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Tsviatko JongovFeb 27, 20244 min read

The Next Level – Broadcast and Content Preparation Cloud Workflows

Companies have many decisions to make when establishing or upgrading a workflow. One of the first is whether to process content on premise or in the cloud. In the past few years, cloud has been a popular consideration for deployments of all sizes. A recent collaboration between MainConcept and Akamai Linode advances the potential for cloud by introducing a variety of encode, decode, and transcode options into the Linode Marketplace.

The broadcast and video industry has changed beyond measure over recent years, spurring among other things, the rapid expansion of cloud-based production workflows. Not only has consumer demand for content grown, but viewers now also consume content on a plethora of different platforms and devices. This proliferation of end-consumers devices introduces complexity for broadcasters and video providers because content must be optimized for different screen sizes, resolutions, and playback capabilities.

Broadcasters need flexible and scalable workflows that can handle the intricacies of modern content creation and distribution. To meet the need for both live and on-demand content, workflows must be capable of receiving content in a range of formats and from multiple sources before delivery to OTT and broadcast for consumption on a range of devices. To do this efficiently, and without compromising quality, broadcasters and content providers need advanced encoders and transcoders.

Enter the Linode Marketplace

Akamai-linodeAs the demand for content continues to surge, there will be a growing need for more sophisticated encoding and transcoding solutions. This is why, here at MainConcept, we continuously work to develop new features and products that enable broadcasters and video providers to stay at the forefront of industry trends.

We’ve recently partnered with Akamai Linode to make MainConcept’s Live Encoder, FFmpeg plugins and Pro Camera Transcoders for Sony and Panasonic available on the Linode Marketplace. The applications are quick to deploy, which makes it easier than ever for service and content providers to build, scale and optimize broadcast and content preparation workflows using Akamai cloud computing services.

Having these MainConcept products available in the Linode Marketplace has numerous advantages, including:

  • Easier scaling to meet variable audience demands.
  • Skip the investment in costly hardware.
  • Pay only for the time used.
  • Process using the most current technologies (i.e., automatic upgrades).
  • Easily test the MainConcept SDK libraries without needing to create a unique test system.

With these advantages in mind, let’s explore the Linode Marketplace in more depth focusing on where MainConcept fits.


High level architecture of MainConcept products within the Linode Marketplace.

Simplifying live encoding

Encoding is a fundamental aspect of media content workflows. However, media companies must navigate the complexities of choosing the right encoding settings to ensure optimal quality, compression, and compatibility across a broad spectrum of devices. And as demand for live content such as sports broadcasting, news coverage or live events grows, live encoding too has become a critical requirement for broadcasters because it allows content to be transmitted in real-time. Live encoding plays a key role in meeting today's viewers expectations, in terms of receiving content as soon as the event happens.

MainConcept Live Encoder has been designed to simplify common broadcast and OTT video workflows. As a powerful all-in-one encoding engine with HEVC/H.265 and AVC/H.264 codecs built in (as well as VVC/H.266 and LCEVC/MPEG-5 Part 2 available in the standalone version), the intuitive user interface or REST API allows content to be packaged for multiscreen delivery, using common input sources, in real-time.

MCLiveEncoderDiagramTransparentBackgroundExample delivery workflow, including Akamai as the CDN, encoding real-time video across multiple screen sizes.

Improving quality and performance with plugins for FFmpeg

In such a highly competitive industry, quality is paramount. With FFmpeg plugins, broadcasters can improve audio and visual quality, and performance, by integrating the required codecs into FFmpeg environments for VOD or live-production workflows.

MainConcept FFmpeg Plugins enable users to create decoding, encoding and transcoding workflows or services based on FFmpeg. In addition to cloud deployments, they can be setup on-premise or in hybrid configurations, whichever is best to boost both the performance and quality of the audio and video content. The benefit of using MainConcept FFmpeg Plugins as opposed to FFmpeg’s built-in codecs is that they include advanced features not available otherwise, such as Hybrid GPU acceleration, Broadcast AVC or MPEG-2 production formats and xHE-AAC as well as MPEG-H 3D Audio formats.

Adding flexibility and speed with transcoders

The rising demand for file-based workflows emphasizes the crucial need for on-the-fly video transcoding. Broadcasters require efficient tools to ensure seamless streaming experiences across diverse user environments.

Often content creators lack the proper tools to offload their content effectively. This is especially true for file formats from two of the most prevalent professional camera manufacturers, Sony, and Panasonic. MainConcept’s Pro Camera Transcoders for Sony and Panasonic are a set of optimized microservice modules in Docker containers that enhance workflows with codec and conversion features. The products consist of codec modules, pre-packaged as single optimized containerized applications for fast and flexible deployment to any workflow, whether on-premises or in the cloud.

These tools are ready-to-use with presets for Sony XDCAM, Sony XAVC and Panasonic P2 AVC-ULTRA professional camcorders. Each module is a final product that is controlled via REST API, command line or standard container management tools without programming skills required.

MCProCameraTranscodersTransparentBackgroundExample Pro Camera Transcoder integration with media workflows and applications

To find out more about how MainConcept products can help power your content preparation and broadcast workloads, get in touch. Or, to try MainConcept’s Live Encoder, FFmpeg Plugins or Pro Camera Transcoders for the cloud, go to the Linode Marketplace.


Tsviatko Jongov

Tsviatko Jongov is an expert in the field of digital multimedia technologies, boasting over two decades of experience in the industry. Throughout his career, he has delivered services and developed media-centric solutions for a diverse range of companies spanning the Broadcast, OTT and Streaming, Production, Healthcare, and Forensics sectors.