Pulsar Rapid – A new efficient approach to content QC

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Broadcasters, operators, and OTT service providers are processing increasing volumes of file based content. Where-ever possible, this content undergoes QC using traditional file based content QC solutions. These solutions support wide range of formats and quality checks but are not always the best answer to the emerging content QC needs. As a result, these solutions are limited to only certain stages of the workflow. The ability to design a flexible automated content QC workflow is the key to achieving operational efficiency. Following are some of the key aspects of efficient content QC workflows:

    • QC needs are different at different stages of the workflow.  Not every stage needs a full-blown QC system.
    • QC solutions should make full use of the QC data for improving the work-flow efficiency. Present day solutions attempt to fit the same system at every stage by just changing templates or profiles, which is insufficient.
    • QC solutions need to be aware of the content usage throughout the workflow and provide more flexibility to the users by letting them handle the content in different ways. Contemporary file-based QC solutions understand just two criterions: pass or fail, which is not sufficient.

The corollary of above is that cost-scalability of content QC using present day solutions is not very attractive. This is more challenging for facilities that have large content volumes or are witnessing growth in content volumes, which current QC solutions can’t handle efficiently. In high-volume environments, users typically resort to multi-layered QC that ranges from quick verification to in-depth verification. With quick verification, users need to check for items such as correct format, aspect ratio, file name etc. Currently, available automated QC solutions are not designed to fulfill this need. As a result, users either resort to manual testing which is time & cost inefficient or create home-grown scripts that are not usually enough to fulfill their requirements. Both these approaches are undesirable from a user’s perspective.

PulsarTM with its add-on RapidTM, takes care of these aspects of content QC in file based workflows. Rapid adds the following functions to in-depth verification capabilities of Pulsar. These functions equip users with entirely new capabilities allowing them to be in a better control of the workflows, in ways that were not possible until now:

  1. Pre-ingest QC: Allows users to quickly verify the content prior to ingest. Stops faulty content from entering the workflow thus acting as the gatekeeper of your workflow.
  2. Content qualification: It introduces the concept of content qualification. Ensures that only qualified content demands resources for downstream processes such as ingest, transcoding or even in-depth QC.
  3. Work-flow aware classification: Can be configured to precisely classify & sort the content based on requirements of the rest of the workflow. This boosts the throughput of existing workflow by just deploying Rapid add-on in Pulsar.
Rapid Automated Scanning and Sorting
Rapid can qualify a 2 GB MXF file in 10 seconds. A work-flow without Rapid ends up wasting a lot of time and resources on ingest, transcoding etc on such files. All the passed files get classified for rest of the workflow, eliminating error prone manual classification of the content.

Since the QC needs at different stages are different, you can control the level of content qualification and classification by using Rapid add-on with Pulsar at any stage in the workflow. The most frequently used stage where content qualification & sorting is required is prior to ingest because it provides maximum gains in workflow efficiency. In a nutshell, Pulsar achieves the following goals:

    • Significant improvements in workflow efficiency.
    • Blocks faulty content from entering the workflow and consuming other workflow resources.
    • Classifies content for the rest of the workflow.
    • In-depth verification only on qualified content.
    • Providing cost scalability by allowing flexible QC workflow design.

The gains in workflow efficiency by using Pulsar are noteworthy. Using Rapid add-on within Pulsar shows the path to comprehensive solution for content QC challenges of today and tomorrow.