PBS Digital Switching its Video Transcoding Service

Last Updated by Jenny Markley on

If you are a current consumer of the Media Manager and/or COVE APIs, action may be needed on your part, in order to adapt to an upcoming change, in July.

Overview:

We will soon be transitioning our transcoding service from Zencoder to Elemental, which will better align with the needs of our digital products. As part of this process, we plan to reduce the number of video profiles generated during the ingestion workflow, in an effort to eliminate redundancy and save cost. The API structure will not change, just the profiles. This will take effect for new assets created after the switch to Elemental, or pre-existing assets that are re-ingested. The profiles will not otherwise be updated for pre-existing assets, as part of the transition.

Timeline:

We plan to release this update the week of July 17, 2017. You can join the Media Manager API forum, and follow this post, for more information about the release date, once it’s confirmed. (If you can’t access the forum, please submit a Support ticket.)

New profiles:

We currently generate 11 or 14 output types, depending upon whether or not the source file is HD. Many of these are duplicates, or no longer necessary. We plan to reduce that to 3 or 4 output types (same HD dependency) with the switch to Elemental. The new profile names (ex: mp4-16x9-baseline) are listed below:

  • 16x9

    • MP4 16x9 Baseline: mp4-16x9-baseline

    • MP4 16x9 720p: mp4-16x9-720p

    • HLS 16x9 720p: hls-16x9-720p

    • HLS 16x9 1080p: hls-16x9-1080p

      • (only generated for HD Mezzanine)

  • 4x3

    • MP4 4x3 Baseline: mp4-4x3-baseline

    • MP4 4x3 720p: mp4-4x3-720p

    • HLS 4x3 720p: hls-4x3-720p

    • HLS 4x3 1080p: hls-4x3-1080p

      • (only generated for HD Mezzanine)

How to know if this change impacts you:

  • If you are using the partner player, or you have a custom player and are NOT relying on the individual profile names explicitly, no action is needed on your part.

  • If you are using COVE API, we are reducing the number of output profiles to the list below, but they will retain the same names currently used in COVE. (We will map them to our new profiles on the back-end). If you are using the “existing” profiles listed below, no action should be needed on your part. Profiles not listed here will be removed.

    • 16x9 profiles

      • Existing profile “mp4-baseline-16x9” will remain, but be mapped to “mp4-16x9-baseline”

      • Existing profile “mp4-2500k-16x9” will remain, but be mapped to “mp4-16x9-720p”

      • Existing profile “hls-2500k-16x9” will remain, but be mapped to “hls-16x9-720p”

      • Existing profile “hls-1080p-16x9” will remain, but be mapped to “hls-16x9-1080p"

    • 4x3 profiles

      • Existing profile “mp4-baseline-4x3” will remain, but be mapped to “mp4-4x3-baseline”

      • Existing profile “mp4-2500k-4x3” will remain, but be mapped to “mp4-4x3-720p”

      • Existing profile “hls-2500k-4x3” will remain, but be mapped to “hls-4x3-720p”

      • Existing profile “hls-1080p-4x3” will remain, but be mapped to “hls-4x3-1080p"

  • If you are using Media Manager API, and rely upon the profile names, you will need to make an adjustment to your code, to include the new names. For custom player implementations, our assumption is that a profile fall-back order is defined in the code, to handle cases where not all encoding types are available for a video asset. We recommend adding the new profiles (see below) to this fall-back logic, so you will be prepared for the update in mid-July.

One, final important note: The COVE API will be supported through the end of 2017, after which it will be retired. Please plan ahead, to transition to the new, Media Manager API. API key requests can be submitted to the Support team.

 

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