Cloud Ingest:
Can It Improve Your Content?

Cloud-based video production budgets will more than triple from $602 million in 2020 to $2.48 billion in 2026, suggesting that the media organizations who have made the move are reaping the benefits and are seeing it as a wise investment.


(I) Intro

Managing broadcast production has been a longstanding logistical challenge within media. Post-production is no exception within the process; with reams of data and large teams, post-production businesses are navigating infrastructural challenges when building workflows and relying heavily on data management.

Historically, this has utilized on-prem hardware, with workflows built to work alongside on-site storage solutions. Up until recently, remote production still involved using a lot of on-site hardware, often with large teams. Transitioning the complex network to the cloud had already been an obvious step for some; remote production enables businesses to reduce the amount of hardware on-site and enhances post-productions workflows through accessing content online. 

The move to cloud-based working has been drastically accelerated due to the social distancing restrictions introduced in recent years. This leads us to ask an important question: is post-production in the cloud here to stay? Rethink Technology Research estimates that cloud-based video production budgets will more than triple from $602 million in 2020 to $2.48 billion in 2026, suggesting that the media organizations who have made the move are reaping the benefits and are seeing it as a wise investment.

(II) How myths are stifling the shift to the cloud

For those who haven’t made the post-production shift to the cloud, the transition can appear daunting for a number of reasons. One of the biggest barriers is simply the apparent huge undertaking of transitioning all workflows into a cloud-based environment. Getting cloud-based ingest right delivers huge opportunities to media companies. Sophisticated ingest will ensure that content is processed and stored with the appropriate metadata, providing easy-search options for content editors. Not only is this efficient, but it delivers fresh opportunities for the utilization of content. 

Broadcasters and content producers are of course concerned with ensuring the right content gets to the right people at the right time, whilst making sure that sought after content doesn’t get into the wrong hands. There is often a mindset that cloud-based means less security and more reliance on high-speed internet to keep that content safe and flowing when needed. It has been quickly realized that many of the misconceptions around cloud media workflows are unfounded. Understanding the tools available via the cloud remains a significant barrier, however their impact on workflows can be transformative.

(III) The benefits of cloud based ingest

Ingest is a significant area of post-production which can be transformed through cloud-based working. The most obvious pull towards ingest in the cloud is the reduction in hardware costs. Hardware is well-known as being an expensive component of production and a direct-to-cloud system drastically improves cost efficiencies. It is an easy switch for many companies to make; our Capture2Cloud can input both NDI and SRT feeds directly to the cloud. 

Another key benefit of cloud-based ingest is that it provides flexibility in terms of scalability. Fluctuation in capacity can easily be reflected through scaling up both storage and processing capabilities. This allows businesses to handle larger, data-heavy jobs without having to make a substantial investment in ingest infrastructure, thus allowing them to scale-back costs once the project has finished. 

The scale of data in post-production requires organizational systems to ensure that the return on investment of content is maximized. Cloud-based ingest delivers intelligent tools for data processing. A sophisticated file-naming convention paired with the utilization of metadata ensures that content is organized when uploaded to the central production network. Additionally, live ingest can deliver matching timecodes and synced audio, removing a common pain-point within the editing process. The features offered by performing cloud-based ingest enhance editing tools and workflows. One concern surrounding post-production in the cloud is regarding the accessibility of content. When feeds are delivered to the cloud using Capture2Cloud, both high-resolution and proxy versions are saved to enable quick and easy access to content, permitting the editing process to start as quickly as required. Moving content ingest to the cloud is a logical next step for many organizations. The benefits are not only limited to allowing remote working; the technical advantages deliver improvements in both content and workflow management.

(IV) Important Features for cloud-based Ingest

Cloud-based ingest can deliver useful features to improve the editing process. Cinedeck Ingest systems, including Capture2Cloud offers features such as:

  • A fully customizable RESTful API for interoperable workflows
  • Audio mapping and audio delay
  • Master – proxy recording
  • Timecode support 
  • Scheduling and playback
  • Playout while record 
  • Metadata burn-in
  • Closed captions support
  • Character overlay
  • Gang record and playback

(V) How can I future-proof my ingest workflow?

One of the main benefits of cloud-based ingest is the flexibility it delivers. Workflows may need to be adapted to suit certain projects or specific tasks. By managing ingest in the cloud, you can easily integrate your system with other cloud tools and change your workflow instantly. To maximize the potential of this flexibility it is important to maintain interoperability and compatibility with different compression and coding formats and standards, as well as with different hardware. By choosing an interoperable service, you can choose the perfect tools for your needs whilst having the confidence that they will match with your cloud-based ingest workflow.

Cinedeck supports a wide range of formats and resolutions to enable you to build dynamic and progressive workflows which enhance your projects.

(VI) Considerations of cloud-based ingest

Of course, there are instances where media teams have established on-premises hardware systems which are suitable for their operations. In these situations, there may be doubts around whether making a full switch to the cloud is needed. This does not mean that post-production loses out on the benefits of cloud-based ingest; a hybrid solution could introduce the opportunities offered by cloud-based systems whilst integrating with the existing hardware solutions. Cinedeck’s expertise in both hardware and software based ingest means that we can assist you in making the right choices for your business and maximize the potential of the tools available.

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