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Telestream Launches Cloud-Based QC Service

Telestream
(Image credit: Telestream)

NEVADA CITY, CA—Despite the cancellation of next month’s NAB Show, companies are moving ahead with product launches that would have been announced at the show. On Thursday it was Telestream’s turn. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Telestream, a provider of workflow automation, media processing, quality monitoring and test and measurement solutions for the production and distribution of video, has been on a buying spree, acquiring EcoDigital (Front Porch Digital), Masstech, Sherpa Digital Media and the ContentAgent application from Vecima Networks. 

Covid Challenges
Commenting on the impact of the past 18+ months, CEO Dan Castles commented that although he likes to characterize Telestream as a “relationship-based” company, for the most part, they are still working remotely.

“We're in year two of working in this environment and we have some employees that joined us a year and a half ago and have yet to meet a fellow Telestream employee in person,” he said during the company’s virtual press conference this week. “But we persevered and we grew.”

Emphasizing the company’s double-digit growth in the past year, Castles pointed out the three most important markets that the company looks to that were also impacted by the pandemic. “When you look at what happened with live production, episodic production and facility expansion, those are three really important verticals to Telestream,” he said.  

Castles also commented on the challenges the pandemic has had on supply chain disruptions.

“In the case of our Lightspeed server line we bet big and had to order enough to make sure that that shortage wasn't going to be a problem,” he said. “And the only way around that in our case is, you buy big and you buy early. In the case of our monitoring products in general, it's been a challenge. We know we aren't immune, and so we're scrambling. We're in similar situations to other vendors. 

“So there's no short fix and it's going to be with us for a while,” Castles added. “It's an industry-wide problem.”

New Products, Updates Add Tech From Latest Acquisitions
In the spotlight is the new Telestream Cloud Qualify, a cloud-native QC service built from the best of Telestream’s Vidchecker and Aurora QC technology and optimized for cloud workflows.

“Qualify represents the best features of Telestream’s previous acquisitions,” Castles said. “This is a tremendous development success and it's a very large endeavor and a really great opportunity for our current customers and our new ones to upgrade their cloud QC workflows.”

Qualify is a file-based QC SaaS based on the Telestream Media Framework that runs on a customer’s cloud provider of choice. This same media framework technology is at the foundation of Telestream media workflows worldwide, the company said.

“As more media workflows move to the cloud to take advantage of scalability and cost-effective SaaS solutions, it’s imperative to have a comprehensive QC strategy that resides where the media is being processed,” said Tim MacGregor, Senior Director, Head of Strategy and Product Development, Telestream Cloud. “Developing a QC environment from proven industry solutions that customers already know and trust gives Telestream a unique position in the market.”

Built specifically for broadcast engineering and operations personnel, Telestream Cloud Qualify addresses both content coming into the media pipeline as well as content going out. For media ingest and post production, Telestream Cloud Qualify allows users to normalize their content across all their workflows whether it’s maintaining quality in a VOD library or checking incoming media that has recently been processed. For output and delivery, Qualify allows users to inspect content not only for the highest visual quality but also for standards compliance. 

Telestream Cloud Qualify also checks content before it is sent to archive with frame-by-frame video quality analysis. The service offers a RESTful Open API for integrations into customers’ media supply chain workflows as well as a robust UI that enables customers to easily operate the service. In addition, the Qualify service supports ABR/IMF and HDR media formats as well as many other common video codecs and containers.

Other new product updates and launches include:

Vantage 8.1 includes improved partner integrations with Signiant and Synamedia, camera ingest enhancements and a host of new features in Vantage core, Vantage Cloud Port, and TrafficManager.  
       
Vantage Transcode Multiscreen has extended CMAF capabilities that include SCTE 35 ad insertion and support for multi-language subtitles. To simplify multiscreen workflows, there is a new ability to interrogate a Transport Stream source and dynamically generate correct output formats based on the number of audio and subtitle/caption tracks in the source.  
           
Vantage Media Processing Platform supports Dolby Vision® and Dolby Atmos® including new support for a Dolby Vision to standard dynamic range (SDR) filter. Vantage also now supports HDR10+.    
         
Vantage now has additional transcoding capabilities including support for FFV1, Grass Valley HQ/HQX (Canopus), DVCPro and DVCPro HD, and AS-11. Vantage can also now produce Omneon-compatible outputs. In addition, Vantage now includes the Colorfront color processing engine as a filter. In addition to Tachyon standards conversion and Dark Energy noise and grain reduction, Vantage now has FrameFormer CPU-based standards conversion, and a new connector to Alchemist frame rate conversion software.
    
New Lightspeed and Lightspeed Live servers for a broad range of use cases and price points. In addition, Lightspeed Live Capture has been updated with support for ST 2110 and 12G SDI. It’s notable that it is possible to run both Capture and Stream on the same Lightspeed Live server.     
        
Switch 5 adds improved performance, Reduced Frame Decoding, ProRes RAW playback (Pro), IMF/DCP Package playback (Pro) & more. Switch is based on the Telestream Media Framework, which means new releases keep up with the latest advancements in containers and formats as they are included in the framework.
           
GLIM 1.4 has new capabilities that allows users to load a media file with separate audio to play back in sync with their video, improved detection of Nielsen watermarks in audio streams, Generic S3 and Cloudian storage support, and even a “tech preview” that lets users experiment with Google GCP and Microsoft Azure storage.  

ContentAgent v3.11 has added enhancements for Avid Media Central Production Management workflows, Nielsen audio watermarking, Sony X-OCN GPU accelerated decoding, updated camera card metadata support, and a public REST API.

Stream Monitor has been enhanced with the ability to ensure compliance with ad insertion policy, measuring SCTE-35 markers and splice event messages from the mezzanine feed to ABR streams—even providing alert notifications when ad policy is not being properly enforced or propagating through the video service. Stream Monitor has also added contribution feed monitoring and ad tracking to the system’s existing edge feed monitoring features.

Also new for Stream Monitor is the ability to monitor transport streams delivered into cloud processing centers via secure transport protocols like Zixi and SRT. Stream Monitor provides real-time measurement of critical metrics, immediately identifying network delivery challenges, encoding quality issues and audience impacting impairments.

Transform, a new cloud-native transcoding service made for development teams creating their own workflows and built upon the Telestream Media Framework.

Telestream also announced several new deals, including one in which U.K. based production house Gravity Media has made a significant investment in Telestream test & measurement equipment. The purchase includes MasterSync and Clock Reference Generators, Automatic Changeover Units and multiple units of PRISM Waveform Monitors. 

The first outing of this new test & measurement investment was at this Summer’s European football championships where Gravity Media provided host broadcast services to the event’s organizer. 

The company also announced that French national broadcaster has integrated Telestream monitoring and test & measurement equipment within its core broadcast infrastructure.