FEED Issue 12


file-based traffic. There won’t be an infinite variety of combinations to choose from – such an architecture would be impractical for anyone. Instead, Telestream Orchid intends to provide the 20% of templates that will cater for the majority (80%) of deployment scenarios. “The idea is that you will specify the new channel you need,” Newton outlines. “For example, it could be a single channel, or a dual redundancy channel, perhaps with different cloud providers for additional resilience. You can specify how many encoders, what bit rate, the type of adaptive packaging and which content delivery network (CDN) you’d like to use. Then with one click, the channel will deploy (orchestrate) the specified encoder, package as an adaptive stream in HLS or DASH, stitch them together and configure them through APIs. You can be up and running in as little as 10 to 15 minutes.” The provision for multiple cloud providers is a differentiator for Telestream Orchid. Rather than being locked into a single cloud provider, customers have expressed a desire for flexibility (Telestream calls it ‘portability’) of their streaming infrastructure. Even the orchestration engine is flexible with native cloud support, with plans in place for other commercial orchestration systems in the future. A new Telestream Channel Orchestrator will enable channel design, manage the orchestration process, connect and configure the elements, and handle redundancy. A SELF-AWARE NETWORK Perhaps the single biggest nut Telestream appears to have cracked is that rigorous video monitoring and analytics capabilities have been bound into Telestream Orchid as standard. It claims Orchid is the only concept which ties together the content production and content monitoring as core components of channel origination. “We have iQ components in the headend for monitoring QoS and content quality, but also added is the ability to create probes nationally, across regions and around the world, to actively test streams on the other side of your chosen CDN,” says Newton. “The iQ cloud monitoring service has been running for five years and is now an integrated part of this capability.” As the market moves to event-based business models where consumers are paying to view a specific event – such as a boxing match or a music concert – then effective real-time monitoring of the distribution chain is deemed essential.




STUART NEWTON\ “Content providers are looking at Orchid and realising they can get to market six

months earlier than planned”

Without it, service providers are open to real reputation damage, even involving class action lawsuits, as (in)famously happened to Showtime following the Floyd Mayweather v Conor McGregor fight. Telestream Orchid includes a real-time feedback loop which Telestream says makes the whole system self-aware. In other words, probing all aspects of the stream provides an efficient early warning system for distribution faults, so service providers don’t have to wait until they start to receive complaints from viewers. “To realise the dream of self-aware video capabilities like self-healing, self-scaling or self-optimising, you have to have a real- time feedback loop embedded at the heart of the system,” says Newton. “With the iQ solutions designed into Telestream Orchid from the start, we are building a foundation to enable this.” Integration with partner companies for feedback from end-device analytics is planned. And, since Telestream owns virtually all the intellectual property involved in Orchid, it says it can also focus on other key issues. Among these is channel latency, a problem that slows down livestreaming operations. “To date, there has not been a way to dynamically monitor changes in latency across different networks and different geographical regions,” says Newton. “With Orchid, there is a solution in the making.” The industry has a history of

vendors promising the earth and delivering vapourware, but Telestream’s own track record and the way its executives talk about this innovation suggests it should be taken seriously. Currently under test at a major European telco, Telestream Orchid will also be demoed at the NAB show in Las Vegas in April. The company is planning to debut a ‘commercial-grade multi-cloud version’ offered as Software as a Service. The SaaS offering will ensure Telestream has full control and can evolve the solution in early pilots before committing to an on- premise offering. “There are major content providers with plans to launch new channels and services by the end of 2019 or early 2020, and they’re looking at Orchid and realising they can get to market six months earlier than planned,” says Newton. “That would be incredibly valuable to these companies in being able to access new revenue streams sooner than expected. It’s those kind of discussions that make us very excited indeed.” Get in touch to learn more about creating an instant channel in the cloud at telestream.net/company/meeting-request. htm or join Telestream at NAB 2019 (telestream.net/NAB) in booth SL3308 for a more in-depth conversation.

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