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Thread: MediaDS vs. Advanced Edition plug-ins?

  1. #1
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    MediaDS vs. Advanced Edition plug-ins?

    I'm just curious as to how the new MediaDS is different than having the Advanced Edition streaming plug-ins on the 8000 and simultaneously streaming across multiple platforms?

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    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    This is a really good question. I'll kick off the responses.

    First, while a TriCaster running current AE software can simultaneously send an encoded stream to multiple CDNs (content delivery networks), all targets will receive the identical stream. By contrast, MediaDS can send up to four completely different streams. This may involve four unique program sources, or one or more sources encoded with different settings. TriCaster can't do that. So, for example, you might produce different versions of your program using TriCaster AE, but you can only stream one of them; but with MediaDS, you could take the 4 unique NDI outputs from your TriCaster and stream them all at once (Of course, this can involve substantial system resource demands - so migrating those requirements to an outboard standalone system is a big advantage.) And, like TriCaster, each unique stream can go to multiple targets.

    While on the matter of program sources - MDS1 supports more source types than any current model TriCaster (and obviously does not require a TriCaster/NewTek pipeline at all). Note, too, that MDS1 can handle up to two streams at 1080p60, which no current TriCaster can do.

    There are two other things that make MediaDS a very special device:

    The first is the direct integration of Wowza Engine, making it simple to connect video sources to this powerful software. To borrow a sentence from Wowza's website, "Wowza Streaming Engine is the gold standard of customizable media server software for building and delivering professional-grade streaming at any scale." Few would argue with that. Sending the raw RTSP output of the MediaDS streaming encoder to WSE results in 'wrapping' the stream in various ways that make it suitable for playback on all popular platforms.

    The second and very important thing worth noting here is that enabling WSE as a destination for one or more MediaDS streams in turn automatically sends its (WSE's) output to MediaDS's integrated webserver, which in turn automatically streams (customizable) webpages complete with a Wowza video player for each enabled stream (the player supports DVR features, btw). Let's consider what this means.

    Imagine you are a school, and want to show live video to your students each morning. Think about how complicated it would be to deliver that program as conventional video to every room in the school (or campus, or office building, or hospital, hotel, what have you). With Media DS, all you need to do is plunk the unit down somewhere, plug in power, kb mouse and monitor, connect a video source (a webcam would do as a minimalist approach) and connect it to you local network. Now everyone with access to that network can hit a URL you provide on pretty much any device with a web browser and watch your live stream - no CDN or even Internet connection required. This one little box handles everything you need to be your own CDN other than a camera. And of course, if you want to take advantage of WSE's more advanced capabilities (for the purpose of international scalability, etc.) you can do that too.

    Well, maybe that's a good enough start.
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    So 2 questions. 1 - Just to clarify, the MDS can provide a stream to every device on the network, without encoding it into a CDN (ie YoutTube, Facebook, etc.)? Where does the link get generated and how does one obtain it?

    2 - Does this act as a streaming encoder/decoder as well? Like if I had a TC Mini out in the field and wanted to send a program feed to YouTube and Facebook, but then also wanted to send a dedicated program feed directly back to my TC 8000 back in the studio (which is on a different network) and integrate that feed into its own separate production, this could be accomplished with an MDS in both locations? If so, can this be done without wrapping it in a CDN?

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    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millo View Post
    1 - Just to clarify, the MDS can provide a stream to every device on the network, without encoding it into a CDN (ie YoutTube, Facebook, etc.)? Where does the link get generated and how does one obtain it?
    Yes. The default URLs for viewers are generated by the MediaDS, and displayed to you for dissemination, etc., in the application.

    Quote Originally Posted by Millo View Post
    2 - Does this act as a streaming encoder/decoder as well? Like if I had a TC Mini out in the field and wanted to send a program feed to YouTube and Facebook, but then also wanted to send a dedicated program feed directly back to my TC 8000 back in the studio (which is on a different network) and integrate that feed into its own separate production, this could be accomplished with an MDS in both locations? If so, can this be done without wrapping it in a CDN?
    This one makes me a bit dizzy.

    Hmmm. I'm not sure I would want to use a stream in this way, even if it could work. If your systems were on the same local network, I'd use NDI instead ... but anyway, I think you are basically describing using a remote video stream as an input to a local MDS1, with a view to sending that to the local 8000 as a source. I'd have to think about whether this is do-able, either using the MDS1 software or perhaps directly using Wowza Streaming Engine, but assuming it is, it still strikes me as overkill. You could do something similar without an MDS1 at either end, just by sending your Program stream directly from the Mini to a CDN, and in the local studio use that stream as an input to NDI Connect, and then output that as NDI to the 8000. (There are probably other approaches that don't require such a significant expenditure as two MDS1's just for this.)
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