Ingest Master-Solution

File, social media, camera, tape, feed, stream, field, remote office, studio and archive ingest.

Why is ingesting such an important topic?

It's been a long time since "Ingest" meant to simply bring a video file into a post-production application. Nowadays the term "Ingest" describes the starting point of a complex and fully integrated file-based post-production and publication. Nedless to say that production workflows also include various processing steps. Each step requires its own set of essence files and metadata. Such essences files usually include amongst other things video, audio, graphic and subtitle files. Metadata can be technical, descriptional, business or for control. It's clear "Ingest" developed towards a versatile topic.

But where is the origin for all these files and data? While the answer might be different per customer use case, it will most often be a combination of central (central ingest desk), decentral (kiosk systems, editing stations),  remote (journalists abroad, regional offices), B2B (movies, commercials, news, sports) and archive ingest. Other sources might be databases (e.g. rights). Most often ingesting is a manual process but some sources (e.g. metadata) might be available for automatic retrieval. Moreover, several processing actions can be automated prior to the essences finally being handed over to the production systems.

How is our Ingest Solution addessing such opportunities for increased efficiency?

A sophisticated production environment requires a proper "Ingest Solution" that addresses the needs of the operations making use of the ingested essences and assets as well as those making such essences and assets available. Our "Ingest Solution" covers all types of sources in and outside your facility. It offers user interfaces as needed by the use case. It allows automatic processing where possible.

Ingest Solution Building Blocks

Who are the product partners for our Ingest Solution?

Ingest Solution Product Partners

Capella: File transcoding
Flow Center: Remote journalists and offices ingest & ingest management
Rohde & Schwarz: Tape ingest and live feed recording
Signiant: B2B file transfer and workflow automation
Woody: Central and decentral file as well as social media ingest
x-dream-media & Medialooks: Live feed caputring and monitoring


An example of a typical network architecture.

Ingest Solution Network Architecture

Central Ingest Station
The Central Ingest Station is the main place for ingest operations. It's usually located in a room where all new content is brought to. A number of dedicated workstations are used by a team of ingest specialists to bring files from various storage devices into the sales and delivery environment. While doing so, files are previewed, selected, pre-cut and stitched. Technical metadata is automatically generated and descriptional metadata is added manually. The product used for this function is Woody in2it. It can transcode and re-wrap the files to the platform internal format.
A variant of central ingest is offered when the source devices are attached to a server or files are being moved there in advance of the ingest operations. In this case X-Dream-Media's Ingest Browser is the right choice. It allows you to remotely browse, preview, select and segment video files. Compared to Woody's in2it, the X-Dream-Media Ingest Browser sends the files for processing to X-Dream-Media's Workflow Manger (WFM). WFM orchestrates transcoding, re-wrapping, QC, virus scanning and other operations. It's usually used to manage larger amounts of material.

Desktop or Kiosk Ingest
In addition to the central ingest, desktop or kiosk ingest offers journalists and creatives to bring source material into the production environment from their workspaces or dedicated computers close to their desks. A dedicated computer allows addressing the risk of viruses professionally. Furthermore, it saves costs when expensive storage devices like Sony XDCAM HD are required. The functionality provided is identical to the central ingest desks. The product of choice is again Woody's in2it in combination with x-dream-medias's WFM and other tools for virus scanning and QC.
To serve a larger number of journalists at their desks for occational ingests, a Flow Upload Room is a cost effective alternative. Please see "remote journalists" below.

Social Media Ingest
Ingesting social media content is taking content from end-user publishing portals back to production environments. Usually a journalist has found an item of interest and faces the challenge of retrieving and ingesting the file. Download tools can be used in combination with usual ingest tools. A more efficient method is using one integrated tool. In our solution, we use a brand-new variant of Woody's in2it (to be released) for directly downloading and ingesting from social media and web portals.

Live Feed Recording
Live sources can be provided by satelite feeds, lease line or studio transmissions. Traditionally video is provided as HD-SDI signals. The recording usually happens as a "crash-record" or scheduled record. For a fully integrated multi (camera) feed recording, our solution is based on Rohde & Schwarz Venice servers.
For recording of NDI-based IP studios as well as web streams, the same usability is required but a different engine is needed to execute. x-dream-media launched a new product line called OneSERV that offers scheduled stream and signal recording. In contrast to existing tools and video servers it allows the re-stream of sources within the facility for realtime browsing. That way journalists can follow the feeds at their desks in a very cost efficent way.
As a very cost effective, non-integrated but feature-rich alternative for ingest recording we recommend Medialooks Direct Take.

Tape Ingest
Despite the fact that tape might be dead, archives often still consist of tapes. Sometimes tapes are still used in production or for transportation. Consequently our ingest solution addresses this by making use of Rohde & Schwarz Venice servers in combination with Woody's in2it. High volumes of tape ingests are controlled by the THS ingest scheduler.

Remote Journalists & Contributors
Although Journalists in the field and contributors are usually only providing content occasionally and in smaller volumes, there may be very many of them. Therefore a simplified way to up and download video files with related metadata is required. Tools have to be accessible globally and be intuitive to use. We address these needs by "upload rooms". Technically these rooms are a website that takes the essence file and requests mandatory and optional metadata. The contributor has access to their own room as they are a permanently registered user or they get invited by an operator to a temporary room.

Remote Offices & Facilities
Staff in remote offices or production facilities require tight integration into the systems of the main facility in order to be as productive as possible. Larger facilities can be equipped as the main facility. Smaller facilities get provided with a fully featured but smaller scale system. In both cases the users interact with a local system that sends and retrieves the files and metadata to and from the main facility as a background process.

B2B Content Exchange
Todays content production and publishing happens across teamed up companies. Studios send material to post-production faclities which after editing, forward to agencies who then forward to broadcasters and publishers. A high volume of video files inclluding metadata need to be sent via a safe, secure and guaranteed method. Within our ingest solution we prefer to use Signiant's Media Exchange technology to address these needs. Cross-team workflows are implemented via FlowWorks flow-to-flow technology.

Processing
After files and metadata have been ingested, fully automated actions can take place such as transcoding and re-wrapping to a house format or browsing proxies, quality control, audio processing (e.g. normalising), video processing (e.g. standard conversions). Finally assets (files + metadata) are handed over to the production system(s). For instance, a high resolution file is moved and checked into the production asset management system (e.g. Interplay PAM), a low resolution browsing proxy is made available to the media asset management system (MAM) or the news room control system (NRCS). FlowWorks FlowCenter is the backbone of our ingest solution. It orchestrates and processes the ingest workflows. Build-in user interfaces or x-dream-medias OneGUI provide the overview on any volume of ingested assets.


How does the service architecture of our Ingest Solution look like?

Ingest Solution Service Architecture

The Ingest Management System (IMS) is the heart of our Ingest Solution. It acts as the Media Asset Management System, Workflow System and Traffic System. For the IMS we've selected FlowWork's FlowCenter. All ingested sources as well as delivery targets are integrated within the IMS. For customers with distributed organisations, the IMS can be deployed at every facility and connected to act as one global system via the flow-to-flow module.