Content Delivery Network (“CDN”) services and/or multiplatform multi-device server/encoding services

S4C is tendering for the supply of Content Delivery Network Services and/or multiplatform multi-device server/encoding services. The tender has been advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union. All companies and businesses who are interested in providing the services must complete an Invitation to Tender (ITT) in the form set out below. The deadline for receipt by S4C of the completed ITT is 16:00 on 9 November 2011.

All requests for further information and/or guidance in completing this ITT and/or this tender process should be addressed to: cdnquestions@s4c.co.uk Please note that no queries or requests for information relating to this tender process should be addressed to any individual officer, employee or representative of S4C.

The closing date for receipt of requests for additional information and for guidance in completing the ITT is midday 26th October 2011.

Download Invitation to Tender

Download Draft Provision of Services Agreement


  1. Please will you provide an indication of how much source video is encoded (e.g. number of programmes per year, average duration of each programme)?average is around 500 available at any one time. Average length - 29:42. Maximum length to date - 04:59:18.Total encodes in 2010 – 5609 programmes – 51046 hrs
  2. Which devices/platforms are you currently able to deliver to e.g. PC/Mac; iPad; iPhone?PC/Mac, iPad, Iphone, Android, PS3.
  3. Which devices/platforms will you definitely be delivering to (or definitely want to) during the initial 24 months of this contract e.g. XboxVarious options are under consideration but no firm decisions made as yet.
  4. At present, for each source video, how many encoded versions are created for the different devices. Please may you provide detailed encoding profiles e.g. image size; fps; codecs; bit-rates etc1 pc/Mac, 3 iPhone/ipad (1 dynamic 64k audio only), 1 Android.
  5. There are 3 profiles:- h264 hi 2.1 @696kbps, (600k video 96k audio) 640x360, h264 baseline 3.0 640x360 (512 video 64k audio) & h264 baseline 3.0 (220k video 64k audio) 320x180. All @ 25fps
  6. Are all source videos converted into the same encoding profile or are there different workflows e.g. for 4x3, 16x9 or some files are specific to a platform e.g. XboxSee above.
  7. As some platforms you mention (Wii, Xbox) require custom development of playback applications on the devices, can you confirm that any development of these apps is outside of this tender?These can be in or out, depending on your capabilities. State clearly whether your bid includes them or not and the terms if it does.
  8. Is it a correct interpretation that S4C estimates that the combined price for both CDN (Section 2.1.1) and Encoding (Section 2.1.2) together shall be approximately £100,000 p.a?yes.
  9. Is it a correct interpretation that Section 2.8 describes the first 2 months of the intended 24 month contract period (the one month trial/pilot period followed by the one month set up and handover)?Yes, it is envisaged that amaximum of two months may be necessary for this.

Correction to answer 1 above: Total hours of source video in 2010 - 2484:44:55

Q. It appears that there are 5 encoded versions created, yet only 3 encoding profiles have been indicated. Does this mean that several of the encoded versions are identical, or are there only 3 encoded versions created?

A. This is overlap - 5 targets, 3 profiles. Android shares the iPhone profiles.64K AAC audio only is created dynamically by the video server.Hi 2.1 is for Mac/PC Base.3.0@ 640x360 & 3.0@ 320x180 is for iPhone & android

Q. Do you require the successful contractor to install and operate encoding facilities within your premises, the alternative being encoding in the cloud or a hybrid model? If multi-format encoding is carried out offsite, to increase upload speeds is S4C able to create a single "mezzanine" encoded file (say, at 5-10 Mbps) with equipment outside of the scope of this contract, rather than the uncompressed version used for play out?

A. We would prefer to provide a master file (suitable mezzanine level to be agreed) to the successful contractor and then for all final delivery versions to be created off site by the contractor.

Q. Within the tender document, there is reference to live streaming. Will S4C provide the live streaming encoders outside of this contract, and be responsible for delivering the appropriate live streams to the CDN? Or alternatively, is the successful tenderer responsible for providing live encoders within S4C's premises (and if so, are there any requirements such as a redundant pair, SDI input etc)?

A. S4C will provide the live streaming encoders outside of this contract, and be responsible for delivering the appropriate live streams to the CDN.

Q. Is it a correct interpretation to make, that any uploading of files (or delivery of live streams), shall be on internet circuits owned by S4C and any quality issues (in the incoming live stream/s to our CDN) or delays (inuploading source files) shall not impact on any SLAs provided by the successful tenderer?

A. Yes, this is a correct interpretation.

Q. Does S4C expect to use the live publishing points for regular or sustained periods of programming and, if so, can you provide some examples?

A. Yes both - a live publishing point is used to simulcast the transmission output. The encoder runs 24x7, but the demand fluctuates in line with the popularity of the programme being TX'ed. Occasionally we will provide an additional stream during special events such as eisteddfod, sporting events etc. (<4 times per annum). These are either long duration over approx. 1 week (e.g. Royal Welsh Show), or 2 hr instance (e.g. football match)

Q. Are the VOD services shown as CF99 and Taro 0 ever replaced by live feeds and, if so, how often and for what period?

A. CF99 and Taro 9 are available as simulcast tx and VOD.

Q. Can S4C confirm that it will take responsibility for recording live feeds for use as subsequent catch-up video files?

A. Yes, we can confirm this.

Q. Can S4C confirm what provision, if any, needs to be made for subtitles on live feeds and/or VOD files?

A. There is no current provision for subtitling on live feeds. VOD streams are available with up to 2 subtitle options (English and/or Welsh). Approx. 80% of VOD programmes have at least one subtitle option.

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