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How to Improve UX with SSAI

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Learn more about SSAI at Streaming Media West 2021.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Claudio Medeiros: I prepared here an overview of what we call server-side ad insertion. I want to focus on this one, because I believe it addresses three main aspects that client-side ad insertion doesn't address, which is basically it prevents native ad blockers. When you're doing client-side actually the ads are being served by a completely different location, so it's easy for software to use those sort of techniques just to strip out ads and provide "pirates'" user experience. It's seamless, when you're thinking about the transitions between content and ads. They are served at the same pipeline. It's almost a broadcast transmission. And also the quality of experience I mentioned before is the same because the ad content and the actual content is being served from the same location.

Typically, this is how it works. The client, on a non-DAI environment, client requests what we call manifest files from the CDN. It's served as a static file on the CDN, and then they get back the location of the major chunks that they need to execute to play it back. When we're doing server-side dynamic ad insertion, basically that traffic is routed to what we call a manifest manipulator. This request for this manifest comes together with some attributes from the clients, such as geolocation--tracking parameters from the device itself that are acquired through API, The type of content that you are actually executing, and the time slot window where the ad is going to be inserted.

The manifest manipulator takes all of this information forward to an ad decision server--IAB standard protocols for best live and VOD content. The ad decision server returns the ads that are going to be inserted on each one of these segments, meaning returning several metadata and the location of the media that needs to be executed.

In order to ensure optimal QoS, one process that it can go through is basically fetching those media files and running through a process that we call "Just in Time Ad Ingest," which will basically go into process those major files to all of the variants that are served by this platform, push it to the CDN, and ultimately--when the client gets back the manifest--annotate all of those new media chunks on it. It will get, and it will play back content from the same location or from similar quality of experience locations, edge locations that it would have for the real content.

Just to finish here, the manifest manipulator also forwards to the clients several tracking routines that we can discuss further.

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Harmonic Director, Playout Solutions Andy Warman explains the basics and benefits of server-side ad insertion in this clip from his presentation at Streaming Media East 2019.