Python Developer - Video Encoding at Showmax

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Showmax is one of the largest and most successful subscription video on demand services serving sub-Saharan Africa. Showmax apps are available for smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, computers, media players and gaming consoles. Engineering team has the unique challenge of supplying shows from Hollywood’s biggest studios, local African productions, and live sports from around the world to consumers in developing economies - all without compromising quality.

Engineering and development activities are centred in Prague. This team of almost 100 people is the engine room of Showmax and acts as a streaming centre of excellence for the entire MultiChoice Group.

Showmax as VoD platform together with DStv as catch-up platform are the core of OTT business at Connected Video, which is a part of the Multichoice Group - the largest satellite and DTT TV company in Africa with more than 20 million customers and annual revenues exceeding $3.5bn. It’s the best of both worlds - we’ve preserved the startup & agile (not SCRUM!) culture from when we started Showmax in one flat in Beroun, but we’ve now got the financial resources, commercial knowledge, and access to TV content from Africa’s largest and most successful TV company.

About team, position & role:

The Encoding Team is under the Media Engineering department, where together with the Content Delivery Team work on encoding and delivery of content to the customers. The Encoding team is responsible mainly for these two domains:

  • video/audio encoding pipelines processing Live and VoD content to be playable on all supported devices from smartphones to smart TVs. Our VoD encoding farm in Germany is utilizing hundreds of CPU cores by Python and FFmpeg and is capable of encode a movie in tens of minutes. For live streaming we use dedicated on-premise AWS Elementals encoders in two data centres in Johannesburg, South Africa. 
  • servers with Unified Origin packaging and encrypting content so that content is streamable with compliant DRM protection.

To get this, the team needs to:

  • study codec implementations like HEVC, AV1 or HE-AAC and look for an optimal set up of encoding tools to improve quality and speed. 
  • experiment with different content based encoding approaches such as per-Title or per-Scene encoding and implement results/improvements.
  • suggest and collect various playback’s metrics to measure impact of encoding changes on the quality of experience.
  • work closely with other teams. From the Content Delivery team you will find out that to transfer data to Africa is sometimes a pain as only two cables are connecting Europe and Africa. The Analytics team will provide you user experience metrics like buffering events so that you can evaluate your improvements. Cooperation with front-end teams is inevitable to provide successful playback to our customers.

Who are we looking for:

  • be proficient in software development, good coding skills in some of the modern programming languages, especially Python.
  • have some experience with multimedia tools such as FFmpeg, AWS Media Services or Unified Origin, and/or understanding of audio or video compression, processing, and packaging.
  • have a strong sense of personal responsibility for your work and for its overall impact on the user experience, reliability, performance, and monitoring.
  • have a solid knowledge of English, spoken and written. Every day you need to be able to express yourself in spoken or written form easily. English is a primary language for task tracking, documentation, and at meetings with our multicultural colleagues.

It’s a plus for you if you have:

  • understand differences between acronyms like DASH, HLS, and SmoothStreaming or AVC, HEVC, and AV1. It also implies you should be comfortable to run into situations for which you can’t find the answer on Google easily.
  • some knowledge of DRM protection systems such as Widevine, FairPlay or PlayReady.
  • any experience with any part of our tech stack: Python, FFmpeg, AWS Elementals, Unified Origin, PostgreSQL, Linux, Docker, Prometheus, Alertmanager, Kibana.

Best of the backlog may be waiting just for you:

  • Deep dive into Quality of Experience
  • Migration to AWS Media Services
  • Enhancing DRM protection (multi-DRM and multiple key setup)
  • Premium features like 4K/HDR, etc.

We don't expect you will check every box. We want people who are willing and able to learn new things and ready to roll-up their sleeves to make things done.

What you’ll get in return:

  • some usual benefits such as 25 days of holidays, 5 sick days, Edenred Ticket Restaurant Card (123CZK).
  • up to 5 days at the home office per week (depends on an agreement with your manager) to save time from every day commute and let you be with your family. Unlimited home office during COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • a budget for attending conferences, buying books, and other professional learning services to support your self-development. 
  • an ergonomic workspace, hardware according to your choice of an Apple or Lenovo brand and MultiSport card. Because we want you to work in a healthy work environment and friendly atmosphere to feel comfortable and do your best magic also from your home place.

Looking forward to meeting you in person!

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