With video set to dominate internet traffic, Forbidden set about its visionary plan to revolutionise internet video. The scope of the Forscene Video Platform can only be glimpsed here.
The Forscene Video Platform
The basic requirements for the Forscene Video platform are to make the most convenient solution possible, working anywhere, anytime, on any device, without delays. More specifically:
To work on existing infrastructure by:
- Working on existing computers and networks
- Working in browsers without installation or configuration
- Moving between devices and locations without moving content
- Having a scalable architecture
To provide a beautiful experience by:
- Being reliable, robust, and responsive
- Supporting frame accurate video from any source
- Providing unlimited storage for video and metadata
Cheap commoditised solutions have limitations. You can walk to work for free, but most people travel by car or train. Free has a price. As they say, the most expensive sex is “free” sex. To fulfil Forbidden’s vision of transforming the video experience, Forbidden makes use of multiple bespoke components.
The main user-visible elements of Forbidden’s Forscene platform are described below.
Within a couple of years, 80% of data stored in the cloud will be video. Forbidden’s player gives unrivalled ease of access: playback of stored, edited and live feeds is augmented by full frame rate shuttling, frame accurate jog and playback at multiple speeds both forwards and backwards. The patented Video Waveform gives rapid access to any frame – a crucial requirement of any serious workflow.
The Forscene editor is the most sophisticated native cloud video application. It allows frame accurate editing of up to 12 video and 36 audio tracks, titles, closed captions, metadata and comments. It supports pan and zoom, colour correction, audio levels, real time transitions, multicam, editing from live feeds – and built in chat rooms for secure communication. Integrations include with Avid, Adobe, Apple, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Amazon and Microsoft.
The Control Centre
The Control Centre is a web application which delivers the administrative functions of Forscene:
- Log in
- Account management
- Ingest configuration
- Publishing configuration
- Media asset management
At first glance, a cloud video solution might seem to require uploading all the high resolution content into the cloud. While supported, this turns out to be unnecessary.
Forbidden’s Edge Servers take live or pre-recorded video and compress it into Forbidden’s Blackbird codec. The compressed video is immediately accessible to the Editor or Player, with frames uploaded to the cloud in the optimal order. The biggest Edge Servers create and upload thousands of hours of Blackbird video a week.
Publishing uses local hi-res – only the HD or 4K rendered masters need uploading to the cloud.
The Mobile Apps
The Forscene platform has a number of satellite apps. The editor itself can run as an app. This has been supplemented by simple integrated upload and review apps.
Other apps are used for R&D.
The Back End
The back end carries out centralised services such as video storage, log in and back-ups. The backend software has taken around 90% of the total development effort of the Forscene video platform.
Forbidden pioneered cloud video – and had to create its own Cloud infrastructure for Forscene. These days, Forscene ingest and publishing are also available on AWS and Azure.
The New World
Cloud delivery was forced on distributors by consumers demanding a modern hands on viewing experience. As a new generation wins promotion, the wider video world is looking right now to gain a competitive edge by adopting cloud video tools.
Following the Royal Television Society Award in 2005, we are pleased that our Forscene video platform won a further award, during IBC 2016: the Award for Innovation.
Stephen B Streater
Founder and Director of R&D