Playout automation, 24/7 ingest, virtual studios and other use cases of MPlatform SDK

This post is an overview of the most popular use cases of MPlatform SDK and other components in the product line. We recommend it as an introduction for users who are only beginning to explore MPlatform and its capabilities. BTW, if you've already tried MPlatform and already have an opinion, please spend 3 minutes to take this short customer survey for us. Thanks!

MPlatform is an OEM software development kit that makes it easy to create professional playout, vision mixing, virtual studio and ingest applications. The product targets ISVs (independent software vendors), broadcast integrators, and TV stations.

Our SDK is built around some of the most popular use cases found in the broadcast industry. This post gives a quick overview of such use cases and suggests the best entry points for implementing them.

1. Broadcast playout automation systems

Key features:

  • Broadcast-quality character generator: tickers, lower thirds and channel branding.
  • Sub-playlists for advanced playlist management and scheduling.
  • Breaks for insertion of advertisements or special programs.
  • Seamless integration with professional playout hardware.

The MPlaylist object is the most important component in this use case. With the help of dozens of our customers, we have created a very flexible and easy-to-use API that implements most of the generally applied programming logic of the file-based broadcast workflow: mixing of multiple file formats, live sources and network streams in a single playlist, 24/7 scheduling, ad breaks and CG management.


2. Live production switchers

Production switchers are applications like Telestream Wirecast, Livestream Studio or Ustream Producer.

Key features:

  • Support for multiple cameras, including remotely controlled ones.
  • Support for multiple files, network streams, and other input sources.
  • Vision mixing.
  • On-screen multiviewer.
  • Integration with live streaming platforms such as Wowza, YouTube or other RTMP-compatible platforms and servers.
  • Video transitions (dissolve, wipe, etc.).
  • Audio mixing and audio level monitoring.
  • Character generator for text, images (with transparency), picture-in-picture video, etc.
  • Recording to file into a variety of professional video formats.
  • Built-in format conversions.
  • Seamless integration with professional I/O hardware.

MMixer, the most important component in this use case, can receive and manipulate an unlimited number of streams; the streams can be dynamically added, removed or switched (changed) instantly without any effect on performance.


3. Virtual TV studios with chroma key

Virtual studios are a great way for TV stations and educational facilities to produce awesome content without making an investment into a physical television studio. A good example of such technology is Vizrt.

Key features:

  • Importing of 3D scenes from Autodesk 3ds Max.
  • Support for multiple files, network streams, and other input sources.
  • Support for multiple cameras, including remotely controlled ones.
  • Video mixing.
  • Broadcast-quality chroma key.
  • 3D video projections.
  • Video transitions & animated graphics.
  • Seamless integration with professional I/O hardware.

This use case is possible because of MComposer, our GPU-powered video mixing and graphics engine, its ability to load .3ds files from Autodesk and Chroma Key Lib, our proprietary green screen technology.


4. 24/7 video loggers (compliance recording)

Broadcasters often have a requirement to keep a record of all programs that have been played out. Such products are referred to as video loggers or compliance recorders - such as this one from customer Axel Technology. This use case is also great for surveillance applications and other kinds of video capture software.

Key features:

  • 24/7 gapless video ingest and recording.
  • Writing to broadcast-specific video archive formats such as MXF (Material eXchange Format).
  • Playback while recording.
  • Seamless integration with professional I/O hardware.

MWriter is the most important component for this use case. Encoder lib is required for support of multiple capture file formats and encoders.


Why developing with MPlatform is so fast?

MPlatform is not an average video or multimedia SDK - it is a broadcast-focused SDK, where a lot of specific business logic has been already implemented and tested by dozens of customers. These are the things that will make development of your application quick and easy:

  • If you are using C# or .NET, you will have access to our MControls library - a set of GUI elements such as MPlaylistList control, MPlaylistTimeline and others that literally help you build the interface of your application out of already available blocks. You will find a step-by-step guide in the User guide.
  • Sample applications with source codes in C#, VB.NET, C++, VB6, Delphi, that can be updated to reflect your own design or logic, provide a very good starting point for rapid application development.

Need help? Email us to [email protected] or contact us via the online form. For prices please see our page with recommended packages.