AWS for M&E Blog

Venera Technologies automates QC advances in the cloud

This blog post is co-authored by Brian Kenworthy and Jason Dvorkin at AWS, and Fereidoon Khosravi at Venera.

Quality control (QC) checks have always been a critical step in media supply chain workloads. Today, with the shift to cloud-based workloads on Amazon Web Services (AWS), the QC process has evolved from on-premises desktop software to interrogating assets from anywhere in the world.

With the explosion in content creation, QC checks need to be performed at a rate that can keep pace with increased production. QC applications can elastically scale automatically with AWS and meet the demand of most any workload.

Many Independent software vendors (ISVs) AWS Partners that specialize in QC have transformed their products to take advantage of the cloud. Instead of relying solely on desktop software, QC applications can now launch on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances and perform quality check functions from any location.

Venera Technologies specializes in automatic QC in the cloud for audio and video assets and workflows. Venera is an AWS Partner and a member of the AWS Partner Network (APN). Venera Quasar file QC service, built natively for cloud architecture, provides automatic quality control checks for audio and video assets. Venera Quasar was built to help customers check audio and video assets at scale using custom templates that can address VOD and Broadcast specifications.

Typical cloud QC workloads for media and entertainment focus on two areas:

  1. Acquisition and ingest
  2. Distribution and egress

For acquisition and ingest, content producers want to ensure assets are of the highest quality and adhere to specifications for distributors or internal media managers who need to transform asset files for content licensers. For distribution and egress, content producers want to verify asset processing and transformation has not introduced anomalies and assets meets delivery specifications.

Venera Quasar provides a wide range of audio and video checks to address these focus areas and workloads, including:

  1. Color gamut – ensure the color space is compliant with broadcast, video-on-demand (VOD), and industry specifications
  2. Active region – determine the aspect ratio and horizontal/vertical measurements of the image is as intended
  3. Cadence – inspect for field interpolation issues that can occur from blended frame rates and picture cadences
  4. Flash frames – check for any unintended frames that cause distracting flashes
  5. Photosensitivity Epilepsy (PSE) – report compliance of bright to dark and fast action that could induce seizures and should provide warnings based on the de-facto industry standard Harding PSE
  6. Digital hits/blockiness – detect video artifacts that may be easy to miss by a QC operator
  7. Color bar/slate/URL/FBI warning/media offline – detect various unexpected or undesired elements
  8. SSIM/PSNR – provide reference-based analysis, reporting Structural Similarity Index Measurement (SSIM) and Peak Signal to Noise Ratio (PSNR) scores or frame-by-frame comparison between source and derivative content
  9. Audio loudness, peaks, drops, and clipping – check for audio quality and adherence to specifications
  10. Language ID – determine prominent language spoken on audio tracks without a native speaker

These quality checks, and many others, can be used to create templates for each distribution channel. Templates provide consistency and confidence to ensure deliveries conform to prescribed standards, such as those provided by Amazon Prime Video and other VOD platforms. Reports from cloud QC systems are also a necessity and Quasar provides the flexibility to export in JSON, XML, .pdf or XLSX. The QC report highlights time-based error locations, file attributes, and thumbnail picture references of anomalies. Following is an example QC report:

Example QC report from Venera Quasar tool

Example QC report from Venera Quasar tool

Venera architected Quasar to be cloud native, so users can take advantage of AWS managed services. Quasar is dynamically scalable (tested with 1000 simultaneous instances), and can automatically spin up instances in the same AWS region as the content. Quasar also takes advantage of AWS security, reliability, and scalability that can be leveraged to meet most workload demands. A sample architecture follows:

Architecture drawing for a Venera Quasar deployment on AWS

Architecture drawing for a Venera Quasar deployment on AWS

Quasar also provides visibility into job and asset states. Users can obtain an update through the user interface or configure settings to automatically publish notifications and copies of QC reports. In addition, Quasar supports REST Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for customers to configure workloads and data flows to and from their own systems. An example of the user interface follows:

An image of the Venera Quasar UI displaying job and file identifications, statuses, templates and file names.

Venera Quasar UI displaying job and file identifications, statuses, templates, and file names.

Quasar supports a wide range of audio and video codecs and resolutions including 4K/Ultra High Definition (UHD) as well as packages like the Interoperable Master Format (IMF) or Digital Cinema Package (DCP), and includes newer technology support for Dolby Vision, HDR 10, and HDR 10+. Support for Dolby Atmos is planned for Q1 2023.

Fereidoon Khosravi, SVP of Business Development at Venera observes that Quasar’s cloud-native architecture means that it can be integrated easily with any AWS cloud-based media workflow and can be deployed in SaaS or VPC mode, and is extensively scalable for customers with modest content volume (such as Outpoint Media in the UK) to customers who need to QC thousands of files per month or even per day (such as large media or advertising/entertainment companies).

Venera Quasar on AWS helps provide customers advanced functionality and flexibility to run quality checks against audio and video files in the cloud. With AWS, Venera Quasar can run on Amazon EC2 instances and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) buckets, giving confidence to customers for performance of large file sets that need to run in tight timelines with high durability.


The critical quality control step in media supply chain workloads can now be adopted in cloud-based workloads. Interrogating assets from anywhere in the world with Venera Quasar on AWS allows customers to meet the demand of the content creation explosion with assets of the best quality for viewers.

Brian Kenworthy

Brian Kenworthy

Brian is a Principal Solutions Architect supporting customers in the Media & Entertainment vertical for AWS with a focus on Content Media Supply Chain and Content Production. Brian works to provide solutions for customers and demonstrate the “art of the possible” through proof of concepts utilizing AWS services and Partner Technologies. Brian is also the technical lead for the internal Media Supply Chain Industry Innovation Center. Brian is an industry veteran with over 25 years of experience and has worked at post production service providers and content owner organizations.

Jason Dvorkin

Jason Dvorkin

Jason is a Senior Industry Specialist BD supporting customers in the Media & Entertainment Vertical for AWS. Jason works with executives and technology owners to address their technical and non-technical transformation challenges, providing domain expertise for cloud adoption and achievement of key business objectives. Jason started his career producing live events and broadcasts for a professional sports team. He then went on to work for multiple tech start-ups in the areas of media asset management and media workflows orchestrion and machine learning and artificial intelligence. When Jason isn’t delivering results customers, he can be found spending time with his wife and two daughters, or on the ski slopes in Colorado.