Empowering Remote Content Editing and Streaming

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About the Organization

DirecTV is a direct broadcast satellite service provider and a subsidiary of AT&T.

The Vision and Challenge

When COVID-19 shuttered many US office locations and transitioned businesses to remote working solutions, it accelerated DirecTV’s project of improving their existing video editorial workflow process from six months down to three weeks for implementation. The sudden demand for a reliable remote workforce solution increased the criticality of their engagement with InterVision for architecting a post-production workflow on AWS cloud.

The Senior Systems Production Engineer at DirecTV, Antonio Henriquez, and his team needed to implement an AWS-based post-production workflow solution to augment fluctuating production needs and meet business continuity requirements. The editing of source (uncompressed) video files had not yet been proven to work for the M&E industry in the past, Henriquez’s team now needed this to work with original source content to preserve workflows in and outside of the studio. They also needed to achieve sub-60-second network latency often required for remote video editing. As a result, the Creative Services team received buy-in from leadership for accelerating the deployment of a business continuity workflow with editorial capabilities to extend into the cloud.

To do this, Henriquez’s team had to migrate their Creative Services data and workflows to the AWS cloud, provisioning optimal performance and reliable security for sensitive content.

The Outcome

InterVision migrated DirecTV to the AWS cloud using our proprietary Cloud Migration Lifecycle Assurance (CMLA) program to ensure a foundation for AWS Well-Architected Framework and best practices for security, optimization and budget adherence. Read more about our approach for ensuring migration success in this guide. This cloud migration enabled InterVision to deliver an editorial workflow that replicated source content from the DirecTV studios into AWS leveraging EC2, Workspaces, S3, and Lambda.

Qumulo’s technology was used as a gateway to synchronize source video content with S3 in order to preserve workflows that DirecTV’s creative teams would see while working in a new virtualized editorial environment. Staff were able to connect via WorkSpaces to access their non-linear editing tools and access content similarly as if they were in studio. For creative staff that worked with richer content and required higher CPU and GPU resources, Amulet Hotkey and Teradici’s technologies were used. A zero client was used to connect directly to EC2 instances for added security, performance, and lower latency (which is often the largest hurdle for editing video content remotely). As a result, users with the most intensive graphical requirements received zero-client hardware for their most-demanding editorial work. They were able to use tools such as Davinci Resolve, Adobe CC, Maya and Cinema4d for video editing, which needed EC2 dedicated instances to work properly. With Amulet Hotkey’s technology, InterVision built connectivity for the best performance possible using the zero-client solution.

With EC2, S3 and WorkSpaces, individual desktops are hosted in the AWS cloud, meaning that all data is centrally stored for pay-as-you-go pricing, cost control in a scalable solution, and application access in a role-based format for increased security. With the ability to work directly in the EC2 environment, the content production team can access uncompressed source video files for remote editing and delivery to customers nationwide.

Benefits of the Solution:

  • Remote workforce enablement with AWS Webservices/Workspaces and ThinkBox
  • Performant, low latency virtual edit bays using Teradici and Amulet Hotkey
  • Role-based access management for sensitive content and compute needs
  • Preservation of production workflows and file synchronization with Qumolo
  • Cost savings

The extended video editorial workflow established in AWS delivered creative teams’ tools and capabilities to continue uninterrupted content delivery nationally. Historically, successful customer experiences with post-production and source video has largely been difficult to adopt and deemed unworkable. InterVision and AWS have proven this otherwise. As stay-at-home measures have accelerated the need for production workflows that can be performed remotely, DirecTV has delivered for its workforce and led the industry in overcoming this challenge.

“InterVision’s depth of expertise is impressive. Since we’ve worked with them, our content delivery has accelerated without interruption, and as a result, our capabilities have increased substantially. During a time of tight competition, it’s helpful to have a partner like InterVision at our side.”

—Antonio Henriquez, Senior Systems Production Engineer at DirecTV

AWS Technologies Utilized:

  • AWS WorkSpaces
  • Amazon EC2
  • Amazon S3
  • Lambda
  • AWS ThinkBox
  • AWS VPC’s and security groups
  • AWS elastic network interfaces (ENI)

Third-Party Solutions Utilized:

  • Teradici
  • Qumulo
  • Amulet Hotkey
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • DaVinci Resolve
  • Deadline
  • Redshift
  • Telestream