castLabs for IFE: Video Processing in the Cloud

Read all four of our ‘castLabs on IFE’ blogs by following the links to the right.

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Commercial and business airlines today are often reliant on in-flight entertainment (IFE) content delivery workflows designed for physically delivered media, with the supply chain for taking a single movie from studio-to-screen, either in-seat or a passenger device, consisting of many steps.

Looking to adapt this legacy workflow to digitally delivered formats, with dramatic reductions in the typical 45-60 day content delivery cycle, a number of companies working in cloud, video delivery and IFE technology have sought to make content workflow processes automated and more efficient.

castLabs collaborating with companies including Venera Technologies and Lufthansa Systems is helping take on-premises hardware out of the equation, speeding up VOD processing workflows so that your content is ready for worldwide distribution.

How the concept works:

Media assets are securely transferred to the Content Integration Centre, prompting the Venera Technologies ‘Quasar’ native cloud file quality control service to produce a content report identifying the aspect ratio, dead pixels, block frames, picture alteration and other parameters. When there’s a request for a video, content will either need to be transferred or resides in the integration centre prior to processing.

castLabs, Lufthansa and Venera Workflow

castLabs Video Toolkit processes video content in the cloud including embedding watermarks, subtitle conversion, encoding, encryption, and packaging content. Content keys for decryption are ingested by DRMtoday where authorised users can preview encrypted content before distribution, and later those keys can be synced or derived in DRMtoday Onboard for offline license delivery in aircraft.

Meanwhile, the ready content is passed to the CDN ready for distribution. In an offline or limited connectivity context it’s best for the content to be copied onto software on the planes, with Lufthansa Systems operating Maintenance Centers for this purpose. Offline playback can then be displayed on in-screen or passenger devices through our PRESTOplay player technology, and content license keys downloaded for limited time authorization from a lightweight DRMtoday Onboard server.

Key benefits to this workflow:

  • Files can uploaded and processed efficiently in bulk
  • Quality issues with incoming content can be detected before the content processing begins, saving time and cost
  • Universally recognized specifications for multi-version content, different audio and subtitle tracks – no fragmentation
  • Online variation possible with cloud-based DRMtoday licensing service and CDN based streaming to players built with PRESTOplay SDKs
  • DRMtoday Onboard server can be as small as a Raspberry Pi!
  • Aforementioned removal of on-premises hardware and simplification of workflow processes designed especially for digital media

Moving to a cloud-based IFE video processing workflow with castLabs, and technology partners including Venera Technologies and Lufthansa Systems, speeds up bulk content processing and content protection through encryption and watermarking technologies.

You’ll also benefit from easing multi-language audio and caption support, all without risking video quality concerns.

castLabs, Lufthansa Systems and Venera


Posted by

Mark Whiley

Mark Whiley
Communications and Events

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