The initial situation
Modern photo knowledge, outdated video technology
fototv.de is an e-learning platform for photography with more than 3,000 film contributions on photography and image processing, as well as approx. 700 hours of film material for its registered 90,000 users. In addition, fototv.de contains the world’s largest collection of photographer interviews with around 750 interviews. Every month, the registered users of fototv.de generate about 7 terabytes of traffic. As fototv.de has grown as an e-learning platform over the course of 10+ years, the video content has been made available in different forms. On the one hand, there were old FLV files that had to be converted into new formats. On the other hand, the outdated Flash player was in use, which no longer represented a contemporary solution for the viewing habits of the target group.
fototv.de wanted to find a solution to make the extensive video content no longer viewable just via the Flash player – but to make the films consumable on as many browsers and devices as possible. In addition, the video content was to be offered with appropriate protection. Additional objectives included offering the content in FullHD, as well as via automatic bandwidth, which always ensures an optimal viewing experience for the registered member, even if he or she accesses the video content via different devices. For an e-learning provider or a video content portal like fototv.de, the future of the company depends in no small way on the quality of the playouts and the playability of the video content. The video player made available to registered, paying users, therefore, had to guarantee flawless functioning, on the one hand, and deliver a winning performance through future-proofing, on the other.
Automatic transcoding, storage and video playout for all terminal scenarios
The challenge was to establish an end-to-end process for the existing video content that would be reliably automated from the re-transcoding to the playout. First of all, the entire video content of the portal – some of which was still in the outdated FLV format – had to be converted into a new format. In addition, each individual video had to be transcoded in different data rates so that users could then play it back depending on their currently available bandwidth.
Due to the accumulation of video content spanning a period of 10 years – during which it was shot, edited and streamed in a wide variety of resolutions and data rates – the optimal transcoding settings had to be found for each individual video: in an automation process that had little to no potential for error.
G&L Geissendörfer & Leschinsky was able to put together a complete solution for the e-learning provider fototv.de with a holistic package consisting of the products Akamai Adaptive Media Delivery, Akamai NetStorage and Bitmovin Transcoding. The new transcoding and storage of the video content were ensured just as reliably as the high-performance video playouts on all user devices, at different bit rates.