A Demuxed State of Mind: Transforming Content Ingestion and Distribution in an OTT World.pdf (2022)

By Yasser Syed, PhD, Alex Giladi; Comcast

Content is comprised of video, audio, and text or auxiliary information(e.g., closed captioning). An absence of any media component can lead to an incomplete media experience. A non-synchronized playout of the media components can lead to an incomprehensible media experience. Yet each media component has a separate creation, production, distribution encode and client decode path in its workflow chain with each step traditionally requiring all media components to be received together before processing such that complete and synchronized media playout is ensured.

The speed of each step is dependent on the processing of the slowest media component of the content. Processes can be both automated and manual with creative processes being usually slower than automated processes. Automated processes can still add latency to the workflow, dependent on the amount of compute power needed for operational processes or scene analysis and scaled to match expected quality output. And yet, with the introduction of cloud processing, this can be adjusted.

How can we create evolutionary changes to these workflows? It may be through adapting media workflows to be more like data workflows and taking advantage of better bandwidth and adjustable compute power. Through IP interfaces, increased network capacity, and volume-efficient cloud server processing, media workflows can be more efficient, and deliver better quality along with additional media experiences. But these improvements require us to separate (demuxed) media components to be handled with better optimizations in today’s technology environment. Demuxing content allows for better handling of processing demands but reassembly is also important and should add additional information for resynchronization of media components in order to make the playout of the content feasible.

This paper will provide an overview of these processes in the context of traditional media workflows, what can be done today with present technologies, and what could be done in the future with newer technologies like over-the-top (OTT) delivery and cloud processing.

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