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CLOUDPORT Cloud Playout

How is Amagi different from cloud playout vendors?

Unlike other cloud playout vendors, Amagi’s services and solutions are based on in-house tech stack, automated, error-free, with faster deployment timelines. Amagi provides complete transparency and flexibility, and can launch channels on both TV or OTT platforms with ease.

How is Amagi different from traditional playout service providers?

Amagi’s offering is built on cloud native platforms, which allows TV networks to spin up new channels without high upfront CAPEX, and with lower OPEX.

I have a sports channel? How can Amagi platform support sports?

Amagi can help you launch sports channels with either an end-to-end managed service model, or with CLOUDPORT playout platform. Amagi’s solution covers all aspects of live channel requirement such as:

  • Cloud-based media asset management
  • Live controls for ad insertion
  • Scheduling
  • 24x7 Multi-feed playout monitoring

Amagi has helped launch premium sports channels for leading networks such as DSPORT by Discovery Communications, and IMG EdgeSport.

I have to deliver my channel to cable headends? Can you deliver the feed to them?

Yes, Amagi can deliver directly to the headend using IP, satellite, or fiber. Amagi’s CLOUDPORT server can also be installed at the operator headend and still give you complete control of playout

How secure is the cloud? What if you get hacked?

Amagi’s offering is built on some of the most secure cloud instances available, such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Content, playout, and all assets such as graphics are stored with advanced 128-bit encryption. Additionally, Amagi’s user interface is protected by user defined access to avoid any unauthorized access.

What SLAs can you guarantee?

Amagi can guarantee an SLA of 99.99%. In case of an end-to-end playout and delivery service, distribution SLAs may vary based on the choice of satellite or fiber vendor. Amagi also guarantees resolution of critical issues within one hour and provides a 1+1 redundant playout configuration.

How do you provide 24x7 support? How do you ensure 365x24x7 uptime for my channel?

Amagi’s services are offered in ‘follow-the-sun’ model with a full-fledged playout management facility located in Bangalore. Amagi’s user interface enables the playout management teams to provide 24x7 support remotely. The playout management services offer three levels of support to ensure maximum uptime for your channel.

What support is included in your offering?

Amagi offers on-call and email L1, and L2 support, and L3 technical support for all customer deployments, and uses JIRA ticket management system for on-time resolution of all issues.

  • L1 Support is the first point of contact for any issues and is responsible for ticketing and monitoring. - L2 support team includes direct phone or email-based ticket resolution for all CLOUDPORT playout platform issues. - L3 support team works on issues that may require bug fixes or enhancement requests.

I don’t want to use public cloud? Can I use my private cloud?

Yes, Amagi’s platform can be configured for private or hybrid cloud deployments.

I want my feed to go to multiple countries with different time zones? Do you support it? How?

Amagi can create a regional or time-adjusted feed using the edge or cloud playout solutions. Both options eliminate the need to launch multiple satellite or fiber feeds.

For Edge playout, content can be sent to the CLOUDPORT edge playout servers using internet. Once the content is stored on edge servers, playout can be managed remotely as per regional schedule using the web user interface.

Cloud playout can be used for purely cloud-based delivery. In this case, the channel playout is completely on cloud, and final output is directly sent to the operator.

Channel Creation and Broadcasting

Does Amagi’s solution include migration support?

Yes. Amagi’s onboarding team takes care of all ingest, and asset-level requirements to customize the solution. Amagi also coordinates with delivery hubs, uplink centres, and other delivery partners such as Zixi.

Does Amagi provide 24x7 monitoring support as part of the solution?

Yes, Amagi provides infrastructure monitoring for all channels as part of the support, and Amagi’s playout management team notifies the customer for any transmission issues. A fully managed monitoring service is also provided by Amagi as an add-on.

What aspects of the workflow are covered under Amagi’s solution?

Amagi’s solution includes content ingest, storage, and QC, as well as infrastructure monitoring, and signal transmission. The solution also enables services such as automated playlist validation as part of the playout platform.

Does Amagi have a local office we can contact in case of emergencies?

Amagi has offices in UK, USA, India, and Singapore. Amagi’s centralized playout monitoring centre can be reached 24x7 across time zones.

How does Amagi ensure content security for my assets and signal?

Amagi has a well-established security framework based on enterprise-grade cloud security, and best-practices for broadcast-grade security. Know more about Amagi’s security features.

How do I know the exact status of playout, and what reporting features are included?

The web dashboard provided by Amagi for the playout platform includes real-time status of each asset, and daily email reports are available for each channel.

Does Amagi’s solution offer the option of a redundant set-up?

Yes, Amagi can ensure a redundant set-up for greater channel integrity. By default, Amagi’s cloud infrastructure provides built-in redundancy and is built on leading cloud vendors such as AWS and Microsoft Azure to offer greater reliability.

I want my feed to go to multiple countries with different time zones? Do you support it? How?

Amagi can create a regional or time-adjusted feed using the edge or cloud playout solutions. Both options eliminate the need to launch multiple satellite or fiber feeds.

What SLAs can you guarantee?

Amagi can guarantee the best-in-class playout SLA of up to 99.999%. In case of an end-to-end playout and delivery service, distribution SLAs may vary based on the choice of satellite or fiber vendor. Amagi also guarantees resolution of critical issues within one hour and 1+1 redundant playout configuration.

Can I opt for only the CLOUDPORT platform and use my existing delivery contracts?

Yes, Amagi can integrate with your existing content management system and facilitate delivery of your channel to desired destination.

Geo-targeting Ads on Satellite TV

How is Amagi Watermark different than SCTE or DTMF?

Traditionally, replacement triggers such as DTMF, Packet 31, and SCTE 35 have been used to insert local ads on common feed. These triggers are not part of the content stream and are inserted as part of a separate workflow. Amagi Watermark is an inaudible and invisible audio signature that is embedded in the media assets, thus inserted as part of the stream.

How will deploying STORM change my existing workflow?

When using Amagi Watermark in combination with STORM, there would not be any changes to your workflow. Standard modifications may be required in case of DTMF and SCTE markers.

What makes STORM better than traditional localization platforms?

Unlike conventional ad triggers such as SCTE 35 and DTMF, STORM supports Amagi Watermark that eliminates the need to manually mark opt-in and opt-out points for commercials and ensures granular level of control on content/ad replacement.

How is the ad to be replaced with sent to operator?

STORM can receive replacement ad via cloud or even via satellite trickle bandwidth. Amagi has even created unique architectures that involve secured transfer of ads directly from Ad partners to operators/affiliate headends.

How secure is STORM platform from malicious external threats?

STORM has been built to be an extremely secure system, with rigorous security policy governing all transmission of data.

How does STORM handle disaster recovery?

STORM has a built-in memory to store thousands of hours of video. Since every STORM IRD can be linked to cloud, content can be refreshed on a regular basis, ensuring that the IRDs keep playing out latest content and ads in event of a catastrophe.

How do you provide 24x7 support? How do you ensure 365x24x7 uptime for my channel?

Amagi’s services are offered in ‘follow-the-sun’ model with a full-fledged monitoring facility located in Amagi’s operations center in Bangalore. Amagi’s web-based user interface enables operations team to provide 24x7 support remotely.

What support is included in your offering?

Amagi offers on-call and email L1, and L2 support, and L3 technical support for all customer deployments, and uses JIRA ticket management system for on-time resolution of all issues.

  • L1 Support is the first point of contact for any issues and is responsible for ticketing and monitoring.
  • L2 support team includes direct phone or email-based ticket resolution for all product/platform issues.
  • L3 support team works on issues that may require bug fixes or enhancement requests.

I don’t want to use public cloud? Can I use my private cloud?

Yes, Amagi’s platform can be configured for private or hybrid cloud deployments.

Linear and VOD Content Delivery

Does Amagi’s solution include migration support?

Yes. Amagi’s onboarding team takes care of all ingest, and asset-level requirements to customize the solution. Amagi also coordinates with delivery partners such as AWS, and Zixi, as well as performs due diligence for delivery to platforms such as Twitch, Sling, XUMO, among others.

Does Amagi provide 24x7 monitoring support as part of the solution?

Yes, Amagi provides infrastructure monitoring for all channels as part of the support, and Amagi’s playout management team notifies the customer for any asset quality issues. A fully managed monitoring service is also provided by Amagi as an add-on.

What aspects of the workflow are covered under Amagi’s solution?

Amagi’s solution includes content ingest, storage, and QC, as well as infrastructure monitoring, and signal transmission. The solution also enables services such as automated playlist validation as part of the playout platform.

I have several thousand hours of content. Can Amagi help me start a channel?

Yes, Amagi can certainly help you start a channel. Please get in touch with our sales team for recommendations on ideal destination platforms for your content.

Can Amagi monetize my content for me?

Amagi’s OTT ad monetization service offering is focused on helping content owners monetize better. Please get in touch with our sales team to learn how it can help you.

Can Amagi publish a linear channel on my website?

Amagi’s service is configurable for delivery to any destination, however the exact process of publishing on your own website can only be determined after a technology audit from Amagi’s OTT publishing experts.

Does Amagi have a local office we can contact in case of emergencies?

Amagi has offices in UK, USA, Asia, and Southeast Asia. Amagi’s centralized playout monitoring centre can be reached 24x7 across time zones.

How does Amagi ensure content security for my assets and signal?

Amagi has a well-established security framework based on enterprise-grade cloud security, and best-practices for broadcast-grade security. Know more about Amagi’s security policies.

What SLAs can you guarantee?

Amagi can guarantee best-in-class SLA of up to 99.999%. In case of an end-to-end playout and delivery service, distribution SLAs may vary based on the choice of IP delivery network. Amagi also guarantees resolution of critical issues within one hour and 1+1 redundant playout configuration.

Can I opt for only the CLOUDPORT platform and use my existing delivery contracts?

Yes, Amagi can integrate with your existing delivery network and facilitate delivery of your channel to desired destination.

Managed Broadcast Services

How is Amagi different from traditional managed services providers?

Amagi’s managed broadcast services is different in many progressive ways. To begin with, it’s a cloud-led managed services. So, there’s no need for large physical infrastructure and workforce to manage operations. Unlike other managed services, Amagi relies on its own cloud-based playout platform, CLOUDPORT, to deliver the core playout services. This gives customers enhanced flexibility to spin up new feeds for different regions/platforms as all the content is ingested and stored on cloud. Additionally, Amagi managed services packs in advanced automation to improve overall broadcast efficiencies. Finally, at all times the customer has full visibility into all the workflows through a web UI.

I have a sports channel? Does Amagi manage live events and sports broadcast

Yes, Amagi provides live events and sports broadcast services. You can contact us to know more.

How secure is the cloud? What if you get hacked?

Amagi’s offering is built on some of the most secure cloud instances available, such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Content, playout, and all assets such as graphics are stored with advanced 128-bit encryption. Additionally, Amagi’s user interface is protected by user defined access to avoid any unauthorized access.

What SLAs can you guarantee?

Amagi can guarantee an SLA of up to 99.999%. In case of an end-to-end playout and delivery service, distribution SLAs may vary based on the choice of satellite or fiber vendor. Amagi also guarantees resolution of critical issues within one hour and provides a 1+1 redundant playout configuration.

How do you provide 24x7 support? How do you ensure 365x24x7 uptime for my channel?

Amagi’s services are offered in ‘follow-the-sun’ model with a full-fledged playout management facility located in Bangalore. Amagi’s user interface enables the playout management teams to provide 24x7 support remotely. The playout management services offer three levels of support to ensure maximum uptime for your channel.

What support is included in your offering?

Amagi offers on-call and email L1, and L2 support, and L3 technical support for all customer deployments, and uses JIRA ticket management system for on-time resolution of all issues.

  • L1 Support is the first point of contact for any issues and is responsible for ticketing and monitoring. - L2 support team includes direct phone or email-based ticket resolution for all CLOUDPORT playout platform issues. - L3 support team works on issues that may require bug fixes or enhancement requests.

I want my feed to go to multiple countries with different time zones? Do you support it? How?

Amagi can create a regional or time-adjusted feed using the edge or cloud playout solutions. Both options eliminate the need to launch multiple satellite or fiber feeds.

For Edge playout, content can be sent to the CLOUDPORT edge playout servers using internet. Once the content is stored on edge servers, playout can be managed remotely as per regional schedule using the web user interface.

Cloud playout can be used for purely cloud-based delivery. In this case, the channel playout is completely on cloud, and final output is directly sent to the operator.

OTT Ad Monetization

In ad detection where the fingerprint matching is done with incoming ad in the stream with the one existing in library database, what happens when a shorter duration of the same ad is served? For example, Nike ad is played which is of 20 seconds. Later Nike releases an ad wherein the first 5 seconds are same but the last 15 seconds is shortened by another 5 seconds, totalling 10 seconds. Will there be a match in that case?

Yes. In the current system it will be a match, but it will be flagged as a “duplicate” in the system as two ads of different duration will respond positive and hence, both will be discarded. This can be improved if we can track the ad till the end and this is on our product roadmap.

When the user has in-house ad sales, why do we need Google DFP? Can we completely get away from it?

Google DFP is mostly used as a campaign management system by everyone. If someone has in house ad sales, they need an ad server to manage and serve ad campaigns. It is a very powerful campaign management system that also supports integration with third-party ad networks.

What's the difference between normal and professional version of Google DFP?

There are two versions for Google DFP.

DFP Small Business and DFP Premium

  • DFP small business is free for everyone but has a limited feature set. For example, it can support only in-house ad sales and cannot connect with third-party ad networks and it cannot connect with AdX as well.
  • DFP Premium is an extensive campaign management system for tier-one customers. In our case, if the customer wants to use in-house ad sales, then they can use DFP small business and set a waterfall mechanism in THUNDERSTORM. But most of the customers prefer to control ad decisioning on their own and hence, they use DFP that provide a lot more flexibility and transparency on reporting.

My understanding is that AdX does not support SSAI. So, can platforms like HotStar/SonyLIV use both Amagi THUNDERSTORM and AdX? Basically, can we use both SSAI and Client-Side Ad Insertion (CSAI)?

AdX supports SSAI but only the specific version allowed by Google. THUNDERSTORM cannot integrate with AdX because it needs client-side SDK integration. Currently, AdX does not allow third-party SSAI.

Can exclusivity and niche content drive 'Fill Rate'? Can we achieve high fill rates with niche content?

Fill Rate is a mathematical term. Low fill rate also can give higher monetisation at higher CPM. And even high fill rate can give insignificant monetisation if CPM is very low. Fill Rate is used to determine how the system is performing in comparison to number of requests made. That means, it only determines if there is a demand in the market for the inventory we possess.

Demand is driven by the profile of users watching the content. If a channel’s viewers are considered valuable for a particular segment of advertisers, then yes, it can be valuable. For this particular example, if the viewership numbers of the channel are not great, then the revenue will not be significant despite higher CPM. Typically, this works as per the multiplier effect. Try multiplying 10,000 viewers $10 versus 100,000 viewers $2 for an accurate estimate.

Does the fill rate depend on channel/content, or the given platform? For example, in case of a vMVPD platform, a user may watch “Channel A” (higher audience ratings) and then switch to “Channel B” (relatively lower audience ratings). When the ad network serves ads, does it consider that the user is no longer watching “Channel A” and now watching “Channel B”? In short, does it consider impressions channel-wise or platform-wise?

Currently, Amagi is channel-agnostic while serving ad impressions.

What changes are done in the app installed at end-user?

No changes are required on client-side since THUNDERSTORM only transmits the unified stream of content and ads.

What is the dependency of THUNDERSTORM on devices? We are testing it against multiple devices.

No dependencies exist as Amagi THUNDERSTORM is completely device-agnostic.

How many devices does THUNDERSTORM support now?

We are compatible with devices that can support OTT streams.

What's a VAST tag?

VAST tag is just an http URL like any other with query parameters that contain user and content information.

What's the role of the player? Does the same app use different players for different OS / device? How many players does THUNDERSTORM support? Which important players THUNDERSTORM doesn't support?

It’s the choice made by app developers. We support every leading player, including native players.

How do we calculate the impressions of the ads played?

As soon as the ad is played for the user, a beacon is fired and it gets registered in the ad network system counting as an impression. We also do quartile reporting. That means, we fire beacons for start, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% complete. We also check creative view and viewability to make sure ad networks register all types of beacons they need.

Can we see the demo of the THUNDERSTORM UI and console?

Yes. The THUNDERSTORM UI and console are given to customers in a self-served model. Contact us to set-up a demo.

There are multiple formats of streams - RTMP, HLS and MPEG DASH. Which one is preferred?

HLS is used for Apple devices and DASH for Android. Clients prefer DASH for Android as they want to use the native player and not a third-party player like Exoplayer. If someone uses Exoplayer in Android apps, then they do not need DASH.

Does Amagi’s managed OTT ad monetization service support Connected TV platforms

Yes, Amagi supports ad insertion services on Connected TV platforms. In fact, in situations where early implementation of HLS-based Connected TV platforms do not support time-based discontinuity (TBD) on streams, it’s challenging for most SSAI systems to insert ads. Amagi’s managed service has a unique re-timestamping workflow for ad-serving, which automatically makes the stream a time-continuous event during ad insertions. This enables the platform to provide a uniform experience across all edge devices including Connected TV platforms.

Does Amagi serve personalized manifest files to edge devices?

No, Amagi serves a single instrumented manifest to all devices, where the manifest has redirections for ad segments.

For those OTT platforms that run programmatic advertising, is separate ad server required?

No, Amagi supports extensive ad network configurations dynamically and doesn’t require separate ad servers to enable programmatic advertising.

Can Amagi THUNDERSTORM platform be licensed without subscribing to managed services?

Yes, Amagi THUNDERSTORM platform can be licensed without services layer for delivering server-side ad insertions on live, linear and VOD content.

STORM Channel Regionalization

How is Amagi Watermark different than SCTE or DTMF?

Traditionally, replacement triggers such as DTMF, Packet 31, and SCTE 35 have been used to insert local ads on common feed. These triggers are not part of the content stream and are inserted as part of a separate workflow. Amagi Watermark is an inaudible and invisible audio signature that is embedded in the media assets, thus inserted as part of the stream.

How will deploying STORM change my existing workflow?

When using Amagi Watermark in combination with STORM, there would not be any changes to your workflow. Standard modifications may be required in case of DTMF and SCTE markers.

What makes STORM better than traditional localization platforms?

Unlike conventional ad triggers such as SCTE 35 and DTMF, STORM supports Amagi Watermark that eliminates the need to manually mark opt-in and opt-out points for commercials and ensures granular level of control on content/ad replacement.

How is the content to be replaced with sent to operator?

STORM can receive replacement content via cloud or even via satellite trickle bandwidth. Amagi has even created unique architectures that involve secured transfer of content directly from Ad partners to operators/affiliate headends.

How secure is STORM platform from malicious external threats?

STORM has been built to be an extremely secure system, with rigorous security policy governing all transmission of data.

How does STORM handle disaster recovery?

STORM has a built-in memory to store thousands of hours of video. Since every STORM IRD can be linked to cloud, content can be refreshed on a regular basis, ensuring that the IRDs keep playing out latest content in event of a catastrophe.

How do you provide 24x7 support? How do you ensure 365x24x7 uptime for my channel?

Amagi’s services are offered in ‘follow-the-sun’ model with a full-fledged monitoring facility located in Amagi’s operations center in Bangalore. Amagi’s web-based user interface enables operations team to provide 24x7 support remotely.

What support is included in your offering?

Amagi offers on-call and email L1, and L2 support, and L3 technical support for all customer deployments, and uses JIRA ticket management system for on-time resolution of all issues.

L1 Support is the first point of contact for any issues and is responsible for ticketing and monitoring.

L2 support team includes direct phone or email-based ticket resolution for all product/platform issues.

L3 support team works on issues that may require bug fixes or enhancement requests.

I don’t want to use public cloud? Can I use my private cloud?

Yes, Amagi’s platform can be configured for private or hybrid cloud deployments.

Sports Orchestration and Delivery

Does Amagi’s solution include migration support?

Yes. Amagi’s onboarding team takes care of all ingest, and asset-level requirements to customize the solution. Amagi also coordinates with delivery hubs, uplink centres, and other delivery partners such as Zixi.

Is your cloud playout currently being used by any sports channel?

Amagi’s playout platform has been used by global sports networks such as IMG EdgeSPORT , DSPORT by Discovery Communications, Horse and Country TV, Sports Illustrated among others.

Do you support any platform-specific customizations for OTT channels?

Yes. Amagi can support customization requests, and even provide technical solutions to challenges such as unique ad-serving methodologies used by platforms such as Twitch, XUMO, Roku, and others.

How many destination playouts can be controlled using ‘ganging’?

Amagi supports 1:1, 1:K, and 1:N configurations for live orchestration, and CLOUDPORT -LIVE could technically be deployed for any number of live delivery destinations.

What is included in an ‘event’ template?

Event parameters are configurable. However, event duration, breaks duration, and graphics structure form the crux of any standard event.

What is an intent-capturing system and how does it work?

Amagi’s CLOUDPORT -LIVE platform is a new-age intent-capturing system that can be deployed to execute a series of tasks that make up a live broadcast. For example, a sports broadcaster could have an intent to allocate ad breaks only in the middle of the sporting event such as soccer. In this case, this intent is captured in the CLOUDPORT -LIVE system, and executed by CLOUDPORT playout systems ‘subscribing’ to this event.

What else can Amagi’s live orchestration solution be used for apart from ad-breaks and graphics?

Currently Amagi’s solution supports customized graphics, and ad-breaks, but has been designed to support contextual interactivity such as online polls, and player-cards.

Does Amagi provide 24x7 monitoring support as part of the live orchestration solution?

Yes, Amagi provides infrastructure monitoring for all channels as part of the support, and Amagi’s playout management team notifies the customer for any transmission issues. A fully managed monitoring service is also provided by Amagi as an add-on.

What live formats does Amagi support?

Amagi supports multiple live ingest formats including IP stream, SDI, or ASI. Content can be ingested directly on cloud, or on Edge servers installed at operator premises.

How reliable is Amagi’s solution for live transmission?

Amagi can support a highly secure, redundant set-up to ensure greater reliability for edge playout set-up. For true-cloud playout, Amagi relies on enterprise-grade, highly ‘available’, cloud infrastructure providers such as AWS and Microsoft Azure.

I have to deliver my feed to vMVPDs like Amazon Prime Video, Sling and others. Can you deliver?

Yes, Amagi can deliver channels to popular vMVPD platforms such as Amazon Prime Video, YouTube TV, Sling, XUMO, Roku, Twitch, Verizon, Sony PlayStation Vue, Philo TV and others.

What SLAs can Amagi guarantee?

Amagi can guarantee the best-in-class playout SLA of up to 99.999 percent. In case of an end-to-end playout and delivery service, distribution SLAs may vary based on the choice of satellite or fiber supplier. Amagi also guarantees resolution of critical issues within one hour and 1+1 redundant playout configuration.

GENERAL INFORMATION
cloudandme@amagi.com
PUBLIC RELATIONS

Sanjay Kirimanjeshwar

sanjay@amagi.com
PARTNER RELATIONS

Sri Venkata Ramana

venkataramana@amagi.com