Real Image

Setting up a post facility for OTT syndication (Part 1 of 2)

The Broadcast landscape has been going through a dramatic evolution in recent years. While the shift from Black & White to Colour was the big thing for almost half a century, we have seen much bigger and significant advancements in the recent years. Technology advancements such as shift to HD, UHD, to HDR and DV, and even the method of content distribution has changed.

With the advancements in Content Production and Distribution, a whole range of newer workflows now compliments Production and Post Production.

An OTT Post facility needs to ensure that the content delivered maintains highest standards in terms of quality and adhere to prescribed specifications as it is distributed globally to a wider audience through the internet.

The article below aims to understand some of the components that power a Post facility today, especially those that cater to Post for OTT and syndication distribution.

Post-Production has different stages of video and audio processing before a final delivery is made.  Likewise, content for OTT too undergoes these processes but with an extra mile of strict conformance & QC checks before it reaches its audience. 

The functioning of an OTT Post facility may range from receiving the content and storage, processing the content for Video and Audio, conformance checks from HDR to Dolby Atmos, correcting the content based on end-point requirement, handling content security, creative services, on-prem and cloud-based tools to convert, package and deliver, all this while meeting strict deadlines.

In the below article, we will look at Content Acquisition, Transcoding, Storage options, Editing, Grading & Finishing, VFX, Audio Mixing, QC, Captioning, Playback QC, Packaging, multi-platform Deliveries and Archival.

Content flow in a Post facility*


*Not all variations illustrated here

Since there is a heavy influx of media coming into the post facility, the foremost requirement is a storage to park the content. Storage can be categorised as Parking storage and Production storage. A storage should not only be considered based on capacity but also based on Projects, whether HD or UHD/4K and its resolution/codec. In addition, to consider are the bandwidth requirement, future scalability, data security, content redundancy and number of users accessing it simultaneously.

Data Management Storage

Parking Storage

Many a time, the Post facility acquires media in advance or in multiple parts before the actual Post workflow is scheduled to start. In such an instance, a Parking Storage is recommended. Such storage do not demand high bandwidth or high availability requirements of a Production Storage, and hence have a cost advantage.

Production Storage

Production Storage for real-time media production deliver unrivalled media performance, scalability and reliability to accelerate production in the most media intensive video-post and corporate environments.

The ingested content available in the Production storage may be accessed by multiple systems for different parts of the overall workflow. Sometimes, the same media may be used by multiple editors, audio mixing suites and close captioning systems. The Production Storage is robust to support all these systems accessing media at the same time.

The Production Storage offers multiple admin tools to enable Storage partitioning with possibility to expand or reduce partition size on the fly. Also, User and Group log-ins can be created and specific User access can be provided, as relevant.


Transcoding solutions are integral to the modern Post facility. They simplify media conversion in multi-format, multi-vendor video environments: for Post Production, Archiving, and multi-platform Distribution.

These media processing platform are made up of discrete services and connectors that combine to create powerful automated workflows. Content owners, Producers, and Distributors use them to quickly, easily, and cost-effectively ingest, edit, transform, package, monetize, and distribute their media.


An OTT syndication facility may offer creative services (Editing, Grading, etc.) or they may be just a content packaging facility. However, the need of having a video and audio editing software is essential for any creative changes or for corrections to be carried out, typically based on a QC report.

Since Editors/Producers may have their own preferences, it is important that the Post facility have most of the popular Editing applications made available. Also important is to have a Production Storage that supports all these applications, and a workflow where all these applications have been factored in, and integrated across the pipeline.

There are a number of popular Video Editing and Audio Mixing systems that are used in various Post workflows. Multiple third party plug-ins are available, to compliment these systems. Especially for Audio Editing workflows, a significant investment will need to be made on I/O Hardware, as well as plug-ins.

Dubbing, Localization and Audio Descriptions

Voice-Over Dubbing, Language Localization, Remote Recording, Closed Captions, Audio Description, Hearing Impaired Mixing, Descriptive Transcript and Sign Language are the kinds of services that a post facility can offer.

Dub localization, also often simply referred to as localization, is a form of a voice-over. It is the practice of voice-over translation altering a foreign language film, art film or television series by voice actors.

Audio description is a term used to describe the descriptive narration of key visual elements in a video or multimedia product. This process allows individuals who are visually challenged to access content that is not otherwise accessible simply by listening to the audio.

Audio Inputs are recorded in a Digital Audio Workstation through AD Conversion. Recording is edited in DAW, and can be monitored through DA Conversion.  Wide range of AD/DA Convertors are now available and one can choose based on the number of inputs and outputs required in the workflow.

–  Contribution from Md. Khan and Shankar Bhat from the Real Image Product Management team

Real Image represents solutions from Avid, Backlight, Dell, DigiGrid, Filmworkz, Focusrite, MOG, Neumann, Pebble, Telestream, Yepco and more. These solutions help content creation across the entire post workflow pipeline as highlighted in this two-part article.

About Real Image:

The Real Image Media Solutions division at Qube Cinema Technologies has been enabling technology advancements to the Film and Broadcast Industry, both Video and Audio for more than 3 decades now. Our combined skillset from setting up multiple news, GEC, sports channels, and post facilities powered by our bouquet of best-in-class solutions will help progress your dreams to realization to a success story.

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