TV operations for Orange Spain

Turnkey metadata/media operations at Orange TV

Boasting more than 700K subscribers and a 13.8% YoY growth rate (2018), Orange TV is the fastest-growing player in the Spanish Pay TV market. With an aggressive content offer evolution plan ahead, Orange Spain outsourced in July 2018 to Optiva Media the entire operations chain of its TV service, from metadata aggregation to video processing and editorialization. To accomplish the task, Optiva Media set up a dedicated team of professionals assisted by an integrated management system comprising two Optiva Media products, namely MediaStream for metadata collection, supervision and delivery, and MediaCode for video processing workflow management.

Mediastream’s central metadata repository (known as the IMS), is deployed on top of Amazon Aurora. Import (from metadata sources to the IMS) and export (from IMS to end-user platforms) subsystems are heavily parallelized via extensive use of AWS Lambda Functions pipelined through SQS queues: we are now refactoring the remaining server-based elements (running on EC2) to achieve a fully serverless architecture.

Metadata matching, a process by which new content entries are compared against the IMS for duplication detection and information merging, uses algorithmic machinery reliant on Elasticsearch. The online UI is served through Amazon API Gateway.

Media processing management by MediaCode is designed around the workflow capabilites of AWS Step Functions. Heavy-duty work, such as transcoding, quality checking and packaging, is also executed by EC2-virtualized services or transferred to AWS native Media services. Intermediate and deliverable assets are stored with S3 and archived in S3 Glacier.

Some of the highlights of this challenging project are:

  • Daily maintenance of metadata for a 190+ channel line-up. Primary data are obtained from metadata providers and channeled through MediaStream for automated delivery to the Orange end-user platform and enrichment with service-specific configuration parameters related to startover, NPVR and catch-up capabilities and rights. Out of the total line-up, more than 30 channels are constantly kept updated to last-minute changes.
  • End-to-end operation of the service’s VoD section, including both metadata management and media asset processing (mezzanine acquisition, subtitle embedding, multi-profile encoding, automated quality checking). As of mid-2019, more than 1800 new content entries are processed each month. Following Orange Spain’s content quality goals, Optiva Media has succeeded in getting Orange TV to provide subtitles for more than 75% of its VoD offer, the highest figure since service launch, and nearly 100% of new entries are subtitles-enabled.
  • Integration of new content sources totaling more than 2,000 entries. These catalogs were included as specific sections within Orange TV VoD service. Processing the assets of a new VoD catalog is done in two stages: an initial load with 40-50% of total contents followed by incremental addition of the remaining content over the course of a few weeks. This process requires a good deal of coordination and planning to optimize the usage of available video processing capacity.
  • Addition of trailers to content entries, which required setting up specific encoding profiles and organizing the procedures for trailer acquisition from content providers. Most of new TVoD entries come now with associated trailers.

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