Webinar: Simplify Multi-Channel Live-Streaming With the MediaDSAugust 4, 2017
Looking for an easier way to encode and deliver multiple content streams to viewers on a range of destinations? The MediaDS™ is a revolutionary device that bridges content creation with content delivery, merging NewTek’s industry-leading live production technology with powerful streaming software from Wowza Media Systems™.
This real-time media encoding and live-streaming platform delivers video directly to viewers, with or without the internet—whether they’re on a local network, inside the firewall; through an internet CDN or via a streaming service. In this webinar led by NewTek and Wowza, you’ll see real-life examples and watch the product in action.
In this session, we’ll cover:
- MediaDS workflows to fit any industry, from broadcasting to the enterprise to houses of worship and education.
- Benefits, real-life applications and use cases for the MediaDS from actual customers.
- A demo of how to use the MediaDS for multi-channel live-streaming.
Full Video Transcription
Evan Paul: Hello everybody and good afternoon. This is Evan Paul with Wowza. We’re going to go ahead and get started. We’re going to start off by introducing our three speakers. Jamie, Will and Ryan, if you could just take a second to introduce yourself, we can get started.
Jamie Sherry: Hello. Jamie Sherry. I am the product manager for Wowza’s Streaming Engine, and MediaDS. Welcome everyone.
Will Waters: Hello, I’m Will Waters with NewTek. I work with a number of different teams, mainly the product marketing team, along with our professional workflow team. Yeah. Just all things really IP and video production.
Ryan Jespersen: My name’s Ryan Jespersen. I’m the regional manager in Europe and overall, I guess streaming technologist. Happy to have everyone on. Hey Jamie, hey Will.
Jamie Sherry: Hello.
Will Waters: Hey.
Evan Paul: This is what we’ll be going over today. We’re going to introduce NewTek and Wowza, and how we came together to build the MediaDS. We’ll talk about the MediaDS a little bit itself. We’ll talk about some specific segment workflows and the benefits of those. We’ll do a couple of great case studies that we have for you today. Ryan’s going to do a great demonstration of the MediaDS, and we’ll wrap it up after that. Hopefully you learn a lot. Go ahead and take it away Jamie.
Jamie Sherry: Cool. Thanks Evan.
Evan Paul: Sorry, Will, I think Will’s first.
Will Waters: No worries. We’ll talk on the NewTek side here first real quick. NewTek, just so you have a quick background. NewTek is a company that manufactures and develops professional video products. NewTek has had a little bit of a unique history within the video products industry, in that we develop products on software, and we do turnkey systems. We’re both hardware and software vendor. Bringing that all together really to allow people to produce video quickly and easily, and then of course take advantage of getting tools out there that can tell their stories through video.
NewTek has been in business for 31 years now. It started way, way back when, in the mid 80’s, based on this idea that, in the future, basically video, just like every other, well now we’ve seen every other industry, is going to do things on general computing components. That idea has fruitioned into something quite fantastic. We have products everywhere from independent producers doing some web streaming, to traditional TV broadcasters at pretty much every level.
By a conservative estimate generate, at least what we know, at least 300,000 hours of content every month, then that’s viewed by billions of people. That’s done, if you go ahead, oh yeah, we already have the clients list up. By a number of well known clients, again, independents all the way up to those in the gaming world, the sporting world, to the corporate environment, and really all across the board, to the traditional media element.
Doing that, one of our big things is streaming. Taking that content and delivering it to a streaming audience. Doing that quickly and easily. Of course from that concept and that feature, we of course interact with Wowza quite a bit. I’ll let Jamie talk about who Wowza is and how they fit into this.
Jamie Sherry: Great. Thanks will. Hello everyone. If you’re not familiar with Wowza, we have a suite of products and services that help with on demand and live streaming workflows, from end to end. As you can see here, we consider ourselves a company who powers over 25% of live streaming in particular worldwide. Some really good stats here. We have a lot of customers. We have a lot of people using our stuff, 450 million viewing hours, and millions of broadcasts.
One of the particular features that we like to keep track of its use is the live transcoding capability, and as you can see, there’s a ton of hours of that as well. The products that we have applied to a variety … You can go to the next slide, it’s okay. We have variety from software to services to CSDKs, and an online player. These components are things that our customers use across the board, whether you are a small guy in your garage or you are a large service provider, as you can see on the left.
We really don’t have anybody, in the sense of a market segment or a customer size, or a presence in the globe, that isn’t doing streaming and using Wowza for all or part of their solution. Again, we’ve got the segments here. You can see service providers building complete services on top of our stuff. Enterprise and government supports, education. We have religious folks and a variety of others on the right that you can see. Again, the size and location of everyone varies. The whole world is using streaming, and Wowza’s a big part of that.
I’m going to hand it off to Ryan to talk further about what the MediaDS is, in case you don’t know. That includes the hardware itself, the workflows and use cases you might use this product for.
Ryan Jespersen: Thanks Jamie. Really the MediaDS, as many of you know, the video streaming industry, and video in general, has changed so much in the last 5, 10, 15, 20 years. There’s just been this huge movement towards IP. NewTek of course is an industry standard, when you start talking about IP delivery for video. Of course, it fits in very nicely into Wowza as well. Really what we’re trying to do with this MediaDS product, Wowza and NewTek have been partnering for many years, as part of our Works With Wowza partner program. This MediaDS is really taking that a step further, and trying to bridge content creation with delivery. Finding a way to mix the part of producing content with the distribution, and have a turnkey solution that can really bridge the gap between that.
We find, and in our conversations with NewTek as a partner, we have found that many customers have a, it’s kind of this black box of not knowing exactly what to do with streaming. The MediaDS has really been designed to solve that need, and do it for four concurrent channels. It really is a revolutionary, real time, media encoding and live streaming platform, that takes everything that NewTek does, and all their industry leading live production technology, and pairs it with that powerful Wowza live streaming software. That allows you to easily distribute content to a variety of different devices, and get your content to go everywhere, as well as a variety of different live streaming and social media platforms that have become really a part of everyday life in the live streaming world.
Will, maybe I’ll pull you in here. You can talk a little bit about it from the NewTek side. Introducing the MediaDS. What was one of the incentives for NewTek to really design this product along with Wowza?
Will Waters: Absolutely. At NewTek, I said before, we manufacture and develop products that allow for ease of video content creation. Probably our claim to fame at the moment is a product called TriCaster, which is a fully integrated production suite that does video switching and graphics overlays. It creates the video content. As a part of that, there is a streaming encoder that then of course could deliver out to whatever network.
Our customer base looks at that and they say, “Well, there’s a blending now of really what this is in the streaming world.” As you’ve mentioned before, it’s everywhere. That means that really, as a content producer, you have to think about your viewer. Where do you deliver that video to? It’s more, from our customer standpoint, there’s more than just making a stream and sending it off somewhere. It’s, okay well maybe I have a audience in multiple places. Maybe I have to get that to different areas. Well, we need a streaming, and a delivery product that could answer that question, and really allow the producer to expand upon and have more control over that, from a streaming side.
As a result, you go to a best of breed partner, in this case Wowza, and we say, “Well what can we do to really solve this problem of making sure that our producers can capture eyeballs, and capture viewers, and hold on to those viewers, really wherever they happen to participating or whatever platform they happen to be on.
Ryan Jespersen: Yeah. I think you bring up a good point. We have a lot of TriCaster users who are on this webinar, and many of them are trying to find a way to actually distribute the content. With the NewTek TriCaster, you can already stream content, but you can’t host users on that content. It means that people can’t connect directly into your TriCaster to consume that stream. This MediaDS is designed to solve that in both a local network, or inside the firewall, as well as being able to push to an internet CDN or a streaming service, to really scale your stream to the public internet.
I think that’s really where the differentiator is, in this particular product, and why it makes it so unique. I think some of the benefits of the MediaDS is the fact that you can pull in your HD-SDI feed. It does come with NDI Connectivity as well. One of my favorite things, Will, of this product, are the NDI tools that have been developed, and that are free to actually download and use. That allows you to pull in screen capture. It has a plugin for VLC. You can actually pull it in with Adobe Creative Cloud. There’s all these NDI tools that allow you to actually pull in content in a variety of ways, that makes the MediaDS such a unique product, to be able to pull in all kinds of different content.
Will Waters: That’s really one of the benefits here of IP. It’s interesting, because we do really have a worlds colliding scenario here. Where the video production industry, it predates computers. Broadcast and television, 70 years, in its 9th decade now. A lot of that is that there’s a whole different mechanisms and HD-SDI, or composite, or component, or even VGA and HDMI. All of these different ways of moving video on a production standpoint, or viewing standpoint, but that’s different than the IP world.
Well, what NewTek has done here with NDI is taking the advantage of all those tools, and everything that people know and love in the streaming world, and effectively allowing that to be taken advantage of now in the production world. NDI is a big part of that. What this allows for the MediaDS is that content can really be easily delivered to the MediaDS for preparation for delivery. Whether that’s desktop screen capture, or whether that’s a camera across a network, like a corporate facility, or whether that’s out of a full production suite, such as a TriCaster based production.
Ryan Jespersen: Exactly. I’ll talk a little bit more about the NDI tools during the demo itself, because I’m using NDI to actually pull in the feed for several of those channels. Then from the flexible delivery side, it’s like the ability to pull in the best of breed technology that Wowza provides on the streaming side. Our Wowza Streaming Engine that’s been around for over a decade and powers a quarter of the world’s live streaming. Our Wowza Streaming Cloud platform, that’s a cloud based platform that’s built with a global infrastructure to deliver your content, and with a built in CDM, the Wowza CDM, to really scale your content globally.
Then of course we actually partner with Facebook Live. We partner with Microsoft Azure. You can push your streams to Ustream and to YouTube Live. These are all, simultaneously you can push this out there, which makes the MediaDS, once again, a differentiator from a product perspective.
Then we’ll talk a lot in the case studies about the ability to serve content from a local distribution perspective. There’s an embedded Wowza player, and hosted pages, that allows you to deliver your content to multiple devices. Whether it’s iOS devices, mobile phones, HTML5 browsers. All can be done with the Wowza player that comes with this device. We’ll be demoing that as well.
Then from the NewTek side, we’ll show in the demo the dedicated multi viewer that allows you to do some really advanced color correction, integrated wave form, vector scope, multi channel audio level control. Really, really professional features that takes this a step further. It’s not just a simple video viewer. It really allows you to mix content, correct audio levels and fix a lot of your color problems that, if not done at production, would have to be done in post production otherwise.
One of the things that’s great about the MediaDS is the fact that it spans so many different industries. Some of the ones we’ll be touching on today are broadcasting, house of worship, or religious uses cases. Mobile entertainment, using this for cruise ships, pulling in live content for planes, trains, automobile type use cases. One that’s been probably the most common that we’ve seen so far is enterprise and corporations and multinationals that are looking to stream content across their corporate network. Because the MediaDS does allow you to scale in network, as well as also push to the public internet, it makes it a differentiator in that space.
Then we’ll also be featuring a government use case, talking about how a lot of state and federal institutions could use the MediaDS to actually scale their live streaming content. Then Will, you’ll be talking about an education use case with a school district in California. Then of course we’ll talk about sports and entertainment, and different use cases for that as well.
This is just kind of a reiteration of what we just talked about in the previous slide. The fact that this is a workflow for every industry, it allows you to really have a turnkey solution that could solve the needs of everything that we just mentioned before. Really the idea, from a very simple workflow perspective is, over here you have your input sources. This is the ability to pull in, like Will had mentioned, a TriCaster feed, using even the NewTek IP series to actually produce your content from an IP workflow perspective. Mix it. Add graphic effects, and then be able to push that to the MediaDS to distribute that to all kind of outputs. Everything from mobile devices to OTT, like Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku devices, PlayStations and Xboxes, as well as social media platforms.
The Wowza Streaming Engine license that sits inside this MediaDS really allows you to repackage that content to these protocols that permits the delivery to all these different devices. Then when you put Wowza CDN in the middle of that, this allows you to scale that content to a global network.
The great thing about this is that you can use the, once again, the industry leading technology that Wowza provides, with the industry leading technology that NewTek provides on the input and production side.
Now Will, you and I have been working a little bit on several use cases with particular customers. From an enterprise perspective, I’ve touched on this briefly before, we’ve talked about using the MediaDS to actually pull in your camera content. One of the beautiful products that you guys just came out with recently is the NewTek IP Camera, that actually distributes over NDI. Maybe tell us a little bit about that, and how you can pull that into an enterprise workflow.
Will Waters: Well right. Thank you. We did just release, or just announce rather, the NewTek NDI Camera. It’s a PTC camera, and that is a IP camera that is useful for production, and effectively it’s one cable. Control, video, audio, even tally, and some of the production tools. All that, along with power over ethernet, can connect into that camera, which allows you to effectively put that anywhere on your network. Then that can give a signal, via the high quality, low latent signal that’s suitable for production, directly into the MediaDS, that then can be prepared for streaming and delivery.
Doing this from a corporate standpoint, that really makes it very quick and easy to effectively use the in house, potentially use the in house networking infrastructure to set up a camera and be ready to go with communication, a live stream, some type of communication from a video standpoint very quickly and easily. Goes right to the MediaDS, and then of course it can be prepared for delivery in all of those particular output points that you just described.
Ryan Jespersen: Yeah. You bring up a good point. It’s the ability to pull in an IP camera, and actually over NDI as well, which takes advantage of the NDI technology, can pull directly into the MediaDS. Really makes it easy to not have to have a separate camera and encoder. It pretty much removes the need to have this. You have one IP camera that solves that need.
The other thing that this slide, this slide is almost like an old version of what the workflow would have been like. This was a streaming engine license, now it sits inside the MediaDS itself. This one rack mounted unit can actually take care of all of this process. It can actually record and archive the live stream that’s coming into the box for all four simultaneous channels. The reason this is a main concern, there’s a very large multinational bank that uses Wowza and has made a global deployment. The reason being is that their content is very private, they want to keep it secure in network. They don’t want to use a cloud based technology, like a GoToMeeting or a WebEx or an Adobe Connect. They want to be able to bring that all in house and not use a cloud based infrastructure so they can secure and keep their content private.
The other side to it is the technology piece. Imagine that your office in Paris only has a two megabyte per second, or even a ten megabyte per second, or 20 megabyte per second download pipe, from your ISP. If you have 100 employees that are in that particular office and they’re all trying to connect to a two megabyte per second stream at the same time, it’s going to bring that network down. One of the benefits the MediaDS provides is you can produce this content. Let’s say in this instance, in San Francisco, push a live stream from MediaDS to your other MediaDS unit that sits inside your office in Paris, and then redistribute that content to local users through the local IP.
What this does is, all the users in Paris are going to be connecting to this local unit, and not saturating the internet connection. You’re only taking up that two megabyte per second stream that’s going to that unit.
By the same token, you can use this workflow, and you can also use a hybrid of this workflow, you push it into the cloud. If you don’t want to permit employees who are trying to connect from home, you can add security and encryption to really protect that content. There’s all kind of different hybrid workflows that really fit into this enterprise and corporate workflow.
The other piece that we have here as well, is the ability, the MediaDS, when it records, it has a full Wowza Streaming Engine license on it, that you can then reference those recorded mp4’s that sit on your network attached storage device that you’ve recorded from the MediaDS. Then you can use that Wowza Streaming Engine license to serve the on demand content to users. Whether it be live stream DVR, which you can allow people to pause and rewind to the beginning, or if after the event you record it to mp4, that same unit can be used as a VOD streaming server for your on demand content. It really checks a lot of check boxes from an enterprise perspective.
This is somewhat similar, but different, for the broadcasting and OTT workflow. With a lot of broadcasters, they are using NewTek equipment. I mean Will, a lot of your customers are broadcasters. Whether it be regional, local, and even national TV stations around the world.
Will Waters: That’s true. The definition of broadcaster really is even changing in today’s world. It used to be broadcaster was broadcasting probably with some type of antenna. Then you move into cable distribution, things like that. Today broadcasters can be someone delivering to a Twitch stream. Twitch calls all their content providers broadcasters. Broadcasters, we have those in every range, and from production suite. Whether it’s just a small, multi camera shoot with two or three cameras, all the way up to really large scale sporting productions that deliver in a traditional manner.
Ryan Jespersen: Jamie, I want to pull you in from that perspective as well. You know, you are the product manager for Wowza Streaming Engine in the past. You are now also the product manager for Wowza Streaming Cloud, and controlling a lot of our new products around low latency. For broadcasters specifically, they can really take advantage of the cloud based infrastructure to deliver their content in a broadcasting workflow.
Jamie Sherry: Yeah, that’s right. The nice thing about the cloud service, if you plug into that, as you get to scale, you also can have the flexibility with other streaming engine, is obvious for the most part, with software over services, to build out a scalable infrastructure as well, or if you have other needs, to deal with customization and stuff like that too. Definitely you have several options, and you can even mix the two together if you like.
Ryan Jespersen: Absolutely. That hybrid workflow is proving really popular for OTT. What we mean by OTT is over the top. This is, like Will mentioned, a lot of people who are delivering to live streaming platforms, or they’re even developing their own on top of Wowza software. That’s the reason we included kind of the devices over here, is many people are trying to get their device to play back on their own apps, in other devices like PlayStation and Xbox. OTT devices like Chromecast, Android TV, Apple TV, Roku and so on. Really using this workflow and using a hybrid approach with the MediaDS, with the Wowza Streaming Cloud, and even with your own Wowza Streaming Engine licenses, can allow you to really deliver that content and create kind of this TV everywhere approach. Where your users that are trying to consume your content can consume that from anywhere in the world.
Will Waters: Ryan if I could just, I think this is a good point to bring up, and just to note for our viewers today. That is that really you can start at any level. The MediaDS really gives you that function, that scalability. Say you’re only delivering even to a local network, you can do that, but then you have the power, and the option to really grow as necessary. This is really what the advantage of being in software and software services allows for. Instead of previously, where you had to buy altering keys systems and solutions, and effectively they solved the problem of today. As trends move, as your business grows, as your content is delivered or your audience potentially even moves, having the possibility to scale and to maneuver as necessary, while still being able to do that, really delivers a cost benefit over time.
Ryan Jespersen: Yeah. That’s a great point, Will. In fact, we have a couple of questions that are pending right now. One from Craig, or Craig is on from UNC Charlotte. That’s an educational use case that we’re actually, Will, you’re going to be featuring a little bit later when we talk about different case studies. Then [Sevked 00:27:34] has actually put a question up talking about, does this only fit into very large systems? Will, I think you just mentioned that perfectly. It does fit into even a small school, or a small use case. A small house of worship. The MediaDS unit really allows you to kind of deliver what even very professional workflows can provide, for very small customers as well that are only needing to deliver to a small customer base. It really can solve the need of a disparate amount of different use cases.
The final one we’ll talk about before we jump into case studies, and then Will, you’ll talk about the educational use case you have with your customer in California. Is this kind of in venue and stadium workflow. The reason I feature this one specifically is it’s a very popular one for live sports streaming. Many people that are looking to produce content, they own content rights for the content. This could be amateur sports. This could be semi-pro. This could be even full on professional sports. The ability to be able to produce your content, whether it’s with a NewTek TriCaster already, or the NewTek IP series, or even some other kind of mixer. You are able to pull in that content, encode it with the MediaDS. Use the Wowza license that’s on there to redistribute that to many other Wowza licenses or within your stadium. This really allows you to kind of scale your content to the stadium, so that people can bring their own devices.
I’m working right now with a very large automobile racing association. One of the things they are trying to do is get more people to come to the live events. In that use case, using Wowza and deploying that in a stadium type environment, or in a venue, allows them to do that for a local distribution perspective. The MediaDS is a perfect fit, while at the same time being able to push their content to the cloud and to a CDM, to scale it to users that aren’t at the stadium. That workflow is also becoming very common with the MediaDS.
With that, Will, I’m going to go ahead and pass this over to you. You’re going to give us an overview of the case study with Placentia Yorba Linda School District.
Will Waters: Absolutely. Thank you Ryan. I think the question that was brought up, it’s really the idea that this is only for large scale. I just want to dispel that immediately. The case study that we’re looking here, with Placentia Yorba Linda School District. They’re a school district here in the United States. They’re out in California. They have the same challenges that many different educational facilities do. Both in the states, as well as worldwide, and that is that they have a limited amount of funding. They have particular goals and different things that they need to work with. They’re limited on resources, however you shape that.
Of course that comes into, well how do they put that all together? In talking with the facilities director there, one of the statements that was made is that they did get into streaming a number of years ago, and they have basically 25,000 students. That’s across 33 schools. Now, this is elementary schools and middle schools and high schools, so it kind of goes across the board as far as the different types of schools that they have there.
One of the things that they knew that they needed to get into was video. How do you deliver that out and how do you generate that content? Well, if you take a look over, well before I get into that. They tried a number of different streaming technologies and individual encoders and various things before they found the MediaDS and arrived on something that really helped solved a problem.
If you look at the left hand side here, and what is kind of roped off as the current phase. They have a MediaDS that they have placed, well physically it’s in one of their theaters. They have a production suite. It’s just a standard video production suite. They deliver SDI to the MediaDS, and because the MediaDS has four channels available to it, what they were able to utilize was that, they could of course deliver to a Wowza streaming cloud customer already. They deliver out to the streaming cloud, but then they also could simulcast some things to Facebook, to take advantage of the Facebook Live.
Now, one of the things that this, after getting the MediaDS, that they were able to realize, was that they could then stagger their start times. This was a really important thing that they found, because depending on the platform that their viewers happened to be watching, they needed to, that influenced how they interacted. For instance, maybe there was a meeting or there was an event happening in this theater, and they had their regular audience on the Wowza Streaming Cloud. Yeah, they may do a startup and a pre stream and things are moving in, or there might be a lull in the production or different things, but when they go to Facebook, they have a very limited amount of time to capture that audience.
Because the Facebook viewers were very fickle, they were, if something compelling wasn’t happening at that moment, well then they would lose those viewers for the whole show. Finding that they could use the channels of the MediaDS to effectively stagger start times of streams, depending on the platform, really allowed them to grow their audience and then take advantage of the strengths of the various delivery platforms.
On top of that, they were able to also deliver this, if you look on the right hand side, you have the behind the firewall, for internal web pages. They could also use the web player that’s built in on the MediaDS. Create customized web pages based off of the theater or the school, or frankly even down to the particular group that was performing, based off of, say it was the elementary school versus the high school, or what you have there, so that they could develop specific web pages. Dedicated web pages per school, to be able to deliver out that. That was a really advantageous opportunity, and a benefit that they actually were able to bring about after the purchase of the MediaDS.
Now, beyond that, because they could integrate this with multiple different outputs, and taking advantage of the integrated Wowza Streaming Engine, along with the streaming cloud, that allowed them to then see some analytics of who was watching. Say they were doing their graduation, they found that they had students that had family all around the world, which basically they were able to take to the school board and say, “Hey, we have interaction with people.” The school board found that information to be very valuable, because then they could take that information back to their planning committees and defend various decision making, and more information to go into the school board.
Finally, if we look at the lower left hand side of this particular slide, you’ll see a future phase, where you see a big NDI logo there. What they’ve looked at, and while they’re using SDI, and that’s serial digital interface, to actually get the video in from an encoding standpoint. Now that there is an NDI capacity, they can effectively start using the MediaDS by centrally locating the system and then utilizing their district network to be able to effectively take potentially a camera from a lecture, if they want, or maybe a location shoot that they do. Deliver that into the MediaDS, and then of course take advantage of the distribution and the deliver as previously was described. It’s a lot of features that they have there.
Just to give a quote from them. It’s just like, hey today’s problems, they probably could go about and solve individual parts cheaper, but what they really see the value here is that this allows them to change to future trends. They feel, in many ways, future proof. I know a lot of us vendors talk about future proofing, and use that in marketing. I think this is something that is really, it really meets that promise, because this is built on software. You can do things and upgrade and scale, and do things into the future that it doesn’t mean ripping your entire infrastructure out and replacing, or it doesn’t have to. That’s really the value that they really appreciated.
Ryan Jespersen: Yeah. That’s a great point Will. When you talk about future proofing, what a better way to talk about future proofing than discuss NDI. With NDI, you have so many other encoder vendors, whether it be software encoders or hardware encoders, that are building in NDI into their technologies, because they see it as the future of IP delivery for distribution and production. With the MediaDS being able to pull in NDI content, you can use your existing software encoders, like Wirecast or XSplit. There’s so many that are part of this NDI partner program, right?
Will Waters: Of course. Really and we’re here to help with all of that. In many ways, you can kind of throw out so many different options that it’s just like, well what do I choose? Well, you know, there’s help along with that. The real advantage here is that there is customer choice. Again, looking at it from a standpoint, you don’t have to be the large broadcaster, or the large CO corporation to be able to take advantage of these tools. It’s available starting at a very low level.
Ryan Jespersen: Yeah. That’s one of the things we always reiterate at Wowza, is video over IP democratizes video. It really makes it accessible to everyone, because these production tools that used to cost in the tens or hundreds, or even millions of dollars, is now accessible all in software products. That’s really, the MediaDS being able to pull in these software feeds over IP, really does democratize video and make it accessible and affordable for everybody.
Will, thanks for that case study. That’s more on the educational side. With the one that Will kind of highlighted, one of the other things that we’re seeing with education is distance learning. People who are using the MediaDS to send live feeds to remote campuses. Also, popular with many house of worship or religious organizations who have one main campus but several remote campuses. The MediaDS really kind of fits into that model very nicely too.
The case study, one of the ones that I’ve worked on in this last year is with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This is the state house and the state senate of Massachusetts. They needed a replacement for some aging encoders that they had that could only give them kind of a standard definition workflow. It was very much a patch together solution that really didn’t fill the need of what they needed.
With the MediaDS, it was a perfect fit for being able to produce live content, pull in their mixes from the live house senate, the state house and the state senate, pull in the feeds, mix it with their mixing software, and then send the HD-SDI signals to dual encoders that could be set up in redundant workflow. Should one go down for any reason, they need to make sure that they can send that. It’s part of the law in Massachusetts to actually distribute the content, and distributing it over IP is much more affordable than doing it over conventional broadcast methods.
Even though this slide has a lot of information on it, really what they’re trying to do, is everything inside this larger rectangle is in the local network. They have a need to be able to redistribute content locally, in the local network, for people who are inside and work for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. These could be multicast enabled TVs. These could be a senator who’s on his iPhone or iPad in his office and wants to watch the live stream. He probably should be at the state senate, I would think, but they’re busy and he’s at his office and he wants to watch what’s going on with a particular vote. All that can happen.
At the same time, they also have a mandate that they have to push the content to the public internet and make it available to users. When they pass certain controversial laws, or certain things that are hot topics, many people connect. With their old system, they had a problem of scaling that. Now they’re able to push their content from their local Wowza servers. They produce the content with the MediaDS. They distribute it locally to their locally deployed Edge servers, to scale content in network.
Then they also push to the Wowza Streaming Cloud that can also provide that content to the CDN, the Wowza CDN, and deliver to hundreds, thousands, and even hundreds of thousands of viewers over the public internet. That’s all on kind of a pay as you go model. This slide really references that. We’ve included the slides as a PDF. You guys can download and look at this, and definitely come back to us with any questions.
We’ve been talking for a while about different case studies and use cases and workflows. Really I think, like you guys, I’m a techie at heart and I really like showing a demonstration of the product. I want to leave plenty of time for that, and plenty of time for the Q&A. Let’s go ahead and jump into the demo.
What we have here is, this is actually the MediaDS in action. We’ve had plenty of questions coming in, and I’ll try to address more of them. One of the major questions that we’ve had is around the type of connections you can pull into the MediaDS. As an example, this is a live feed of me right here. I’ve got an actual physical camera here, with an SDI output, and you can see that over here on the left.
Now, the first thing I’ll mention is, we’re doing this over GoToWebinar, and GoToWebinar has a screen refresh rate of like a frame per second. This looks choppy, but it isn’t. It’s actually really clean. The NewTek software that actually encodes this pulls in the feed over SDI or NDI or any IP sources, encodes this and send it to the Wowza license that sits on the box. Does a beautiful job of actually pulling this in at a very high resolution. I can tell you right now, I’m in Europe. I have these all coming in at either 25 or 50 frames per second. This particular SDI feed is 50 frames, and it’s extremely smooth and extremely clean.
Then I have these other feeds coming in as well. This is actually a feed from VLC Media Player. This one up here is coming in from Adobe Premiere, over the NDI tools. Then I have an NDI tool that’s actually generating this feed as well. Really to kind of show you what these inputs look like, I’m going to click on this cog icon. In here you can actually see what I can do to configure the particular channel in the input. There’s a lot of things I can do in here. I can archive the stream using the NewTek encoder to actually save this to a recorded asset.
The most interesting thing here is the video source. I can pull this video source in, and here you can see I have four physical SDI inputs that I can pull in, that actually sit on the back of the box. This is the first one that I actually have selected. This is the one you can see coming in from my camera. What you’ll also notice, when I pull up this video source, are all the NDI shades that it’s pulling in over my network.
Here you can see I have multiple VLCs running on my Windows machine. I have my MacBook Pro also assimilating certain feeds. One coming in from Wirecast. One coming in from Adobe. All these are options that show up on the network.
One of the beautiful things about NDI, whenever we go to IBC or NAB, which are the two large broadcasting conferences globally, and we pull up any NewTek product, you can see literally hundreds of NDI feeds that are coming in from different vendors across the broadcast floor over that IP network. It’s beautiful, because the NDI is such a great tool to be able to do that. With the IP camera that Will referenced earlier, this allows me to actually pull this in, not over RTSP, which is the conventional protocol that you pull in over IP cameras. Actually over NDI, which is a native technology. I can pull directly in here, but I can also pull in IP sources as well.
In here, if I do want to pull in an RTSP camera, I can do that with several options that I have in here. Many cameras nowadays, like the JVC camera, which is an ENG camera, actually can pull in an RTMP, or generate an RTMP stream. Even a multicast stream. That RTMP stream I can pull over. I can also pull over a web stream file or a custom camera.
One of the questions that we had was about other encoders. Are you using a different hardware or software encoder? You can pull in an RTMP feed in here as well, and use that as a source. Really anything IP, whether it be on the local network or on the public internet, you can pull in as a source here inside of the video manager.
The other really cool tools, and Will, I’ll pull you in here, because you’re much more knowledgeable of all the tools that I have in here, from a video color perspective, as well as from the audio channel perspective. What’s available inside the MediaDS?
Will Waters: Certainly. If you’re just looking at that panel right now, obviously we have an audio source that you can work with. The MediaDS has the ability to bring in multiple channels of audio. Say you’re using the SDI embedded, that’s eight SDI channels that then can be marched down together to be sent to the Wowza Streaming Engine locally. There’s a auto gain control, so it helps for the audio levels that you can work with. You can turn them on or off, depending on how much you like there.
As well as a delay that is really helpful. Say you have a different audio source coming through other equipment that’s different from a camera, and you need to sync up the audio and the video. You can actually work with the audio delay if you have that.
The second tab that you might have here, at the very top you see is color. Color allows you to do some color correction or some adjustments. What this really gets into is that these tools you usually only find say in professional, high end cameras, or you might be able to do a profile, if you will, on more Prosumer-ish cameras, or you find this in post production. What this allows for you to do is effectively adjust white balance, which is the digital equivalent of what white should be. That can tone the whole image, a particular color one way or the other.
You can get into some very specific controls, such as not having the whites blown out, if you will, kind of just bleeding all together. Like if someone has a white shirt on and hopefully they don’t have a wrinkled shirt, but say that they do, instead of it just being all one blown out color, you can actually see the detail there. The same thing can happen with the blacks, or the dark colors. Within shadow areas, you can maybe do some adjustments. This allows for that more professional look, and some different things that you can do right at the encoding level. You can make it look crazy. I guess for some different party effects if you truly want to. This really allows for you to do adjustments, from a production standpoint, so that you can have that high quality video.
Ryan Jespersen: Thanks Will. Being a production guy in the background, I actually white balance my camera, so I don’t need to touch any of those. No, just kidding. In here, like we mentioned, we can actually turn this on and off, and then change the input. I particularly like the audio controls. I think one of the biggest things that I see, especially when you’re pulling in audio from an input. You should do that at the production level, at the mixer level, but oftentimes you have that.
Definitely the white balance, I see white balance, poor live streams going out where white balance isn’t corrected at the camera, and it isn’t corrected with a mixing software. Of course, you can do that with NewTek technology at the TriCaster level and with IP series. Being able to do that in here, when you can’t control the content, you’re just trying to distribute it, is a really, really powerful feature.
Once we’re happy. In here we have four concurrent channels that are coming in. One over SDI in this example, and three over NDI. I can do any combination of any kind of IP controls and SDI as well. The one thing that I really like in here is you can actually change the display and come to a single up display if you want to focus on one particular channel. This allows you to kind of focus in on this. You can actually listen to the audio output of those different channels. You can control your audio level in here as well, and be able to do that.
Let me return to this four up display. What I want to do now, let’s say I’m good, I’m happy with the way this is at. I want to go ahead and stream this out to my users. Let’s say in this use case I’m in a corporate network and I want to stream this to everyone inside of my corporate network. I’m doing a live CEO talk. My CEO wants to talk to everyone that’s in there, so I want to be able to stream this out using the MediaDS.
In here, I can actually select all the different sources and destinations that I want to push this to. Currently I have Wowza Streaming Engine, which is the local license that sits on the MediaDS. Then I also have Cloud Select. I’m going to go ahead and turn off cloud for now. Before I hit the stream button, which you guys will recognize from the TriCaster series, very similar, I can actually choose the encoding profile that I want to encode this particular input at. Right now I have it set at 720p25, because I’m in Europe. I have this set to PAL, instead of NTSC, and this is set to 25 frames per second at 2.3 megabits per second. I can choose to do a 1080, even at 50 frames per second. I can even create my own custom profile, so that allows me to do that all in here.
Now that I’m happy with this, I’m going to go ahead and stream this out. You can see that’s now streaming. Just to see a different feed, I’m going to go ahead and stream out number three here as well. I have two concurrent channels that are streaming out to Wowza streaming engine that sits on this box and is available.
Now the great thing about this is I don’t need to know anything about Wowza. I can use this right out of the box. The way to do that is I can come up here, and right where my call guy account is, up here in the top right corner. I can actually look at my MediaDS web pages. Right here there’s an option that says MediaDS. This system configuration also allows me to set NTSC or PAL. I’m going to go ahead and click on the MediaDS here. This will pull up the ability to configure all four of my channels that I’m encoding and sending out to Wowza.
Here I can actually name my channels. I could call this CEO Keynote. I can call another one Town Hall Meeting. I can really set this up for a variety of different use cases. I can configure my description as well. This will change the embedded HTML page, the actual web page that gets hosted on this MediaDS as well. I can add my own logo, and then I can even set up my own HTML location if I want to, right in here.
Now you can see the page URL, I actually got my local IP address on my local network here, that’s configured. I can also assign this a domain name if I want to have a domain name inside my local network, I can do that and have that available. The options I have now. I can copy the embed code, which will copy the actual player embed code for the Wowza player that you can embed in your own page. If you want to embed this in your own internet or your own website, I can copy the URL, or I can actually visit the page.
Let me go ahead and click on that, and now I can actually see the playback of this content, directly in here. You can see, this is now live streaming. This is the channel that’s coming through from my MediaDS. It’s getting encoded and it’s delivering this, using the MediaDS as the actual web server, to actually host this. I don’t need to know anything about configuring my player, know nothing about HTML, and I have a ready to go webpage that I can now deliver to my internal network.
I can even open up this port to the public internet, and serve people from that. The reason you don’t want to do that is because, let’s say you have more than several hundred users, it might bring your particular network down, because you don’t have it configured. What we recommend for that is to push that to the Wowza Streaming Cloud. I’ll show a demo of that as well.
Now one of the features I want to show inside the Wowza player here, is you’ll see that I have a cache here of the live content. If I rewind this to about an hour ago, here you’ll see I have my feed from an hour ago. I had some pre-roll running, and I have a question in here as well, talking about pre-roll. I can pull video feed in from wherever my source is, and here you can see I have this running. At any point I can come to the beginning, I can see where I was at. This is me earlier today actually configuring the MediaDS and getting this running. At any point I can come back to the live stream.
If you’re in live sports and you need to do live streaming of a soccer or a football game, or anything else, if you’re at a concert, if in the enterprise environment, or even house of worship, having this DVR, this digital video recorder functionality, is a feature that Wowza provides and actually is able to deliver with this MediaDS. What you’ll notice up here is I have this channel set for all four of my channels. Here I have channel one, channel two, channel three, and a channel four, all available to do those simultaneous streams from the MediaDS unit.
The final thing I’ll do in kind of showing this demo workflow, is actually come back into the MediaDS. What I want to do now is I’m going to go ahead and stop this stream, and I want to deliver this to Wowza Streaming Cloud as well. I’m going to go ahead and do that. Before I do that, I’m going to log into my Wowza streaming cloud account. Here you’ll see I’m already logged in. I’m going to click on the start live stream. What this will do is this will actually start a channel that’s based out in the cloud, with Wowza streaming cloud, and prepare that channel to receive a stream from the MediaDS. The benefit of this is that this allows me to push a stream to the cloud and then scale that to a global audience, so that I don’t have to stream the content from my local MediaDS or from my local network. You can see how quickly that happens.
I can literally start a cloud instance in a matter of seconds, be able to hit the stream button, and now not only am I streaming to my local Wowza streaming engine to deliver in network, I’m also streaming to the Wowza Streaming Cloud to deliver out of network as well. You’ll see that stream is now coming in. You can see there’s a thumbnail. Here it’s telling me the bit rate it’s coming in at. I can look at health information on that particular stream. Better yet, I can actually look at the hosted page. At any point I can actually pull this up and look at that hosted page that’s sitting out there on the public internet, and be able to play back that content.
The great thing about using the Wowza Streaming Cloud is that this also generates a data bit rate for all these different, for this encoding. Even though we’re only encoding one high quality stream at the MediaDS layer, the Wowza software is able to actually create all the multiple bit rates you need to deliver a data bit rate to the internet.
What I’ll do is I’m going to go ahead and copy this. Now my audio on this particular stream, don’t judge me, is actually coming in over the on board audio on the camera itself. What I want to do is I actually want to share this with everyone so that you guys can see this stream playing on the actual public cloud. You can see the quality of that particular stream that’s going out. I’ll leave that up for a little bit.
That’s pretty much it. That’s showing a demo. We could go even deeper into the Wowza Streaming Engine license that sits on the box, but you don’t need to. With this Wowza streaming engine that sits on the MediaDS, it can all be done inside of this NewTek interface, which really makes this a turnkey solution for being able to stream out your content.
I had literally ten minutes to kind of go through this demo. I could literally spend hours, and we have a more in depth demo that’s up on the NewTek website, and our website as well. With that, I do want to leave plenty of time to actually have Q&A. Let’s go ahead and actually jump back into the slides.
Before we jump into Q&A, Will, I did want to bring you in and talk a little bit about, we had a question earlier about the price point that the MediaDS is at. I think one of the major things, when talking about price point, is the fact that it’s hard to compare the MediaDS to another product, because there is no other product like it. What we try to do with this is actually you put together this comparison chart, which might give people an idea of exactly where the MediaDS is priced, and really the value they get with the device itself.
Will Waters: That’s true. Before we get into this, I just want to say, that approximate total there is not the price of the unit. Actually the MSRP US pricing is $11,995. What we’ve attempted to do here though is kind of show the product, like if you were going to go and, say buy all the different components that we’ve been talking about today and you just demonstrated, you would have a lot of disparate pieces that you put together, that then you have to fully configure. Part of that comes into, okay, purpose built encoders.
What you’ll see on this notes channel, here’s a function in the left, let’s talk about what that device is and then some type of cost. The notes kind of show you that there is a range. Just if we look at encoding, it’s easy to go out and just spend, very purpose built, small, off the shelf box encoder that does a very specific thing, or you can go up into several thousands, depending on feature and capability that we have there. We’re taking basically somewhat of a mean cost of that and kind of putting these different things together.
Of course, you have the Wowza Streaming Engine. If you did go and buy perpetual license for that, there is a cost that goes into that if you’re putting this together yourself. Then there’s servers. You have to do some type of hardware, whether you’re buying that from a large hardware vendor or different things like that. I believe Jamie, you sit here on the panel. I’m sure you have a lot of customers that are putting together and rolling their own solutions. I think one of the things that we talked about was that that’s a lot of questions that you guys get at Wowza. Well what hardware to utilize?
Jamie Sherry: Yeah, definitely. The questions about the servers and the hardware and the network. What do people need? We do have tech specs that help with that, and we do provide some benchmarking for people to decide what they need. If you go on the cloud, the hardware is kind of fixed but they have options there for you to choose that are somewhat easier than building your own. It does just depend and can vary widely.
Will Waters: Right. We don’t want to have any type of misnomers here. It’s just the fact that sometimes it’s just convenience, if you just have turnkey solution you have there. Of course multi-viewing and monitoring, which Ryan showed in the demo, you can buy various devices for that. We have a list there, as well as all your IO for dealing with SDI or frankly NDI and audio, and being able to put that together. Being able to put those tools, such as monitoring your signals, being able to do adjustments from color correction.
We didn’t even show the scopes, but there’s particular things that you can utilize there, as well as then getting into the streaming delivery side of the total cost of ownership, maybe if you use a open source code of player and then some type of web server. While there may not be a dollar figure associated, there is a support cost that you would have, or some expertise that you need to have on staff. You put all that together, and even from kind of a mid level, or trying to kind of run this thing all the way down the middle, we still are looking at a fairly sizable investment just to get started.
Again, MSRP on the MediaDS comes in at less than half of this particular cost. Just wanted to show the value of what we have in our turnkey system.
Ryan Jespersen: Thanks Will. It’s a good point. As far as purchasing the MediaDS, you can do that through your NewTek reseller that you might work with already. Then Wowza also does sell the MediaDS directly. We have a relationship with NewTek where we can actually resell, so you can always send an email directly to us at sales@Wowza.com. Requesting pricing and requesting an in person demo and so on. We’re happy to kind of accommodate that as well.