In the wake of the announcement last week of the new image specification for all COVE videos, I wanted to provide some additional clarity around how COVE and Merlin (once completed) will work together and how the image specification will impact the ways that your content will be used in Merlin.
Three key points:
1. COVE video will automatically be fed into the Merlin database. There will be no need to upload the content twice -- the data will automatically pass from COVE into Merlin once you have published the content.
Because Merlin is designed to store content that will be used in many different formats (PBS.org modules, mobile applications, widgets, etc.), Merlin will need to store an image that can be sized at various different sizes. The best way to ensure that your image is the most appealing at any size is to upload a high-resolution image when you enter content into the COVE Admin Tool.
2. Image quality and resolution will impact your contents promotion on the PBS.org homepage. While images will not be a required metadata element when Merlin is rolled out this Summer, our expectation is that any content element that is promoted on the PBS.org homepage (in the DL strip, in the Featured content section or in the PBS video feature box) will include a compelling image.
The 1920x1080 pixel size was chosen in order to provide the most flexibility for these future products. We believe that the new spec will not need to be updated for many years.
3. Merlin may one day require high-resolution images for all content. There are not currently any plans to change the Merlin requirements for images, however as new platforms and devices are released, the requirements for Merlin metadata may change. It is possible that any content without an acceptable image will either be excluded altogether from Merlin or will require a new image to be uploaded.
By incorporating a compelling, high quality 1920x1080 pixel image into your workflow now, you will avoid this scenario.
If you have any questions, please contact Matt Schoch at firstname.lastname@example.org.