Matrox ORIGIN is a powerful new vendor-agnostic media framework that could help ease the transition to cloud workflows across the industry.
Matrox Video has just underlined the industry move into cloud-based workflows in a major way with the unveiling of Matrox ORIGIN, which it bills as a common development framework for the broadcast infrastructure of the future and states will provide the foundation for Tier 1 live production in the cloud without compromise.
It’s a bold claim but one that it is confident it can back up.
“Tier 1 live production presents unique challenges. It requires frame-accurate, deterministic, low-latency, redundant, and responsive interconnected systems at a large scale,” says Francesco Scartozzi, vice president of sales and business development for broadcast and media at Matrox Video. “So far, there have been no cloud solutions that satisfy those requirements without compromising quality, latency, reliability, and scalability. Unlike many solutions, ORIGIN breaks the ‘lift and shift’ approach that keeps us from harnessing the benefits of the cloud and from realizing the full economic advantages of cloud migration.”
Matrox ORIGIN looks to solve the issues that still bedevil cloud workflows by being an asynchronous, vendor-agnostic media framework built on a cloud-native architecture that reconciles live production requirements with the capabilities of the cloud, operating IT infrastructure as it was intended to run — asynchronously. The result, Matrox says, is a software-only framework that can achieve highly scalable, responsive, low-latency, easy-to-control, and frame-accurate broadcast media facilities to support tier 1 live productions both on-premises and in the cloud.
There are a couple of key advantages here. First, it offers built-in redundancy that requires no user intervention, giving broadcasters reliable, fail-safe workflows for major live broadcasts without having to think about it. Second, ORIGIN can provision systems on the fly as needed for each job while still meeting live-broadcast requirements. This optimizes costs and maximises equipment use, making sure there is effectively no idle parts. And critically, and unlike many end-to-end cloud production solutions that require people to purchase all major cloud production components from a single vendor, Matrox ORIGIN is truly vendor-agnostic. Broadcasters and integrators are free to choose best-of-breed components for every part of the chain without being locked into a particular manufacturer.
That enables broadcasters to operate, build, and develop scalable, best-of-breed solutions for both cloud and on-prem workflows based on whatever is best for the business. When they are ready, they can efficiently transfer their on-prem workflows to the cloud via different stages of hybrid systems, making the transition a smooth one and always in their control.
“We believe the destination is the cloud, and each broadcaster’s journey will be different,” Scartozzi said. “As an industry, we need to invest and embrace technologies that allow them to use the cloud properly. That’s what ORIGIN does. It’s built for the cloud, but it brings value all along the way, however fast the journey to the cloud will be.”
ORIGIN offers HTTPS-based APIs for applications to provision, control, and execute media services. Developers can use built-in media services (such as NDI IO, CDI IO, SRT, media reader and writer, and video/audio mixer), or they can create their own custom media services that will inherit the benefits of the ORIGIN infrastructure.
“As an OEM provider to the broadcast industry, Matrox has been at the table for a long time, and we’ve seen the need to move live productions out of equipment rooms and to the cloud without making any concessions and without being beholden to a single group of vendors,” Scartozzi said. “Because of our history as a vendor to the vendors, we’re truly neutral in the process. We’re empowering all manufacturers to build solutions that run on ORIGIN so they can give these benefits to the broadcasters.”
This is all fairly significant stuff. Companies like Matrox make the products variously termed ‘pipes’ or ‘glue’ that ink the whole broadcast infrastructure together. As those products become virtualised and start moving to the cloud, so the workflows will as well. It might not happen overnight, indeed ORIGIN is designed so that any transition can happen at whatever pace individual companies are happy with and can happily bridge from the on-prem world to the cloud and back, but the journey that Scartozzi referenced a few paragraphs up just got that little bit easier.