AWS Elemental Blog
AWS Elemental Blog
Submitted by Heidi on November 17, 2016

Advertising is an integral part of video monetization strategies for broadcasters, pay TV operators, content programmers and other video providers. Though primary screen advertising has long been optimized, the art of making money while delivering video content on connected devices is still evolving.

Some of the challenges include device fragmentation, the use of ad blocking and a user experience that falls short of expectations. These challenges will only grow – along with the goal of monetizing video content – as global video viewership on multiscreen devices increases. According to the Ericsson Mobility Report 2015, video traffic to mobile devices is set to increase 55 percent a year through 2020. Given this, how can broadcasters and video content providers fine-tune their ability to garner ad revenue while delivering a premium viewing experience?

This white paper explores the benefits of server-side ad insertion (SSAI), which dynamically and seamlessly inserts targeted ads as video content is delivered to consumers. It also discusses how SSAI improves upon client-side ad insertion, covers the complex standards to be considered in delivering ads and explains how cloud-based resources can help media companies deliver dynamic advertising at scale. Taking advantage of the cloud is critical for accommodating peak loads  – such as top sporting events, a breaking news story or the season finale of a popular television program – all accompanied by advertising.

To learn more, download the white paper. Additional information can be found in this webcast: Monetize Video Content with Server-Side Ad Insertion.

Submitted by Laura on November 15, 2016

In the past few months, Elemental powered two important demonstrations in Japan of 4K Ultra HD video content delivery using the Hybridcast unified broadcast and broadband platform. Developed by Japanese national broadcaster NHK, Hybridcast is a powerful way of unifying traditional broadcasting technology with high-speed internet services. It provides dual broadcast and over-the-top (OTT) content delivery, allowing consumers to switch seamlessly between the two on Hybridcast-equipped receivers that accept video from traditional broadcast and internet sources.

A demonstration by Kansai Telecasting Corporation (KTV), the leading commercial broadcaster in Osaka, Japan, was a first, using a combined Elemental and Amazon Web Services (AWS) workflow to support live and on-demand 4K video delivery as part of the KTV 2016 Technical Fair to prove simultaneous broadcast and internet delivery of 4K services.

“The Elemental and AWS teams provided excellent and invaluable support, using cloud encoding and streaming to complete the Hybridcast delivery platform,” said Iwao Namikawa, Director of KTV’s Broadcast Technology Department. “It was an important achievement, as we move towards deployment of Hybridcast services, including Ultra HD.”

KTV staged live programs which were shot in 4K and then encoded in HEVC in MPEG-DASH using a software-based Elemental Live encoder. Elemental originated outputs for a KTV web server hosted on Amazon EC2 for distribution over an Amazon CloudFront content delivery network (CDN) to devices over the internet, including to an Ultra HD Hybridcast receiver in the KTV Center in Osaka. Viewers were able to enjoy the 4K content and the seamless experience of switching between broadcast HD and online Ultra HD. They could also choose other VOD channels via a common user interface.

In September, the Nagoya Broadcasting Network (NBN) held its annual Mētele Autumn Festival, which also featured live production on site and a Hybridcast content delivery platform using an Elemental Live encoder. The production included a number of NBN’s most popular programs including content for the NBN pay TV service Dance Channel, with concert performances from singers and bands shown on giant screens at the event.

While the original plan was to process and deliver 4K Ultra HD HEVC content at 20 Mbps, on-site tests proved Elemental Live encoding required only 10 Mbps for excellent quality. This allowed the link from the festival to be carried over WiFi.

“We saw how Elemental solutions could perform delivering 4K Ultra HD at the Kansai TV demonstrations earlier this year,” said Minoru Murata, Director of Technology Strategy at NBN. “We pushed the systems much harder, not only by restricting the bandwidth to 10 Mbps, but also by working outdoors in very high temperatures. The Elemental Live encoder performed perfectly, delivering premium image quality with stable operation.”

Elemental at InterBEE 2016

At InterBEE 2016, Elemental will demonstrate its full product suite and showcase SDI over IP video transport on stand 7.7307 at the Makuhari Messe, Japan, November 16 - 18. Elemental will also demonstrate a host of Amazon Web Services’ offerings for media and entertainment broadcast and OTT applications. Among other next-generation video technologies, Elemental will highlight powerful encoding that allows for creation and delivery of Ultra HD HEVC video outputs in real time for immersive virtual reality applications.

Submitted by Heidi on November 10, 2016

In recognition of its 100th anniversary, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) hosted a series of special events around the world. The celebration culminated with the Centennial Gala, a black-tie event that took place in Hollywood, CA in late October at the conclusion of the SMPTE 2016 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition. Elemental was honored to play a key role in both events as special presenter during the gala and by providing innovative demonstrations at the exhibit.

The Centennial Gala event featured an entertaining look at the Society’s past, present and future through the lens of achievements by the world’s leading creative visionaries and motion imaging technologists. Providing a glimpse of what’s to come, Elemental shared the stage with actor John O’Hurley, formerly of Seinfeld, in a skit highlighting virtual reality (VR). Immediately afterward, the band Entourage took to the stage in the adjoining ballroom to perform for the event’s party. Guests were able to don VR headsets – arranged by Elemental in partnership with Pixel Corps – to experience “being in the band.” A Nokia OZO camera was placed amidst the performers and the streaming VR content was processed by Elemental encoders to attendees wearing headsets.

VR and spherical content, higher frame rates and high dynamic range were key themes throughout the presentations at the three-day SMPTE conference and exhibit in Hollywood. Hundreds of key professionals representing studios, broadcast networks, technology companies, video industry veterans and the media attended.

A week later, VR was again a key topic when the Hong Kong chapter of SMPTE held its Immersive Motion Imaging Technologies seminar and celebrated the 22nd anniversary of its founding and the centennial of SMPTE. At SMPTE Hong Kong, which took place on November 3-4 at the Hong Kong Design Institute, Elemental presented at the Next Generation OTT technical symposium and supported a combined Nokia/Elemental virtual reality demonstration. As with the demonstration in Hollywood, a Nokia OZO camera streamed VR content to Elemental Live which encoded the video to 4K H.264 and served it to five head-mounted displays. The audience included upwards of one hundred senior engineers and managers from TVB, iCable, RTHK, the Hong Kong Jockey Club, and 23 Magic, among others.

For more information about Elemental solutions supporting VR, read about the Red Hot Chili Peppers performing for their “Getaway Tour” to deliver Germany’s first-ever VR live streaming concert: Red Hot Virtual Reality