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Partner Highlight: Automated and Customized Transcoding using Bitmovin API and Built.io

Uli Hessdörfer

Written by:
June 4th, 2019

Guest Post provided by Bitmovin Partner:

G&L uses Bitmovin’s API based encoding and transcoding products to run live and on-demand streaming operations for Bayer04 Leverkusen Fußball GmbH, providing a complete chain of services including all required components and processes.

Modernizing the workflow consisting of media delivery, transcoding and playout became a necessity in order to keep up with the demands of the club competing in the German Bundesliga. The solution required state-of-the-art performance and a great degree of automation capabilities for delivering on-demand sports broadcasts, seamlessly upon ending the live stream. Additionally, the solution needed to support post-game content like press conferences, reports and documentaries that were made available for streaming on the club website, immediately after the live broadcast – viewable as “BAYER 04-TV” at https://www.bayer04.de/de-de/page/videopage.

Early on, the most significant potential for optimization was identified within the transcoding and media processing parts of the delivery chain. The following challenges needed to be addressed through the new video workflow solution:

  • Independence from media asset management systems
  • Video production on the customer’s end to be integrated without limitations – ex. on-site editing for press conferences
  • Enabling transcode and metadata transfers (title, pre-content, poster image…) as quickly as possible
  • Support for fully automated publishing on availability (upload = publish)
  • Provision as a reusable and expandable solution
  • Server-less implementation on public cloud providers
  • Future integrations to be realized without requiring development resources
  • Integrations and adaptations to be implemented by an operations manager or the system architect

All things considered, it became clear that a quickly implemented standard solution would not be able to meet the requirements. The demand for a high performance solution with outstanding availability and relatively simple, modular configuration options created the need for a customized approach.

One candidate came to mind immediately, when it comes to per-project transcoding at the fastest possible rate: The services provided by our partner Bitmovin proved to be both fast and equipped with extensive configuration options in the past. We were familiar with their encoding API and had carried out numerous projects successfully in the past.” – G&L

After intense evaluation and testing, G&L chose Bitmovin, along with the components mentioned below, for high speed and high quality transcoding for setting up a custom end to end transcoding solution for Bayer04 Leverkusen Fußball GmbH:

  • Geißendörfer & Leschinsky GmbH: Top performance for your content: G&L Geißendörfer & Leschinsky GmbH is a leading systems integrator, managed service provider, and software developer for digital media preparation and delivery.
  • Bitmovin: The highly flexible REST API encodes using AVC, HEVC, VP9 and AV1 as well as in the container streaming formats MPEG-DASH, Apple HLS, Smooth Streaming, progressive TS, progressive MP4, fMP4, CMAF and WebM – enough to serve all relevant devices and systems. The notifications needed for the customer use case were provided through a Webhooks API. Apart from the market-leading processing speed and the multi-award winning encoding quality, Bitmovin excels with a highly flexible and detailed API, which allowed G&L to adjust every single detail during the process in order to exactly meet the customers’ requirements – an aspect which really sets Bitmovin apart from other encoding service providers.
  • built.io: The iPaaS provider manages the cloud-based solutions, handling the communication for applications and data between cloud and on-premise environments within the setup. In this case, the platform runs the communication with all other components: Webhooks, JSON Payload, signals to the transcoding API and, on top, notifications via email and Slack sent to operators and DevOps. G&L made this workflow automation “clickable” as a visual workflow diagram. Additional adjustments like the integration of other services could then be realized easily using drag & drop options.
  • BrickFTP: It is the most robust enterprise file server solution that offers support for all standard protocols (e.g. FTP, FTPS, FTPES, SFTP or WebDAV) and flexibly usable REST & Webhook APIs, which were used for this project. At the core sits a watchfolder solution, which runs typical automated batch tasks. BrickFTP is a particularly good fit with its on-upload notification, which triggers a transcoding job following a successful upload of source material.
  • Akamai NetStorage: It is a frequently used cloud storage solution by G&L – as it serves as an essential element while scaling high-quality media delivery and media workflow implementations. On-demand scaling through mirroring content at multiple locations across the internet guarantees consistent availability, even during regional outages. In this use case, the transcoded HLS output was transferred via HTTP API onto NetStorage and consequently delivered from there.

By using Bitmovin Encoder product, G&L was able to put together an extremely customizable and modernized transcoding workflow for a major Football Club in Germany that not only met their current Live and On-Demand needs but also enabled future expansion to support growing use cases in the online Sports sector.

Detailed workflow

Workflow in built.io

Notification in Slack

Please find the original article written by Jochen Herkenrath (G&L) here (German Language)