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Nothing can replace the viewing experience of a quality live streamed event. At the same time, this is also an exciting yet somewhat challenging proposal for broadcasters. It’s a great way to increase target audience’s interest and drive new revenue streams, however it is not trivial to do this from a technical point of view.

Broadcasting TV channels using the Veset Nimbus playout platform on AWS

Co-Authored by Zavisa Bjelorgrlic, AWS M&E Partner SA, Igor Krol, CEO and Gatis Gailis, CTO & Founder from Veset. The content and opinions in this post are those of the third-party author and AWS is not responsible for the content or accuracy of this post.

How to broadcast live events with cloud playout

A live event on a linear TV channel is a type of event that most often describes video coming from an event that is actually happening in real time. It can be e.g. a news program, a sports event, a sermon, or a reality show. Contrary to popular misconception, it is possible (and quite easy!) to playback these live events in a cloud-based playout environment.




What is Veset Nimbus used for?

Veset Nimbus is a cloud-based software service (SaaS) used for professional linear TV channel creation, generally referred to as ‘playout’. Playout continuously combines, with frame-accurate precision, multiple media elements (live and pre-recorded video, audio, graphics, subtitles, etc.) in accordance with a set schedule. Veset Nimbus playout outputs IP stream in UDP, HLS or RTMP protocols, ready to be delivered via various distribution platforms (satellite, cable, IPTV or CDN) to end viewers over TV, Set-Top box, OTT (e.g. Roku, Apple TV, Xbox), computer or mobile devices.

Linear TV channels can be both permanent - continuously playing 365/24/7 - or temporary, i.e. being made available for a few hours, days or weeks.


Why choose a cloud playout vs hardware based solution?

One could compare a country-wide electrical grid to a home diesel generator. The grid has a much higher reliability, flexibility, service level, security and often also lower total cost. This is simply because of the principle of economy of scale - when value is generated in bulk, the cost goes down and the quality up. In case of public cloud providers, all of the said metrics are subject to regulation, measurement, certification. There are no broadcast companies, public or private, with an IT engineer team matching that of AWS or Azure. There is also open competition at play which is always beneficial for the client, in this case - you. Another aspect is the cycle of life of the solution - a piece of hardware will be fully operational and serviceable for 4 years. At that point it will be at the end of cycle and should be replaced. A public cloud is always fresh, hardware and software being upgraded continuously. While a public cloud can theoretically fail, the chance of a local hardware based playout failure is much greater.


In which scenarios a cloud playout would be a good choice?

Veset Nimbus would be an excellent choice for any TV channel operation, with the only exception being the traditional live news channels where the news anchor would need to switch without any latency between multiple ad hoc live feeds coming in many times a day. Essentially the switching needs to happen in the studio and it does not technologically make sense to move this operation to cloud. Cloud introduces latency, and while it is possible to manage that using enterprise level network solutions, at this point in time it's not viable.


What are the key Nimbus features?

Media support
Veset Nimbus
All professional broadcast media formats
Audio tracks
Veset Nimbus
Up to 8 stereo / 5.1 Dolby audio tracks
Subtitle support
Veset Nimbus
DVB, Teletext, open captions
Media ingest
Veset Nimbus
Pull from SFTP, AWS S3, Azure Blob and other sources
Broadcast graphics
Veset Nimbus
Static and dynamic graphics, animations, PiP, squeezebacks, Adobe AE, HTML5
Veset Nimbus
Import playlists (xml, xlsx, csv, json, bxf etc.), with optional custom format support. Or build playlists from scratch with built-in advanced drag&drop editor.
Channel management
Veset Nimbus
Multiple channels with separate schedules can be managed from single account
Veset Nimbus
Hosted XMLTV format (customizable) EPG provided, driven by asset & schedule metadata
Live events
Veset Nimbus
Both scheduled or manual (operator driven) live events
SCTE-35 features
Veset Nimbus
Insert multiple type signals (splice_insert, time_signal), pass-through, switch events based on SCTE-35 signals (SCTE-35 listener)
Alternative content
Veset Nimbus
Emergency and gap filler content, placeholder content
Video output
Veset Nimbus
Audio features
Veset Nimbus
Voiceovers, dynamic audio dipping / ducking
Audio loudness normalisation
Veset Nimbus
EBU R.128, ATSC A/85, custom -dB levels
Playout redundancy
Veset Nimbus
1+1, n+1
Monitoring options
Veset Nimbus
MCR multiviewer included, email / webhook notifications, Opsgenie, AWS CloudWatch etc. integration
Security options
Veset Nimbus
Two factor user authentication, RBAC (Role Based Access Management)

What does cloud playout mean in case of Veset Nimbus?

Veset Nimbus is designed to run on cloud computing resources and to maximise their use. Such cloud computing resources include cloud servers, Docker containers, object based storage, databases, network and security services made available by global cloud suppliers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).

What differentiates Veset Nimbus from other playout providers: (1) Veset Nimbus was designed and developed from the ground up as a SaaS, and (2) all of its elements are fully cloud-based.

This full use of cloud technologies is fundamental to Veset Nimbus, allowing the benefits of elasticity and rapid scaling, high performance, remote access, security and pay-per-use business models sought by clients.

In custom deployment for larger scale projects Veset will consider deploying on private clouds or so called edge servers.


What are the subscription options?

Veset Nimbus is available in the AWS Marketplace where you pay-per-hour of use.

Veset Nimbus is offered as a SaaS (software-as-a-service) monthly subscription, the ingest and backend resources are included in the price, while client pays directly to AWS for the S3 library storage, the EC2 cloud servers used for the playout and the egress traffic.

If you are a playout service provider we can offer Veset Nimbus with alternative configurations, please contact us for further details.


What software / hardware is recommended for the best experience of Veset Nimbus?

For the best experience of Veset Nimbus we recommend the following specifications:


  • Web Browser - latest version of Google Chrome


  • 16 GB of RAM
  • Intel or AMD CPU (released c. 2017+)
  • A separate graphics card recommended
  • 1080p screen resolution


  • Minimum of 5-10 Mbps broadband Internet

What means of stream transport / delivery are available?

Veset Nimbus playout outputs UDP, RTP and RTP + FEC which then can be delivered using AWS MediaConnect, Zixi or SRT over the internet to various distribution platforms (satellite, cable, IPTV or CDN) with now well established standard IP delivery infrastructure. For OTT distribution customers we recommend ABR HLS, RTMP or SRT.


What Library cleanup and archiving features are available?

Veset Nimbus allows you to enable and configure automated Library cleanup functionality. Assets which are not updated for X days and not scheduled for Y days are automatically removed from the Library. Assets can be either permanently deleted, or moved to AWS Glacier. If archived to AWS Glacier, assets are visible in the Library with a specific tag Archived. If such an asset is subsequently updated or added to a Channel’s timeline, it will be automatically retrieved from AWS Glacier.



How do I upload files to Veset Nimbus?

Veset Nimbus Ingest service works on the principle of watch folders. User defines one or several watch folders in the Veset Nimbus portal and the ingest service monitors those folders and ingests all the new files. This creates an automated workflow. Among the supported watch folder types are FTP, SFTP, AWS S3, Alibaba, Azure, Wasabi and any S3 compliant storage service. It is also possible to ingest directly from dotStudioPro, Brightcove and other CMS platforms.

As an option, you can set an ingest watch folder to search the directory structure recursively, and to ingest only the assets missing in the channel timeline. This allows to create a workflow where only the scheduled assets are ingested.


How do I ingest metadata?

It is possible to define a metadata scheme in Veset Nimbus portal and then use asset sidecar xml files to ingest the metadata in an automated manner. Sidecar xml files can be automatically transformed if non-standard format is used. The metadata can be used for the dynamic graphics and EPG.


How long does it take to ingest content to Veset Nimbus?

It largely depends on the number of items in the queue, quality and size of the files and can range from a few minutes to a few hours in more extreme cases. In the Nimbus dashboard, you can see live ingest queue and adjust priorities for each item or assign them automatically based on the source - i.e. always prioritise advertisement items higher than any other.

Benefits of the cloud allow us to scale ingest “farm” every few minutes. If you subscribe to multiple channels, we can increase the maximum number of items processed concurrently.


Can I ingest playlists from my scheduling system?

Yes, it’s possible to ingest playlists through the same watch folder route. When a playlist is ingested it is verified and moved to the Playlists page. Playlists can be delivered in any human readable file format (csv, xlsx, xml, json, bxf). Veset team would add a conversion script to the ingest service to accommodate the particular data structure. In addition, it is possible to apply the ingest playlists automatically.


What ingest formats do you support?

Please see Ingest section of the Datasheet for details.


What subtitle formats and how many tracks do you support?

Please see Playout section of the Datasheet for details.


How many audio tracks and what formats do you support?

Please see Playout section of the Datasheet for details.


What are the graphics options?

Please see Ingest section of the Datasheet for details.



Can I make any changes to the playlist in the Veset Nimbus?

An operator with appropriate access rights can control the operation of channels and change offline and online playlists at any time, including up to the very last minute. As with any solution, operators need to be aware when new media elements are available (ingested) and are ready for playout.

In addition to making last-minute changes to the playlist, an operator can also launch emergency videos, skip events, take and manage live sources, etc.

Note: a significant advantage of keeping playout media in the cloud (e.g. AWS) is the availability of high-speed transfer from AWS S3 storage to AWS EC2 virtual machines which run Veset Nimbus. This enables rapid changes to the schedule with i.e. postponed or cancelled live events, quickly swap advertisement items or upload missing translation files shortly before broadcast.


If I start using Veset Nimbus where is my actual content stored?

All content ingested into the Veset Nimbus platform is stored in the AWS cloud storage service known as S3. AWS S3 is used by leading media organisations to store valuable media content in a secure way.

The amount of AWS S3 storage available is virtually unlimited. In reality each Veset Nimbus subscriber needs to estimate the monthly use of storage which will be included in the monthly subscription invoice.


How does Veset Nimbus handle scheduling?

Veset Nimbus has a built-in “drag and drop” schedule editor, enabling users to create playlists manually.

Traditionally channel operators use separate standalone scheduling/ traffic software solutions to automate schedule creation and to plan long term, with a wide range of software suppliers being available. Most traffic systems are designed to output playlists in XML in accordance with Broadcast Exchange Format (BXF).

Veset Nimbus is designed to import all such XML playlists.

Alternatively, Veset Nimbus can integrate directly with 3rd party traffic systems using REST API.


Can Veset Nimbus integrate with external media asset management (MAM) or traffic systems?

REST API enables Veset Nimbus to be integrated with any external MAM or traffic system.

A TV channel operator can use his own internal MAM as the primary asset manager while Veset Nimbus’s MAM performs the secondary, mainly pass-through role, facilitating playout operations.

All of the workflow including MAM and scheduling system can be easily integrated at different levels.



How do you support live inputs?

Veset Nimbus supports broadcasting of not only pre-recorded content but also live video and audio sources.

Live events can be scheduled with a set start time and duration. Live events can also be scheduled in manual start and manual end modes. Manual start and manual end live events can be started and ended using SCTE-35 signaling or Skip and Take buttons pressed by the operator. Additionally, a manual end live event would be ended when another event with a locked start time is reached in the timeline. Live events can be scheduled as any other events either by importing playlist or in the Veset NImbus Playlist editor. 

Secondary events such as graphics, SCTE-35 signals and EPG metadata can be added to on-air live events.

Incoming live feeds are delivered to the cloud using IP transport services such as AWS Media Connect and protocols like Zixi, SRT, RTMP, HLS, RTP/UDP and RTP-FEC.


Is it possible to record and re-use live?

Live event recording is supported in Veset Nimbus. Events are recorded in the original quality of the incoming feed and automatically ingested to Library. It is possible to choose to record all live events or record on ones selected via playlist secondary events.


Is it possible to have more than 1 live input?

Yes, it is possible to pre-configure multiple inputs, select them in scheduling and switch between previews. For input types, see Live feed ingest section of the Datasheet for more details.


Is it possible to delay live inputs?

Currently time shifting is possible via Zixi before the feed reaches Veset Nimbus. Time shifting feature is on our roadmap for 2022.



Where is Veset Nimbus platform deployed?

Veset Nimbus is a SaaS platform. It means that it is a software service running in the cloud, available globally and is used by multiple clients.

Veset Nimbus platform runs in AWS. Custom deployment options for enterprise level clients are available, please see below.

The platform consists of two logical parts - the backend and the playout servers. The backend runs in the Veset AWS account and it’s resource cost is included in the subscription price. The playout runs in the client's AWS account and he pays for those resources directly to AWS. Besides those resources, the AWS S3 bucket used for the library storage also runs in the client's account.


Which public cloud providers do you support for Veset Nimbus?

Veset platform is hosted on Amazon Web Services, however the customers' infrastructure can be deployed on any modern cloud platform. Veset has experience deploying natively on Microsoft Azure,Telia Cloudy and Alibaba Cloud. Veset can use Wasabi cloud for storage. Additionally, a separate playout module can also be deployed in any other public or private cloud, or physical private cloud infrastructure.


Can you provide an option to view a channel on a mobile device?

Yes. A specific channel output stream can be provided, compatible with most global CDN services and with various HTML5-based web video players (for example, JW Player or THEOplayer), and deployable on iOS/Android-based mobile devices.


Can you geo-localise the playout for licensing purposes?

Yes, any playout can be deployed in any public or private cloud in any required geo-location.


Does Veset Nimbus offer a cloud-based compliance recording functionality?

Yes, this is a standard feature, enabled per channel. The recording quality can be configured and the recording files are available in the Veset Nimbus library and can be viewed and downloaded as needed. There is also an option to burn in the timecode.


How quickly can I launch a new playout?

New playout creation is a fully automated process: a user with appropriate permissions can launch an SD or HD playout within 20 minutes from scratch.


How quickly can I scale down and shut down playout?

Technically you can shut down playout by a press of one button.

Typically Veset will charge a minimum of a month’s subscription for 24/7 linear channels.

For temporary channels using the Veset Nimbus solution, specific arrangements can be made, both technically and commercially.


What playout redundancy options are available?

Two redundancy options are available for Veset Nimbus playouts - Hot and Warm.

In the Hot scenario there are two playouts running and playing the channel 24/7.

In the Warm scenario the primary playout is playing the channel 24/7. The backup playout is fully pre-configured, with Zixi licenses pre-loaded (if Zixi is used), and the playout is in standby state.

Warm backup will then switch on automatically (it usually takes a few minutes) in case of the primary playout failure, or if there are any other issues with it (cannot connect, black screen for more than X minutes of time etc.). Warm backup can also be switched on manually, to do scheduled maintenance work on the primary playout.

Warm backup can be set to automatically switch on once a day to cache the latest playlists and media assets, and then switch off again. In both scenarios the playouts can be deployed in separate public cloud regions for additional redundancy. Switching of the output delivery between the primary and backup playouts is done at the transport level (for example, Zixi Broadcaster supports automated and manual switching between several sources).


Can you offer a disaster recovery solution?

Veset Nimbus also offers tailor-made disaster recovery (DR) solutions which provide unique, cost-efficient alternatives leveraging the advantages of cloud technology pay-per-use capabilities. Typical DR solutions deploy backup content being continuously or periodically uploaded to the DR channel’s Veset Nimbus Library and stored in AWS S3. Playouts can run in hot (‘live – ready to go’) or warm (‘standby – launch to go’) modes. In the case of the “warm” mode, a maximum cost saving is achieved. Please contact us for a customised quote and to learn more.


How are costs calculated?

Veset Nimbus. Depending on your requirements we offer a range of packages of Veset Nimbus that fit your needs. When subscribing to Veset Nimbus we would typically require customer to provide cloud resources (cloud storage and cloud instances) to run their specific playouts. During demo calls we are able to provide you with an all-in-one pricing that includes the monthly subscription for both cloud resources, the Veset Nimbus platform and, if required, transmission solutions and costs. Please schedule a demo call now.

Veset Stratus cost calculator in AWS Marketplace can be found here.



Do you support overlay broadcast graphics in your products?

Yes, overlay broadcast graphics are supported in both Veset Nimbus and Veset Stratus.


What kind of graphics are supported?

In Veset Nimbus we support static images (PNG, JPG, GIF etc.), animations (MOV, MP4), scaling (L shape, credit squeeze), static and running line text.

If the animated graphics objects have audio then that will be mixed in. The images and animations can be either full screen with alpha, or positioned smaller scale objects.


How do I ingest graphics objects?

You configure the Ingest watch folder to accept graphics objects.


How do I schedule graphics?

There is the graphics template editor in the Veset Nimbus portal. It allows you to select graphics elements from the library and position them on the screen, as well as set certain parameters (e.g., loop or play once for the animations). You save the template and assign it to a channel. Then you use secondary events in the Playlist and Channel pages to schedule the graphics.


Can you play text from external sources, like Twitter or RSS?

This can be achieved via HTML5 graphics (see below).


Can I import my graphics template from Adobe After Effects?

Yes. It is possible to automatically render and display Adobe After Effects templates based on the scheduled timeline and metadata (e.g. song title and author).


Can you play HTML5 graphics, e.g., from Singular Live?

Yes. It's possible to input and control a HTML5 URL from external source.


Can I overlay graphics during live events as well?



How do I switch graphics elements on and off manually?

Currently you need to edit the Channel timeline to do that. More switching options, like button in the Channel page, are in development.


How does the scaling (L shape) feature work?

In Veset Nimbus scaling is a type of graphics element. You create it in the Graphics template editor. You set the scaling target point towards which the main video will scale (e.g., 20% from lower right corner) and create the entry and exit animation events (time how long the scaling animation will play).

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