Notifying illumira about purchase of Commercial video titles


When a subscribing institution licenses/purchases a video title, it can notify illumira of the purchase of the titles by ONE of the following methods

  • sending a copy of the invoice and proof of illumira. The proof must have information on the titles purchased as well the duration of the license. illumira will then reach out to our designated vendor contact to confirm that the Institution has purchased digital streaming rights for the title. The email address to be used for notification is Please note that purchase order numbers, or copies of email/fax received by an institution for streaming a title, do not constitute as proof of purchase. illumira complies with vendor requirements in issues related to streaming guidelines
 - OR -
  • The institution can have the commercial video vendor notify illumira directly of the purchase by emailing us the purchase information at The vendor must provide the name and the license expiry date for each title.


After notification, the workflow of making the title available to the Institution is done in the following way : 

  1. If the vendor does not currently exist in illumira and is not part of the VALE agreement, the Institution will have to ask the Commercial videos vendor (or through VALE)  to agree to have their content streamed and archived using illumira . The illumira staff and the VALE Digital Media Committee chair may assist the Institution in this process. If the vendor agrees, they should sign the Commercial Video agreement with illumira , following which the illumira staff will start the process of getting the titles and digitizing them to store in the repository
  2.  The email can also be used to notify illumira to prioritize the availability of one title over another.
  3. If a video title is already available in the illumira repository, access to the title will be provided within one business day upon receiving adequate confirmation as mentioned before with regards to the proof of purchase of the streaming license.
  4. If the title is not available in illumira then illumira staff will use the following procedure.

Tip: Vendors typically provide licenses to titles in either a physical only format or streaming or both. It is upon the individual institution to ensure that the correct streaming rights are purchased for titles to be streamed on illumira. illumira will not be held responsible for any delays caused in such cases.


Adding of titles or vendors that do not exist in the Repository

  1. illumira communicates with each vendor regarding the format illumira will like to receive. The vendor generally sends the resource with the higher resolution, either DVD or file. If the vendor delays or if the title was only purchased by a single institution then the vendor may not be willing to provide illumira with a physical copy, in such cases, illumira will request the source DVD from the institution (assuming a deposit agreement is in place with that vendor). 

  2. On receiving the DVD or file, the media is analyzed to determine if bonus features, supplementary documents, closed captions/subtitles are available.
  3.  illumira prefers transcoding itself over obtaining streaming files from vendors to make sure that all videos follow the same specifications and to allow streaming to iPads, iPhones and other devices in the future. Most vendors are not equipped to reliably meet those specs.  Few vendors get the transcoding right, and the number of videos requiring transcoding is becoming the majority. Occasionally there is a knowledgeable vendor who is able to work with illumira to transcode according to the correct specifications, but that’s an exception.  
  4. illumira ingests bonus features (video) as a separate video in the repository. All the bonus feature items are typically combined into a single video.
  5. The high resolution format of the video also known as the ‘preservation format’ is also stored in illumira for every commercial video title.
  6. After adding the main videos and bonus features to the repository, illumira will immediately notify the institution regarding the availability of the video(s). illumira typically will process titles in batches of ten to fifteen titles (max) and notification follows completion of the batch. Since adding captions/subtitles and supplementary documents will require time, the notification will occur before the supplementary items are made available. This is obviously not ideal, but unavoidable at this point given technical complications of extracting subtitles. 
  7. Based on the results of the media analysis, illumira will create virtual clips corresponding to named chapters in the DVD which will be available to the end user to navigate the segments in the video. 
  8. Based on the results of the media analysis, illumira adds subtitles and supplementary documents, if available.
  9. Workflow and turnaround time currently vary by vendor.  Some vendors communicate with illumira before invoicing; some don’t.
  10. Turnaround time sometimes may be outside illumira control due to vendor delay in shipping of source titles.  Turnaround time for ingest is 2-3 business days, once the source DVD or video file is received. If the title is already available in illumira , the video title will be available to the institution within one business day after notification.
  11. If needed the titles are returned to the respective vendor/institution after digitization.