Got 4K Content? Sony DADC NMS Has You Covered

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Sony DADC New Media Solutions (NMS) has a new 4K cloud workflow designed to bring higher resolution content to consumer devices as soon content owners and distributors decide delivering their libraries in 4K content make sense.

"We work with both the content owners and major studios ad well as the aggregation platforms and broadcasters," says Jacob Weinstein, senior director, global operations, Sony DADC NMS. "We focus primarily on the mastering and distribution end of the supply chain." This includes everything required for getting media prepared for delivery to consumer devices.

4K End-to-End Solution

Sony DADC NMS was formed 7 years ago to meet the needs of digital entertainment distribution (The DADC part of the name stands for Digital Audio Disc Corporation and is a holdover from when disc duplication was the focus of the business). Its 100% cloud-based technology platform Ven.ue handles avails management (details about content and business rules; metadata including information about the file resolution, length, and version; and distribution information like licenses, location availability windows, languages, etc.), content processing, localization, DRM, native OTT app development including ecommerce, and subscription management.

One Video Master, Multiple Outputs

Sony DADC NMS's inventory model was designed to limit the number of video versions. "We've always upheld the paradigm in our library of assets that you ideally want to try to have a single video asset," says Weinstein. "So what we're doing is we're trading off storage footprint for transcode. So what we do is, we'll have a single video master with many localized versions of audio and subtitles that can be paired with it and make downstream deliverables from it."

Cloud Workflow

To accelerate the servicing of new mastering formats and larger file sizes required for 4K, Sony DADC NMS selected Amazon Web Services for cloud services and Hybrik for media processing. "The nice thing about being in the cloud is we have so much scalability that it really removes the friction from having to do all of that encode work," says Weinstein. "We found that not just that, [but] from an efficiency standpoint, we're saving in storage costs, which is important when you're in the cloud because storage isn't free. It's unlimited, but it's not free."

Typical files size and transfer size? Usually a terabyte or more. "Even the biggest players will not be able to send something to us over a secure IP connection at much faster than 500 megabits per second. So we’re looking at more than 10 hours to deliver a file to us, and it could be much longer for someone with a slower connection," says Weinstein. Most everyone is using file transfer accelerators like Aspera, Signiant, and SmartJog to transfer files at maximum speed. "Even though these files are very large, we're not interested, usually, in receiving tapes or hard drives or anything physical," says Weinstein.

20 Petabytes of Premium Mezzanine Files

"We are doing high volume aggregation of content from a wide range of media producers. We do automated quality control, [the] normalization of that content to get it to conform to that particular partner's specifications," says Weinstein.

"What we normally do is we receive the master file or some sort of mezzanine file from the content providers or content owners. We ingest that along with the metadata about that file," says Kelly Mohan, chief media engineer. Sony DADC NMS's current repository is more than 20 petabytes of premium mezzanine files or more than a million hours of content in 23 languages from more than 400 different content owners.

“Leveraging our patented Materials Analysis engine, the file required for fulfillment is then identified and brought to the production system, and processed accordingly to whatever the specification might be. That could include automated transformation of something as complicated as adding logos or bumpers to the head or tail of the video, inserting commercial blacks, [or] including the (audio) channels that this customer requires in their delivery,” says Mohan.

"If something needs to happen in 30 minutes, it can. We now have the ability to scale up out infrastructure instantaneously to manage it," says Weinstein. Sony DADC NMS will be showcasing its solutions at the AWS booth at IBC, hall 5, C.80 and hosting private demos from a boat that docks outside of the RAI.

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