Frankly Media Express Video Support Agreement

Overview, Supported Encoders, Setup Process, and Support Plans

Support Overview

Frankly Media’s Express Video is a groundbreaking cloud-based Online Video Platform (OVP) that integrates Live, VOD, Live-to-VOD and ad insertion features directly into the Frankly Producer or your certified CMS.

Frankly Media can provide setup, support, and professional services to ensure that your video encoders and Express Video Channels are running optimally. This document outlines the support services that are available depending on your configuration.

Compatible Encoders

The Express Video cloud-based video platform is encoder-agnostic when setup using proper standards. Many modern encoders can be configured in such a way as to be compatible with Express Video. To provide the best User Experience across the broadest range of browsers, devices, and networks, Express Video delivers an industry-standard H.264/AVC HLS stream containing ABR renditions at 720p, 540p, and 360p at 30fps. Additionally, 1080p can be supported at an optional pricing tier.

Additionally, although various encoder options are compatible as described below, they may require different Express Video plans depending on encoder capabilities. Please discuss with your Frankly Media representative how your specific encoder selection affects your available plan options.

Certified Encoders

Frankly Media has certified the Elemental L013AE (and previously Elemental L012AE) as its standard source encoder for optimal compatibility with Express Video when properly configured. Additionally, for Event-based streaming or Field Reporting, the Teradek Cube and LiveU Solo have also been certified to work with Express Video when properly configured.  Additional details regarding these encoders are available in the “Certified Encoder Capabilities” section below.

Non-Certified Encoders (or BYO Encoders)

Non-certified / BYO encoders can usually be configured to work with Express Video via industry-standard RTMP Push with a single-bitrate (SBR). The following are the minimum bitrates required for various quality levels. It is up to the client to maintain the minimum bandwidth/QOS settings for one of the outgoing streams below. For a BYO encoder, a SINGLE BITRATE stream is required, so you will only choose one of these based on the available network capacity (and service cost) :

    • 1280×720 HD SBR video @ 7500 Kbps + audio @ 96 Kbps = total 7596 Kbps
    • 960×540 XD SBR video @ 3000 Kbps + audio @ 96 Kbps  = total 3096 Kbps
    • 640×360 SD SBR video @ 1200 Kbps + audio @ 96 Kbps  = total 1296 Kbps

If you have a modern encoder that you feel may work with Express Video, please contact Frankly Media to confirm compatibility and pricing.  See the optional setup, support, and professional services below that may apply to non-certified encoders.

Encoder and Contribution Stream Limitations

To be encoder agnostic, Express Video provides a number of options to ensure optimal compatibility, including following modern industry standard specifications, as well as cloud-based re-encoding to these specifications where necessary.

If the contribution stream or a client-provided encoder is determined to be incompatible with a feature of Express Video, Frankly Media may require additional cloud-based services to modify or condition the stream (if possible) to meet the necessary specifications. Additional setup, support, or professional services fees may be required in these cases.

However, there may still be circumstances that prevent full compatibility of a client-provided encoder or contribution stream with either Express Video or one of its features. Frankly Media’s Server Side Ad Insertion (SSAI) product is only currently supported on Frankly-provided certified Elemental encoders.

High Availability Architecture

To achieve a fully redundant, high availability architecture, it is strongly recommended that client purchases both a Primary Stream and a Secondary Stream. If possible, the secondary stream should be delivered from a fully independent broadcast source/encoder/network/location in case there are issues with the primary source. If a secondary source is not feasible, it is still recommended to run a secondary stream from the primary encoder since many of Frankly’s cloud services can accept a secondary stream as backup. Beyond ensuring 24×7 uptime, this secondary stream is also required to ensure that maintenance activities can be performed on the primary stream (or related cloud services) without affecting other functionality (such as recording of the 72 hour live clipping buffer).  Without a secondary stream, full availability of all functionality cannot be guaranteed.

Note, this architecture doubles the outgoing bandwidth requirements, and may incur additional costs for secondary encoders or cloud services. If encoder or bandwidth constraints limit the secondary stream, a single SBR Bitrate 540p or 360p stream can be used. Please contact Frankly Media to confirm details and pricing.

Setup Process

The Express Video setup process includes provisioning of Express Video Channels within the Frankly Producer or your certified CMS. In addition, for certified encoders purchased through Frankly Media, initial setup will include remote-configuration and monitoring of that encoder to meet Express Video’s optimal encoding profiles.

For encoders that have not been purchased through Frankly Media, stream input URL’s (via RTMP Push) will be provided for the client to configure within their encoder.

Additional professional services may be available to assist beyond the included services.

Frankly-provided AWS Elemental L012AE Set-Up Requirements

To run Express Video using the Elemental L012AE, the client will be required to rack each encoder to the following specifications:

  • 1U rack space (½ width used) and AC power (shelf mount) per encoder.
    • Client should provide all rack/mount hardware and cables as necessary.
  • Video source (SDI or TS over IP), preferably with:
    • embedded CEA 608/708 Closed Captions
    • embedded SCTE-35/104 signals if SSAI is to be implemented:
      • Provider Placement Opportunity Start (0x34) including duration
        • If duration is not provided, the ad server is unable to predict up front how many ads to request. In this case, ads may run longer or shorter than the actual ad break. If an ad is still playing when the “End” signal is received, the ad will keep playing and overlap live content. For this reason it is strongly recommended to include duration in the “Start” signal.
      • Provider Placement Opportunity End (0x35)
      • SSAI is only supported if client inserts the above SCTE markers upstream of the encoder embedded within the SDI signal. This may require additional hardware or broadcast architecture that the client is responsible for.
  • The primary network port will require outgoing network access to Ports 80 and 443 to Frankly Media’s Cloud. At most times the encoder will only use an average of 10 Mbps of outgoing bandwidth, however the encoder can peak, burst, buffer ahead, or catch up on missed segments up to 30 Mbps in case the network falls lower than the average 10Mbps. Therefore Frankly requires a dedicated minimum 30 Mbps outgoing bandwidth to maintain a stable, real-time live stream.
  • Additionally, outgoing NTP access is required to maintain the system clock
  • A secondary network port (IPMI) access is required for emergency out-of-band access. This must be accessible from the “jump server” (see below) on port 80/443/22.
  • No public incoming access is required. For security reasons,  you must place the encoder behind a firewall that blocks all incoming access from the public internet (but allows the outgoing access specified above).
  • Remote network access for encoder management by Frankly Media staff :
    • Assuming the encoder is inside a firewall, Frankly Media will require an additional “jump server” (or “jumpbox”) running TeamViewer (outbound port 443/80) for remote access to the encoder. For existing Frankly MVA clients, this functionality is already included on the MVA. For clients without a Frankly MVA, the purchase of an additional “jump server” through Frankly will be required. This jump server is a small device that can sit next to the encoder and will require power and ethernet connections. Client agrees not to block TeamViewer’s network access.
      • The “jump server” will require access within the local network to port 80, 443, and 22 (ssh) direct to the encoder’s primary port as well as the same access to the IPMI port.
    • In order to facilitate remote monitoring, automated management of the encoder, and maintain consistency across all our clients’ different networks for our sizeable support staff, Frankly Media cannot accommodate VPN’s as a mechanism to access to client’s network.
  • Dedicated IP addresses on the local network should be assigned by the client for each encoder (one for each encoder’s main interface, one for each encoder’s IPMI port, and one for any Frankly-provided jumpbox).  These can be assigned as a Static IP or using a DHCP Reservation, however it is the client’s responsibility to ensure these IP address are dedicated to the encoder and are not used by other devices.  Additionally if the encoders are not assigned automatic DHCP addresses (and therefore the devices are not on the network), the client is responsible for using a physical keyboard/mouse/monitor to set up at least the IPMI port’s Static IP before turning over the device to Frankly, following the IPMI setup doc provided. These IP’s should be communicated to your Customer Success Manager, stating whether these should be configured as a Static IP or DHCP. For a Static IP please also include standard network connectivity information (Gateway/Router IP, Subnet Mask).

Support Process

All Express Video packages include “Standard Platform Support”. The Frankly platform refers to the Frankly Producer/Sites/Apps, Frankly-provided CMS plugins, Frankly Video Player, and all cloud-based workflows/streams, with support services including:

  • 24×7 platform monitoring that will alert Frankly Media to any platform-wide issues or loss of the encoder stream.
  • 24×7 platform status page and opt-in client notifications via StatusCast
  • After hours emergency support via [email protected] – Normal business hours are 9-6pm EST, Monday – Friday.
  • Escalation as necessary from Customer Success to Frankly Engineering team to troubleshoot and resolve platform issues
  • Access to Frankly Customer Success Manager

Encoders Purchased Through Frankly Media

In addition to all services provided with “Standard Platform Support”, all encoders purchased through Frankly Media include “Standard Encoder Support” services that include:

  • Initial remote configuration of encoder to Express Video’s standard encoding profile after client racking/installation
  • Remote management of encoder, including updates to Frankly’s standard encoding profile, as long as client makes TeamViewer available to Frankly.
  • As necessary, escalation from Customer Success to Frankly Engineering & Video Operations team to troubleshoot and resolve issues limited to Frankly’s standard encoder profile.
  •     To receive additional encoder support, Client is required to maintain an active manufacturer’s Enhanced or Premium hardware support/warranty through Frankly Media:
    •     Frankly Media will coordinate escalation to encoder manufacturer, such as AWS Elemental
    • Overnight shipping of replacement encoder(s) after manufacturer’s diagnosis
      • Currently only included with AWS Elemental Premium Support
  • Any encoder configuration changes or updates done by anyone other than Frankly Media or the hardware manufacturer (under Frankly Media’s supervision) may result in broken functionality and will void Frankly Media’s responsibility in supporting the encoder or the Express Video product.

Client will be responsible and agrees to assist Frankly Media as necessary for any tasks requiring physical access to the encoder, including but not limited to: physical installation, return packing/shipping, hard-reboots, or local KVM access, etc.

Encoders Not Purchased Through Frankly Media

Beyond “Standard Platform Support”, the client will be responsible for any setup and support necessary for encoders not purchased through Frankly Media.

Frankly Media can provide a 1-hour “black-box” assessment of the incoming stream (as received by Express Video) to determine if it meets the necessary Express Video specifications.

Professional Services may be purchased to assist in certifying or troubleshooting of a client-provided encoder. However, Frankly Media may not be able to determine the root cause of any of these issues due to lack of training and knowledge of a client-provided encoder.

Professional Services

Additional professional services may be available to assist beyond the included services. Please contact Frankly Media to discuss rates and options.

Certified Encoder Capabilities

See below for the general capabilities of the certified encoders that Frankly Media resells. Note, that not all capabilities are used by Express Video. For example, a standard Express Video configuration only uses H.264 ABR HLS Push of 720p @ 30fps. Use of additional features (such as 1080p) may be available at an additional cost.

Standard Encoder Event-based / Field Encoders
Make / Model Elemental L012AE Teradek Cube LiveU Solo*
Live I/O 1x HD-SDI Input 1 x SDI (model 7xx) 1x SDI
Encode from IP Input Yes (dedicated GigE input) No No
Codecs H.264 ABR HLS,

HEVC (Optional)

H.264, HEVC H.264
File encode Encode/transcode file to live stream and file to file NA NA
Resolution/frame rate up to 1080p 60fps up to 1080p 60fps up to 1080p 30fps
Stream packaging RTMP Push, HLS Push, HLS Pull, RTP/UDP Push, Reliable TS RTMP Push RTMP Push
Audio support AAC LC, HEV 1, HEV 2 AAC LC AAC LC
Closed captioning CEA 608/708 CEA 608/708 CEA 608/7081
Ad Markers Embedded SCTE 35/104,

or Triggers via API and UI

Not supported Not supported
24×7 streaming Yes No No