faq

Your Questions Answered

Workflow & Orchestration

What is BPMN?


BPMN is the abbreviation for Business Process Model and Notation, a graphical standard for the structured representation of business processes. It uses standardized graphical symbols and can help you easily understand and modify complex workflows. JOBS media workflow BPMN workflow screenshot We have chosen the BPMN notation for our workflow orchestration solution JOBS to define and develop technical workflows. For this purpose, we use a basic set of BPMN tasks and extended it with additional tasks to meet the requirements of modern media orchestration solution.




How can I add a custom integration?


You can extend the capabilities and even write your own integrations in JOBS by running JavaScript scripts directly from the workflow, running command line tools, developing your own integrations in Java using the powerful JOBS Plugin SDK, or developing interfaces to translate calls from other systems into JOBS workflows.




Orchestrate cloud solutions and SaaS services with JOBS?


Yes. JOBS offers both on-premise and cloud orchestration. It can be used to automate tasks and workflows in public and private clouds as well as on-premise. Cloud orchestration technology is especially useful for media customers who want to move their business to the cloud or simply leverage SaaS services such as speech to text in their workflows. JOBS is equipped with the necessary tools to act as a cloud gateway, creating the perfect link between traditional data center-centric environments and cloud services. You can automate and monitor every step of a process, from uploading to the cloud to downloading the result from the cloud back to your on-premise operation. The most notable aspect, besides the automation element, is that JOBS provides you with all the data you need to create sophisticated reports and statistics to identify efficiencies.




Why add an orchestration layer if I already have a MAM/CMS?


Most clients have a "overarching" system, usually a Media Asset Management (MAM) solution or a Content Management System (CMS), which also handles the orchestration of systems and technical workflows. Since these monolithic solutions are very complex and difficult to maintain, it has proven useful to decouple the technical workflows from the general automations in these systems. This means that a MAM or CMS, for example, needs to know that a video file needs to be transcoded into a different format in a certain step, but what needs to be done for this can be implemented in the technical orchestration layer. This reduces complexity on both sides and makes it easier to exchange systems without having to touch the main integrations. If you would like to learn more about how our customers have decoupled their systems using JOBS' intelligent orchestration layer approach, please contact us to arrange a meeting with one of our experts.




What is workflow orchestration?


In a workflow, a complex task is broken down into small tasks. For customers in the media and entertainment industry, this typically means building cross-platform workflows that connect different systems, transfer data between storages, handle process data and metadata, and share this information between steps in a workflow.

Orchestration means automatically configuring and managing the execution of all processes in a workflow.

Workflow orchestration essentially means leveraging processes to automate repetitive tasks, reducing manual interactions, increasing efficiency, and saving time.

Hiscale's easy-to-use solution for effective orchestration is called JOBS. If you'd like to try it out, contact us today.





Transcoding & Conversion

Does FLICS support GPU acceleration?


Yes, it is possible to accelerate your transcoding utilizing supported GPU hardware. For time-critical tasks, this is the ideal option. It requires additional hardware and licensing options and is highly efficent especially for H.264 and H.265 codecs. Of course, you can also utilize the GPU options provided by your preferred cloud provider. You should bear in mind that not all features available in FLICS are supported using the GPU acceleration option. e.g. The FrameFormer motion compensated standards-conversion filter is optimized solely for CPU operations. To learn more, please contact us, and we will be happy to discuss the details.




If I need to transcode a specific codec, how can I verify if it is available in FLICS?


The first place to start is to check the available options on the FLICS product page. FLICS supports a wide range of codecs for decoding and encoding, from H264, H265, AVC-I, XAVC, DV (DVCPRO), XDCAM-HD, DNxHD/HR, to Apple ProRes and many more. If you cannot find what you are looking for, don't give up. We are updating our engine constantly and adding more and more codecs frequently. Please get in touch with your specific requirements, and one of our experts will get back to you.




What is the difference between transcoding and encoding?


Although there are differences between transcoding and encoding, most people use these terms interchangeably. Both encoding and transcoding refer to the form of converting files between different formats. Encoding converts the uncompressed analog content (video or audio) into a digital format, such as converting the RAW video file into an MPEG4 without any loss of quality. Transcoding, on the other hand, converts existing compressed digital content into another digital format. While transcoding, the content can also be processed by adding so called filters. As an example of transcoding, you can imagine the situation where a European broadcaster needs to provide sports content to fans in the US and Japan. While in Europe the frame rate is 25 fps, in the USA and Japan the frame rate is 29.97 fps. With the FLICS transcoding solution, the conversion will be smooth thanks to the compensation means and the visual experience will be incomparably higher.




What is Preroll and Postroll?


Preroll and Postroll are historically describing the time it took a video recording device to start or a stop a tape.
In today's transcoding and live streaming applications, pre- and postroll typically describes video content that is prepended or appended to the main video (stream).




How are Keyframes generated in FLICS?


Keyframes are single images of a video. They are commonly used to generate a preview of the content in managing applications, such as Media Asset Managements systems.
Keyframes can be generated by FLICS on various factors, e.g. scene detection algorythms, timeing, or combinations of scene detection and time.




Which Audio formats are supported?


In our file transcoding solution FLICS, we support a wide range of audio formats, which include PCM, WAV, BWAV (Broadcast WAV), AAC, HE-AAC, MP2, MP3, DTS (input only), WMA and AC3 passthrough. For FLICS LIVE encoding processes, we support PCM, AAC, HE AAC, MPEG-2 and MPEG-3.




What are Container formats and which are supported in FLICS?


Video containers bundle and store elements, such as the video and audio streams, subtitles, etc. of a video in one package. In FLICS, we currently support the following container formats: MXF, MP4, TS, MPG, MOV, MKV, VOB (input only), AVI, FLV, WEBM If you are looking a container format not mentioned here, please get in touch with us.




Which Video Codecs are supported?


For our FLICS file transcoding product, the following codecs are supported: H.264, H.265, MPEG1, MPEG2, IMX, Apple ProRes, DNxHD, DNxHR, XAVC, AVC-I, JPEG-2000 (input only), VP8, VP9, Newtek SHQ2 (input only), WMV2, DV (DVCPro), RAW Please note that we are constantly adding support for new codecs. If you miss something in this list, please contact us.




What is the difference between live streaming and video on demand (VOD)?


Both live streaming and VOD are methods of online video distribution. While live streaming lets your viewers watch your program in real time, video on demand (VOD) lets them watch your video whenever they want. The FLICS elastic transcoding cluster is capable of handling both VOD and streaming video.





General

What are the system requirements for JOBS, FLICS & SHIFT?


The individual system requirements differ depending on the scale and the complexity of your system. To get our latest system recommendations, please send us an email.




Is there an API documentation available?


If you have a FLICS, SHIFT, or JOBS system running already, you can find the interactive REST API documentation by logging into your system and clicking the API menu entry. To learn more about the available API routes and examples of how they are used, you can find the "API Guide" under the "Docs" menu. Documentation is also available in an offline version upon request.




Where do I get more information on your products?


If you would like to learn more about our exceptional products, we are more than happy to send you detailed information, give you a live demo and talk about your requirements. Get in touch today!




Who are the typical customers of Hiscale?


Our customer base ranges from traditional broadcasters, media companies, tier 1 operators, content-owners to web-platforms.




Which cloud platforms are supported?


All of our products can run on static cloud instances of the provider of your choice. Besides, FLICS can dynamically create instances in one of the following cloud platforms:

  • Amazon AWS
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • Alibaba Cloud
  • Open Telekom Cloud
  • IBM Cloud
  • Vodafone Cloud
  • Hetzner
  • Linode
  • DigitalOcean
If you want to make use of FLICS with another cloud provider, we will be more than happy to learn more and add support for new platforms on request.




Is there an OEM option available for your products?


Yes, you can OEM our products or technology pieces. Please get in touch with one of our experts to discuss the details and available options.




How do I contact the Hiscale support?


If you have any issues with our products and have a valid support agreement, you will be able to access our online support portal. To learn more about the available maintenance and support options, please get in touch.




Are there trial versions available to test the Hiscale products?


We want to make sure that you purchase the right products to support your workflow. If you are interested in our transcoding, orchestration, or live distribution solutions, please contact us! We will be happy to provide you with our software and time-limited demo licenses.




What operating systems do you support?


All our products - for transcoding, live conversion, workflow management, and live video distribution - are based on moder, cloud-native technologies.
To achieve the highest flexibility and efficiency, our solutions run on Linux operating systems. We support the following three main distributions: - Ubuntu
- CentOS
- Debian For more details and the currently recommended operating system version, please contact us.




Can Hiscale's solutions work with watchfolders?


A watch folder is a directory that is regularly queried for new content by an application such as JOBS or FLICS. When for example new files arrive, the system can start processing according to the configured rules for the folder, which typically include options for filtering by specific file extensions etc.