End-to-end workflow for broadcast-grade playout automation
Its channel-in-a-box technology – including subtitling, loudness control, splicing, metadata enrichment, router and graphics control, DOLBY support and many more – makes makalu an efficient and highly scalable playout solution. Equipped with a professional MPEG-TS encoder and a sophisticated multiplexer technology for both DVB and OTT, makalu allows a cloud-based no-time to-market channel origination for the broadcast and fast growing OTT market.
The file ingest functionality provided by makalu is focused on the upload of video content. To upload files, the included makalu Asset Uploader application can be used. Alternatively, other applications can upload files as a background bulk process.
To be used properly by makalu automation, uploaded video files are automatically processed, which includes the creation of a thumbnail image, a low-res (proxy) video file and media information (technical metadata). All files receive an expiry date to enable an automatic housekeeping process.
After each successful upload, the internal file processing is automatically triggered. When it is completed, the uploaded files are registered in makalu database and can be scheduled for playout.
To check the processing status of uploaded files, makalu provides the file processing list and for previewing uploaded files, it includes the Asset Viewer application.
In addition to file-based ingest, makalu offers an easy way to pair live streams with the StreamControl application. Connected live streams can be scheduled via the makalu Traffic application or inserted directly into the rundown by the Automation Control application. In addition to recording live signals, the StreamControl application can also be used to conveniently set up signal distribution.
In addition to the possibility to generate playlists via the own planning module, makalu offers the possibility to import playlists from 3rd party traffic systems and also to return the AsRun status. The import can be done manually by the operator or fully automated in the backend.
In combination with MAM systems makalu delivers missing file lists and triggers the file transfer process from the MAM.
The makalu playout system combines automation and playout graphics in one system. All overlays (graphics, crawls, animation, clocks, lower thirds, text, etc.) are not pre-rendered and will be created on-the-fly. Graphics can either be scheduled using makalu Traffic module or triggered by the operator. When scheduled, graphics can be assigned to a playlist, a show or to a show segment (e.g. clip).
For graphic insertions a professional solution from Singular.Live is used. Singular.live is a cloud-based platform that provides tools to create and control graphics overlays for a production. It is a light-weighted SaaS solution whose HTML5 based graphics can easily be overlayed.
The makalu automation component is used to control one or more players running on playout instances in single or redundancy mode.
It does not matter whether the channels are 24/7 or pop-up or a mix of both. Channels can be virtualized or operated on-prem; the microservice architecture ensures fast and easy scaling. In addition to the primary audio/video content, the transmission of additional information such as subtitles, cue tones or graphic inserts is also realized via automation. Individual channels can be operated completely independently or manually, e.g. by a TX operator. The control of the channels, also of decentrally organized infrastructure, can be done centrally and via web interfaces. In parallel, makalu offers interfaces for operation via hardware panels and allows control at API level (RESTful API).
As a cloud playout, makalu delivers ready-made IP streams that are also DVB or ATSC compliant if required and can be distributed as UDP/RTP or SRT. In parallel, the program signals can also be offered via HLS or DASH, making makalu ideal for the operation of OTT or FAST channels.
Hybrid deployment scenarios can also be mapped with makalu. Whether in a legacy SDI infrastructure or a broadcast IP environment (ST 2110), makalu can be operated on-prem on bare metal servers in playout, while the automation runs virtualized in a private or public cloud environment.
The dynamic ad triggering feature enables you to signal ad insertion opportunities that can be used by downstream systems to automatically replace these parts of your content.
The underlying workflow is based on the SCTE-35 standard and enables you to schedule splicing event trigger points in your program that are afterwards included in the playout output data stream. These splicing trigger points can be evaluated by downstream systems to perform server-side or player-side ad insertion.
In addition to ad insertion, SCTE-35-based splicing events can be used for various other purposes, e.g. for regional content variations (opt-out), for blanking content on the web or to trigger recording servers.
makalu has an integrated ingest solution for crash, event and schedule recording. The solution is suitable for use in professional studio environments as well as for compliance recording of the broadcast signal.
Signals can optionally be fed as transport stream via SRT and RTMP(s) or SDI, ST 2110 or NDI. In Standard Recording mode, live signals supplied as a transport stream can be recorded directly at the original bit rate and quality. In broadcast-grade recording mode, the user can choose from various recording formats, such as AVC-Intra, XAVC or XDCAM-HD. Parallel recording of high-res and low-res as well as growing file support are also supported.
makalu Recording can be accessed and used at API level, allowing easy integration into existing infrastructures.