VOD Transcoding in the Cloud

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If we went back 20 years ago, we would find ourselves in a different era. The social media platforms that we take for granted today, that are so much part of many people’s everyday lives, had not yet been invented back then. Mobile phones were used only for making phone calls and texting. And video on demand (VOD) was just a thought in the minds of experts such as Mark Nicastro, Director of Product Management at Comcast Technology Solutions. Today, it is table stakes. And that’s why the way it is delivered has changed so radically since it was launched.

The sheer size of VOD catalogs and the mind-boggling amount of content that needs to be stored and delivered to viewers poses new challenges: the need to compress content and to scale services – even when delivering high-quality content in UHD HDR, and no matter how many concurrent viewers download the same content. Moving content processing to the cloud helps to meet some of these challenges, while also ensuring fast transcoding thanks to the distributed transcoding made possible by the microservices architecture.

But how do you move VOD transcoding to the cloud?

Ateme and Comcast Technology Solutions worked together to solve the problem of VOD transcoding in the AWS public cloud for a tier-one service provider, optimizing both costs and performance. The solution was launched in production in Q3 of 2021 and involved advanced workflows with OTT packaging, dynamic ad insertion, and audience measurement.

Mr. Nicastro and I presented the solution – including best practices and the workflows that were implemented – at the 2022 NAB Show. And talking of VOD, you can watch the recording here.

The last 20 years have made a world of difference to the way we process, deliver, and consume content. But what gets me excited is what’s coming next, and how to keep improving it. What changes will the next 20 years bring?