AWS Marketplace

Remote workspace technology solves workflow challenges in media and entertainment with AWS Marketplace solutions

Audiences’ continued move to streaming content is pushing industry players to allocate large budgets to the creation of new content. Statista recently reported that Netflix’s 2022 content spending is estimated to be 17 billion USD, while Disney’s comes in at 33 billion USD. This push brings an unprecedented demand for visual effects (VFX) work. However, the media and entertainment (M&E) industry is currently undergoing some significant growing pains. A recent 451 research study explains that 44% of companies are experiencing insufficient IT staffing, and 32% report an IT skills shortage. Coupled with the recent pandemic, this has resulted in a large-scale uptick in remote work and workflows across the industry. In fact, a recent report by Teradici notes that M&E companies plan to increase average spending for remote desktops by 256%. This is all in an effort to scale operations and access talented workers globally.

AWS Marketplace recently presented a webinar on the topic—Remote production: Workflow challenges solved with solutions in AWS Marketplace. In this session, Hotspring’s Varun Parange and I discussed how remote workspace technology is the future of the M&E industry.

Creating high-impact and immersive streaming experiences with Wowza

The broadcasters of three recent high-profile events sought to surprise and delight audiences by transforming how they streamed these ceremonies. They believed modernizing content from the recent Presidential inauguration and red-carpet coverage could offer more immersive viewer experiences. Furthermore, they realized that delivering a premium streaming experience presented significant challenges, from both the cost and deployment perspectives.

These companies looked to Wowza, a streaming solutions provider committed to powering live video for today’s most innovative companies. The Wowza Streaming Engine offered these enterprises extensive integration, flexibility, and extensibility for ease of deployment. In combination with the ability to rapidly implement and scale using AWS Infrastructure, it presented an attractive solution for delivering immersive event content. By using the cloud, the solution also decreased the need for onsite infrastructure. This is particularly important, as it can be difficult or cost-prohibitive to set up in some venues. Wowza and AWS also created the ability to rapidly scale infrastructure for key events, thereby driving cost efficiencies.

These content providers efficiently and effectively offered a unique experience for their viewers. They were clear about the positive impact of the provided solution. “I was given quite the challenge with very little budget to provide a 360-degree, immersive experience for a large-scale, highly visible event,” said one of the companies’ directors of broadcast engineering in field operations. “The combination of AWS and Wowza allowed me to pull it off flawlessly.”

Enabling cloud-native workflow with Data Expedition

Preymaker is one of the first 100% cloud-native creative studios. It delivers content and creative execution, and it’s built upon a solid foundation of innovation and VFX. In the current environment of fast turnaround times and big files, the need for the studio to move data quickly was imperative. By using remote workflow tools and high-efficiency storage tools, Preymaker’s global workforce could seamlessly collaborate on even the largest projects. But this created a critical workflow bottleneck: all of that data had to be uploaded to the cloud before work could begin.

To solve this challenge, the Preymaker team initially implemented a data transfer solution that took advantage of a previously used product. On top of being cost-prohibitive, it soon became apparent that the solution was limited in the storage types that it could handle. This prompted a hunt for an alternative accelerated data transfer solution to help the company upload its massive video files into AWS.

The team discovered Data Expedition, Inc. (DEI), a company that provides high-performance data transport solutions to the world’s largest companies. DEI’s CloudDat for AWS offers an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)-hosted accelerated file transfer gateway. Users can upload and download at up to five gigabits per second per object from anywhere worldwide.

For the critical task of quickly uploading data, CloudDat could saturate Preymaker’s AWS connections, thereby achieving a net throughput of 966 MBps. CloudDat offered access to multiple storage types, in turn allowing workflows to evolve and grow over time, as well as improving editing processes and storage. CloudDat’s performance fully utilized available bandwidth to scale with cloud infrastructure as Preymaker’s needs evolved. DEI also offered a fixed cost per hour or per month with no bandwidth surcharge or per-GB pricing. This allowed Preymaker to benefit from a predictable cost structure that was 98% less expensive than the alternative.

CloudDat helped Preymaker address key workflow challenges and implement a solution that fit their needs, thereby supporting the company’s continued growth. According to Alan McSeveney, team lead for technology at Preymaker, “A product like CloudDat is critical for companies pivoting to cloud infrastructure.”

Decentralizing visual effects production with Teradici

Hotspring is a platform that powers the decentralized creation of VFX through a network of talent worldwide. This platform enables post-production companies to access a global talent pool to scale operations as needed. The fact that Hotspring artists are dispersed globally presented significant challenges in delivering quality output while maintaining strict security.

Hotspring turned to Emmy® Award-winning Teradici to help it overcome these formidable hurdles. Teradici, an HP company, helps enterprises connect users to their remote desktops and workstations via PC over IP (PCoIP). This Teradici-developed display protocol delivers remote high-performance desktops and applications to endpoints. It offers a highly responsive, color-accurate, lossless, and distortion-free experience for even the most graphics-intensive workloads.

Teradici’s technology helped Hotspring securely power the creation of pixel-perfect VFX. As the PCoIP protocol transfers only display information in the form of pixels, no business information ever leaves the cloud, data center, or workstation. As this solution works effectively even with higher latencies, Hotspring could access artists in areas without high-quality internet connections. Teradici’s flexibility also enabled the company to instantly scale as needed, matching demand spikes via a pay-as-you-go model.

With Teradici, Hotspring can rapidly assemble remote top talent globally, thereby meeting the unprecedented demand for VFX in the industry today.

Remote work solutions for media and entertainment in AWS Marketplace

M&E solutions in AWS Marketplace can help your company solve workflow challenges and empower talent with effective remote work technology.

Watch this Remote production: Workflow challenges solved with solutions in AWS Marketplace webinar to learn how these solutions offer the speed, connectivity, security, and flexibility to deliver high-quality content anywhere worldwide.

About the author

Dave PolyardDave Polyard is the Global Industry Customer Lead, M&E at AWS Marketplace. Dave’s expertise includes broadcast automation systems, news production systems, content storage management (CSM) systems, and workflows related to the migration of content to the cloud. Dave has led successful workshops for AWS customers on topics including content preservation and media archiving. Prior to joining AWS, Dave was a senior executive for several broadcast technology firms as well as a former broadcast journalist.