BT TV, a subscription IPTV service offered by the UK’s largest telecom service provider, BT, has adopted Telestream’s Vantage media processing platform. This move creates a robust, high-speed multiscreen media processing solution with automated quality assurance to better serve BT TV customers. Telestream’s local channel partner, Boxer Systems, worked closely with BT TV to specify, install and configure the system.
“The Vantage Workflow Designer has proved popular with our team as an easy to understand, yet powerful and dynamic toolset," said Peter Harvey, head of content operations (VOD and digital media) at BT Technology. "Vantage has given greater control of our VOD processing, reducing manual effort and helping the team to work more efficiently. It has reduced multiscreen media transcoding times by up to 30%, which was key in selecting Vantage.”
At BT TV’s London-based technical headquarters, Vantage is being used to analyse the technical properties of VOD content, extract and create appropriate metadata which is used to drive Vantage workflow decisions and to transcode VOD content into high quality multiscreen formats for OTT delivery. In addition, Telestream Switch player is now the company’s media player of choice, with multi-format support, solid file inspection and support for captions and subtitles playback.
Employing Vantage has allowed BT to launch enhanced features into the BT TV APP & Web player, enabling customers to access multiscreen versions of any rented or purchased content with the minimum of delay. The project supports the BT TV APP across iOS and Android devices as well as Amazon tablet. A later release will incorporate access to large screens, including Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV/Firestick and Samsung Smart TVs.
This ambitious project was fueled by BT TV’s need to enhance its business agility and support business development goals focused on its OTT VOD operations. The decision to integrate Vantage into BT TV’s estate was made to enable the shortest possible delivery times for multiscreen formats, which was paramount due to the time constraints of the project and large volume of content to be processed.
The company evaluated all of the available transcoding options and found that Vantage offered high quality content in the widest range of multiscreen formats, with media processing times that are significantly faster than any other platform. BT TV reports that Vantage is 25–30% faster than its previous transcoding platform.
“Vantage contributes significantly to our business agility,” said Peter Harvey. “The fast turnaround times of our multiscreen files allowed our new App and Web product to launch on time two weeks ago. We are also currently looking at the Speech-to-Text model to assist with subtitling requirements and a number of other elements that are currently under development. The fact that Vantage can be used as a workflow tool - replacing or substituting some MAM functionality - the turnaround speeds of multiscreen files, and the further options to utilise Telestream’s elastic transcoding option, if required, were all strong drivers in our selection decision. Already, we are formulating exciting plans for additional ways in which we can utilise Vantage in our core business operations.”