Buyers' Guide to DRM 2017

How it works, the leading technologies, licensing options, business models, and pricing: This guide includes everything content owners need to know to secure their valuable assets.
By Jan Ozer

Netflix is Giving this Show Away for Free to Make TV Better for All

It might not be the next Daredevil or House of Cards, but Netflix's latest production, called Meridian, might end up having the biggest impact on the world of video streaming. It attempts to do this by virtue of how visually complex it is, combining multiple sources of visual noise such as cigarette smoke, fog, and some film footage for good measure into a single shot of its 60 fps, 4K, HDR footage.

Test Footage
The reason for producing such a complicated bit of footage is to push Netflix's streaming technology to its limit. If you're working to optimize your codecs or streaming technology you might end up simplifying a part of the process that makes the technology unable to deal with a visually complex scene. Having a piece of footage available such as Meridian means that you can very quickly check to see if your technology is up to the task of dealing with the worst case scenario of footage.

Free for All
But better yet is the fact that Netflix is making the footage available under a Creative Commons license, meaning that other streaming companies will be able to use the footage to test their own technologies. Following open-source principles such as this is common in the software industry, but is much less prevalent in Hollywood where studios have maintained a tight grip on their intellectual properties. This has resulted in a relatively small pool of test footage being endlessly reused across the industry.

Netflix is hoping that by sharing this footage it can get companies cooperating more effectively and speed up the adoption of new standards such as Interoperable Master Format (IMF), a standard which greatly simplifies the process of having multiple copies of a film for use in different territories. So while it might not be the next big hit from Netflix, the impact of Meridian might just end up being felt for years to come.

Source: Techradar

IMF: An Open Standard with Open Tools

An article about IMF by Netflix.

Turing Codec: Open-Source HEVC Video Compression

BBC R&D has released the first version of the Turing codec, an open source software HEVC video encoder that allows highly efficient compression of video content with low computational complexity.

Ultra HD Forum: Phase A Guidelines

The purpose of this document is to describe consistent methods for the creation and delivery of Ultra HD content for consumer distribution along with a uniform set of characteristics that may be combined to produce content that can be considered “Ultra HD,” referred to as “UHD Phase A” in this document.

The scope includes delivery via the Internet, satellite, terrestrial broadcast and cable as transmission methods. It does not include encode and delivery of content via storage media, such as Blu-ray disc, HDD, SCSA devices, or similar, nor does it include encode and delivery of Digital Cinema content.

How to Create ABR Content with FFmpeg in One Pass

An interesting article

What Is DRM?

The move away from plugins like Flash and Silverlight has made video delivery easier, but it's also made DRM more complicated. This article describes what DRM looks like today, along with a discussion of the leading DRM technologies and DRM service providers.

By Jan Ozer,

Netflix and the IMF Community

An interesting article by Sreeram Chakrovorthy, Rohit Puri, and Andy Schuler.

A Scalable System for Ingestion and Delivery of Timed Text

Offering the same great Netflix experience to diverse audiences and cultures around the world is a core aspect of the global Netflix video delivery service. With high quality subtitle localization being a key component of the experience, we have developed (and are continuously refining) a Unicode standard based i18n-grade timed text processing pipeline.  This pipeline allows us to meet the challenges of scale brought by the global Netflix platform as well as features unique to each script and language.

In this article, we provide a description of this timed text processing pipeline at Netflix including factors and insights that shaped its architecture.

Adopting IMF to Build a True Media Factory

An article by Tedial.

The Best Encoding Settings For Your 4k 360 3D VR Videos

An article by Nick Kraakman, Purple Pill VR

Live Streaming 360 Degree Video to VR Headsets: The Basics

An article by Nick Kraakman, Purple Pill VR

3D Cameras and Virtual Reality

An interesting overview of VR/3D cameras.

Facebook Open-Sources 360-Degree Camera to Jumpstart VR

Facebook debuted the Facebook Surround 360 camera for 360-degree video and VR at its F8 conference this week. The company will also freely share its hardware schematics and complex stitching software via GitHub this summer. Others share Facebook’s vision of virtual reality, including Nokia, Jaunt and Google, all of which built their own 360-degree cameras. But Facebook, by open-sourcing its plans, says chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, furthers its central mission of connecting everyone in the world.

Wired describes the camera as featuring 17 evenly spaced lenses, constructed from about $30,000 worth of off-the-shelf hardware. The camera has three fisheye lenses, one on top of the camera to capture what’s above and two on the bottom of the camera to capture what’s below.

The 360-degree videos are a bridge, says Wired, “to the kind of full-fledged virtual reality Facebook plans on offering through the Oculus Rift.” Facebook chief product officer Chris Cox notes that, “We do not have ambitions of getting into the camera business. But we did observe that there wasn’t really a great reference camera that took really nice, high-resolution, 3D, fully spherical video.”

On the Facebook “Code” page, engineer Brian Cabral, who headed up the team to build the Surround 360, says the goal was to create “a camera that’s not only capable of high-resolution spherical video but also durable and easy to use.”

He describes Facebook’s thinking in designing the hardware and software, and digs into the specifications. For example, the system exports 4K, 6K and 8K for each eye, using its custom Dynamic Streaming technology for the 6K and 8K videos; the 8K “doubles industry standard output.”

Approaches to Building a VOD Service from Scratch

If you’re thinking about building a VOD service and you don’t have to deal with legacy, this is how you do it.

VR Technology Comparison: Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Sony PlayStation VR

The Age of VR has emerged from all of the hype and expectation into a burgeoning new economy which will service a very wide variety of users, purposes and needs. Here is a technological snapshot of the 4 top Virtual Reality systems in their debut incarnations.

The Netflix IMF Workflow

This post describes the Netflix IMF ingest implementation and how it fits within the scope of their content processing pipeline. While conventional essence containers (e.g., QuickTime) commonly include essence data in the container file, the IMF CPL is designed to contain essence by reference and this has interesting architectural implications.

The State of MPEG-DASH 2016

The industry is turning away from plug-ins and embracing HTML5 everywhere. Here's how the vendor-independent streaming standard is gaining momentum.

Buyer's Guide to DRM 2016

A simple guide through the complex landscape of multiple DRM technologies. Learn what DRM is, and how to choose and deploy the best solution for each platform.

2016 VR Industry Landscape