Video SDK: playout automation for SNews Broadcast Solutions, Brazil

 A woman in front of numerous monitors and control panels

SNews was founded in 1997 by Dino Maia, who had a vision to revolutionize the broadcast industry. His innovative spirit led him to create a teleprompter system for radio and national TV companies, which proved to be a huge success. SNews has since expanded its technology to other countries and is a leading provider of newsroom solutions that integrate with playout software, helping TV stations streamline their workflow and deliver high-quality content to their audience.

We spoke with Wallacy Freitas and Juliano Milanez about why they’ve been using the Medialooks Video SDK.

Can you tell us about SNews?

SNews has been in business for over 25 years since its establishment in Brazil. Our main focus is the broadcast market, providing newsroom solutions that integrate with broadcast industry software to provide a complete solution for TV stations. We currently hold almost 70% of the market share in Brazil, with nearly 200 clients at various levels. In recent years, we have expanded our technology to Bolivia, Mexico, the United States, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Our goal is to continue to spread our technology around the world, as we have already established a solid base in Brazil, where we have a strong customer base. Now we are confident in our ability to expand globally. As part of our technology, we have been utilizing Medialooks for quite some time now.

Who are your customers?

Our customers are primarily TV stations and media content creators in the broadcast market. We have a wide range of clients all over the world, including major stations like Rede Amazônica, NDTV, Jovem Pan, Rede Bahia, Serra Dourada, Inter TV, and Quiero TV. Our product is flexible and can accommodate the needs of both small and large TV stations. We start with small-scale projects to meet specific needs and then scale up as necessary.

What do your customers value in your solutions?

I believe one of our strongest selling points is the tools we provide. Our technical support team is also a strong asset, as they are available 24/7 and have a global presence. For customers, having good support is crucial when making the decision to acquire new solutions. Additionally, the flexibility of our tools to expand and adapt to customers' needs is important. Another factor is the stability that we offer. Our customers can have confidence in our product not just for its present capabilities, but also for its long-term reliability. We have been developing and improving our solution for years, and this has earned us a loyal customer base.

What led you to start using external libraries like Medialooks?

We usually do things ourselves instead of buying SDKs or libraries, even though we use a few library vendors, you being one of the biggest. When we do use outside libraries, we choose them very carefully. We don't want to rely on external support systems and we prefer full control of our system.

At first, we started using Medialooks as a temporary measure, with the hope that we would eventually build our own media library. However, this approach was not sustainable in the long run. We realized that we needed help from someone who provides a media library that had already been tested for all kinds of problems. It wasn't easy to give up control, but we ultimately decided to use the Medialooks Video SDK. This allowed us to focus on the business aspects of our products and grow our business.

Snews exhibition hall

Where is the Video SDK used in your products today?

We primarily use it to interact with broadcast cards and manage playlists in NEOEXPRESS, our playout product. The Video SDK also handles the decoding and encoding of video streams. Оur system has one dependency – Medialooks; the rest is done entirely by ourselves in C#.

Have you considered any alternatives to the Video SDK?

We considered using either the GStreamer open source framework or just using FFmpeg directly. However, we encountered issues with syncing audio and video, as well as video playback problems. We had to solve these problems ourselves and it was then that we realized it wasn’t feasible without losing time to market. We decided to use Medialooks, as it was fast to develop and almost perfect compared to other projects. We were able to get everything working with just a few lines of code, and the video quality is excellent.

How was the learning curve?

The first version of the entire interface and a small playlist was completed in just one month. This was possible because we had previously worked on similar projects, and had access to some helpful documentation on your support site.

What have you achieved with the SDK?

At the end of the day, we can say that we have achieved our intended results. The new NEOEXPRESS is a stable product that can be used with confidence anywhere. Its quality is good and everything works as expected.

What was the business value of the product to you?

Well, I think the main value was the ability to deliver products faster. We could make customizations, do fixes, and develop tools very quickly, which was extremely valuable. Additionally, there were improvements in the engine, such as the implementation of 2110 and SRT streaming, which helped us meet market demands. This agility allowed us to deliver a lot of value.

We also appreciated the learning opportunities that came with using your product. Your product includes different technologies, such as WebRTC, which was something new for us at the time. We had heard of WebRTC as a technology for the web, but you introduced it to the broadcast market. Now, every time I want to do video streaming, the first thing that comes to my mind is WebRTC. We learned a lot while using your product.

How would you describe our product to a friend or colleague?

I believe that your product is an excellent resource for fulfilling our customers' specific requirements. Using your product gives us the flexibility and agility to work on complex projects with our clients. Moreover, its robust structure provides stability to our customers, allowing us to create clever tools and solutions for them. Overall, we are very satisfied with it.

See also