In our blog series Meet the Minds Inventing the Future of Video, we’ve been going behind the scenes to find out more about some of Ateme’s brightest minds and what they’ve been working on.
In part five of the series, we introduce Advanced Research Engineer in Packaging, Khaled Jerbi, who spoke to us about his role working with CMAF ingest.
What is Your Role at Ateme?
I am an advanced research engineer within the innovation team/CTO office. I explore new technologies and try to implement them in a simple way as proofs of concept (POCs). When results are positive and customers are interested, we explain the concept to developers. We also help them to quickly incorporate the features for official product releases.
What Specifically Have You Been Working on at Ateme?
For the most part, I have been working on the system side (what we do with video after encoding), with projects including:
- implementing the evolving CMAF ingest standard
- developing the handling of the CMAF ingest format by packagers
- adding packager support for ad insertion (SCTE35 markers) using the new standard specifications
- developing POCs at customers’ labs
- testing the full ecosystem from encoder to final playout using a real production environment (CDN, DRM encryption, low latency, and ultra-low latency)
What is CMAF Ingest?
Before reaching the final viewer, video goes through several processing steps (encoding, transcoding, storage, and packaging). The video exchange between these steps used to be achieved with file formats that are hard to handle, store, and access. A live media ingest protocol, CMAF ingest is an emerging standard. It defines a new way to exchange video using the trending low latency-enabling Common Media Application Format (CMAF). The standard also provides tools for connection and interoperability that meet the industry’s demands for increased reliability.
What Industry Challenges Does CMAF Ingest Address?
Video transmission with MPEG2-TS is often hard to manage because it is linear. This makes it complicated to parse, store, and access. Moreover, transmitting MPEG2-TS requires other layers of encapsulation such as User Datagram Protocol (UDP). There are also known issues of packet loss and errors. In contrast, CMAF ingest transmission is HTTP/TCP-based. This has a tremendous impact not only on the reliability of the transmission. In addition, it also impacts the simplicity of storing and accessing content using high-performance HTTP servers.
What Have You Achieved in this Field at Ateme?
Starting in 2022, we were able to include early implementations of the standard within Ateme’s TITAN Live encoder. As the standard evolved, we worked on improving the solution and making proofs of concept at customers’ labs and major shows such as NAB.
We also shared the knowledge with Ateme’s product developers. So, today we have customers using the technology at production level.
In addition, we used the technology to prove we can make low latency and ultra-low latency better than any existing solution.
What Does CMAF Ingest Change for Viewers?
There is nothing more frustrating and that spoils a game more than hearing our neighbors cheer a goal that we don’t get to see on our own screen until 30 seconds later. That latency truly exists between video over the top and video via satellite. CMAF already brought solutions to reduce OTT latency, but every additional second remains important. CMAF ingest leads to even further improvement in latency, which is a win for viewers.