Verifying files in Baton® for Netflix delivery
Netflix is the world's leading internet television network. To provide a consistent quality of experience to their viewers, Netflix starts the QC process early in the delivery chain. To Netflix has released the minimum structural requirements for the media files - "Full Technical Specifications and Operators Manual" along with the common problems which they have found in the content delivered by their content partners and fulfillment partners. If a file does not match their quality requirements, Netflix sends a report back with details on the problems so that the issues can be fixed by their content or fulfillment partner. Netflix also maintains quarterly redelivery statistics which for Q3 2015 varied from 1.14% to 12.07%. Netflix chooses some media processing vendors based on low redelivery rates as “Preferred Service Vendor”. Redelivery rates above 5% are cause for concern for Netflix, as it increases the cost of acquiring content from various content partners.
Based on the structural requirements specified in "Full Technical Specifications and Operators Manual" and commonly occurring media quality issues, Interra Systems provides Netflix specific pre-defined test templates to auto QC content for delivery for Netflix workflow. The templates (called testplans in Baton) ensure that the content is ready for delivery to Netflix and catch any technical issues higher up in the delivery chain. These Baton test plans are setup with a click of a button and the system is ready for Netflix delivery QC in minutes. The Baton system with Hulu testplans is intended to present clear delivery requirements that create operational efficiency and ensure that HULU's distribution partners content is technically compliant and ready for consumption downstream.
Baton Netflix testplans include checks for file structure integrity, compliance with delivery specifications, as well as Video and audio artifacts. The checks are more time and resource consuming than the basic file compliance checks. Hence a scalable system is the key to handling larger content volume. One might be able to verify some of these requirements manually, but it would be time consuming, and may need very special expertise that may not be available at each content producer.
Baton is the leading enterprise-class QC solution used globally and it is the trusted choice for file-based QC needs with its comprehensive quality checks, scalability, support for wide range of media formats, and an intuitive web-based interface. Baton's scalable architecture lets users expand their Baton set up as their QC needs grow. Baton's high availability feature guarantees business continuity even if some of the hardware components break down. Baton is hence ideally suited for file QC for the Netflix workflow.
Some common problems found by Netflix in content delivered to them, require ‘Eyeball Audio Video QC' as automated QC solutions cannot check for such issues or a manual review is required after auto QC. Baton also allows operators to review reports, ignore errors or add comments. Some of the eyeball QC checks do require humans to make decisions. A freeze frame for example can be a technical problem or it can be an artistic effect too e.g., a product pack shot at the end of an advertisement. Once Baton finishes, the verification operators can open up the report in a web browser and go through the errors and warnings. Baton reports contain details of what kind of problems are found in the file. It includes thumbnails for video quality issues, graphs, timeline and visual debugging is also available with the Baton Media Player. In case an operator finds that an error is an artistic effect, he/she can ignore the error and add a comment in the player or in the browser. Once the review process is done a PDF report can be exported and sent together with the media file.
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