workflow, ideally starting at acquisition and
ending at delivery.
In any workflow, there are dozens of moving
As I’ve discussed in this article, not every
streaming workflow management tool can handle every aspect of your workflow—nor are they
designed to, since some focus on file-based assets
and others focus on live streams. So I recommend working through your automation options
in the sequential order laid out in this article.
At the outset, I highly recommend talking to
several vendors and even trying the trial offerings
that are easily available, but be careful not to substitute the feature list for your actual workflow
design. Designing a workflow can seem daunting,
but the good news is that the use of graphical
flowchart apps and browser-based design tools
allow you to design before testing.
Like the adage carpenters often use—“measure
twice, cut once”— you’ll want to walk through at
least two designs, and verify each workflow, before spinning up a pilot project or limited test
run of typical video assets.
I recommend designing your first key workflow
against mainstream use cases, because that’s
more likely where you’ll find the biggest benefit in
automating previously manual steps or process-
es. But experience also tells me that testing out
several edge cases, prior to putting the workflow
into even a pilot project or limited production,
is an important and practical way to stress-test
your workflow against the possible in-house and
vendor-based automation tools currently avail-
able for VOD or live event streaming.
The beauty of trying out a cloud-based solution,
even if you opt to use what you learn to enhance
your own in-house solution, is that you can test
any number of workflows without impacting your
main production pipeline. Since these cloud-based workflows are used by a number of customers, you may also find it beneficial to take a
hybrid approach: Use cloud-based workflows to
deal with newer devices, compression options,
or even delivery methods (WebRTC, HTTP, etc.)
while solidifying in-house workflows to handle
mature codecs and delivery methods.
Above all, make sure your workflow design
accommodates quality checkpoints—whether
they’re steps that require human intervention or
fully automated, algorithmic QC options—so the
time and effort put into automation yields not
only faster results, but also higher-quality ones.
Tim Siglin is a streaming industry veteran and longtime
contributing editor to Streaming Media magazine.
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