorous live environment, and the workflow profiles allowed us the flexibility to configure process intelligence with each step.”
“Vantage was designed to enable sophisticated content creation and distribution workflows, seamlessly connecting independent devices into a centralized, managed system,” adds Castles. “We’re pleased that our technology allowed NBC to quickly scale their system to meet the demands of this major global event. We’re proud to have been associated with this effort.”
Vantage was used by NBC to perform workflow orchestration between various third-party production and encoding systems, with a special focus on preparing content for non-traditional platforms such as cable video-on-demand, the Web and mobile devices. Vantage analyzed incoming source material from Sochi for parameters like frame rate and automatically directed content-processing workflows without requiring human intervention.
“Almost every file path for non-traditional TV was covered by Vantage in some way, either by workflow orchestration, just checking a file, or actual transcoding,” recalls Jefferson.
Integration between Vantage and Cinnafilm Tachyon enabled NBC to perform high-quality standards conversion from 50i to 60i in the compressed domain without decompressing the content back to baseband video, a significant time savings. The Tachyon product quickly delivered motion-compensated standards conversion, which Jefferson says was crucial for sports but hadn’t been previously feasible in file-based conversion.
NBC also used two other Telestream products to help prepare its cable VOD content: CaptionMaker (which Telestream acquired with captioning firm CPC last year) and the recently-released Vantage Transcode IPTV VOD product. CaptionMaker automated the retiming of captions from 50i to 60i, a process that typically would have required multiple disparate systems and human operation, while Vantage Transcode IPTV VOD created closed-captioned SD and HD CableLabs-compliant files for delivery to domestic cable distribution outlets.
“The big benefit of Vantage is its ‘connective tissue’,” says Jefferson. “Sometimes vendors have two products that might not be able to move content between each other, so we use Vantage to move from Point A to Point B.”