Telestream Vantage automates VoD catch-up service for Canal+

Telestream, a provider of video transcoding and workflow solutions, has announced that French television service provider Canal+ selected its Vantage workflow automation platform running on Lightspeed Servers with Pipeline encoding appliances for deployment of a new VoD catch-up service. The opportunity to expand services at Canal+ arose in 2012 when two free-to-air channels became available on the French DTT platform. With regulatory approval in September, a contract signed in October, and an on-air date before the end of the year, deployment had to be very fast.

For Canal+, getting channels on air was just part of the overall mix. It was important that the new services also be available online and on mobile devices, as part of the company’s aggressive multi-platform strategy. The plan was to create a new building with all new infrastructure in a very short time scale in order to broadcast its three free-to-air channels: D8 and D17 which had just been acquired, and i>TELE which already existed in the Canal+ Group.

“We needed to generate four different H.264 outputs, plus four HLS files for Apple devices and others, and an MPEG-2 transport stream,” explained Charles Lesoil, project manager at Canal+. “We needed to strip out commercial breaks for the online version, do some content replacement where needed for rights management, and we wanted to insert logos and PG ratings where required.”

This was a challenging encoding task, bundled with complex additional processing, which needed to be implemented within an automated workflow, and all to be achieved in a very tight timescale. Canal+ found the solution in the Telestream Vantage platform, running on Lightspeed Servers for maximum productivity, with live encoding by Telestream Pipeline appliances. “I have been to IBC twice and NAB once and have not found any other company who can do this,” Lesoil said of his choice of Telestream.

“This is an excellent example of the power and speed that Vantage offers,” said Paul Turner, VP of enterprise product management at Telestream. “Vantage provides a wide range of content production functionality for Canal+ such as logo insertion, trimming, and resizing as an inherent part of the transcoding processes. In addition, Canal+ utilised Vantage system intelligence to develop workflows using advanced logic based on the metadata to reduce the number of different workflows for simplicity and reliability.”

Vantage also provides the management of media file exchange between Dalet, Avid, Omneon, Grass Valley K2 servers, and more. Lesoil underlined the power of the Telestream integration by saying, “When you have three months to make the channel work and vendors do not want to talk to each other, you get Vantage to talk to them.”

“Multi-screen delivery is the key to an efficient channel launch,” Lesoil added. “We were pioneers with the Vantage and Pipeline product combination, but Telestream provided excellent support and working with them was very beneficial for Canal+.”

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