Video Breakthroughs
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Video Breakthroughs
Monitoring innovations in post-production, head-end, streaming, OTT, second-screen, UHDTV, multiscreen strategies & tools
Curated by Nicolas Weil
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ST and Fraunhofer HHI Demonstrate World’s First Standard-Based 3D Adaptive Video-Streaming Software Receiver

ST and Fraunhofer HHI Demonstrate World’s First Standard-Based 3D Adaptive Video-Streaming Software Receiver | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

STMicroelectronics and Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) today unveiled the industry’s first 3D video receiver based on the new MPEG-DASH standard for dynamic and adaptive HTTP streaming. The fully working prototype developed within the EU-funded COAST (Content Aware Searching and Streaming) project is being demonstrated at the Networked and Electronic Media (NEM) Summitin Torino, Italy on 27-29 September 2011.

 

HTTP streaming enables high-quality video delivery over IP to connected TV sets, set-top boxes and mobile terminals. Recently released by the 3GPP and MPEG groups, Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH) aims to simplify the deployment of broadband video streaming services across different network infrastructures and end devices, replacing the multitude of proprietary HTTP streaming protocols with one open, standardized solution. DASH defines formats for content preparation and tools for fast and efficient content adaptation. It supports trick modes, multi-language subtitles and audio tracks, ad insertion and multiple digital rights management technologies aimed at protecting content, and works with standard web-server and cache technologies.

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Why is it so hard to convert FCP 7 XML to FCP X XML?

Why is it so hard to convert FCP 7 XML to FCP X XML? | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

I was a little shocked to find people posting on Twitter and Facebook that they had tried to import Final Cut Pro 7 XML into Final Cut Pro X with the new “import XML”. That would be like opening a Word document and complaining that it didn’t translate from Spanish to English while opening the file.

 

So that brings us to the specifics of translating xmeml to fcpxml (FCP 7 to X respectively) or going from fcpxml to xmeml. Jon Chappell did a great job of explaining the differences in his blog post, but the important point is that the XML must relate to the data structures that it is trying to represent.

 

So when we come to going from Final Cut Pro X to FCP 7 we are immediately struck with the fact that FCP X has Events (media) and Projects (timelines), each with its own XML file, while FCP 7 puts them all together in one XML file. Because FCP X and FCP 7 are so different it will be impossible to ever do a truly perfect translation, just as all other inter-NLE transfers lack full fidelity. Import FCP 7 XML to Premiere Pro and say goodbye to most of you metadata (all Master Comments are lost, in fact all but scene, shot, take and description are lost). Also say goodbye to all your tiles and expect only imperfect mapping of filters and transitions.

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Aviberry.com video solutions include automatic 2D to 3D conversion

Aviberry.com video solutions include automatic 2D to 3D conversion | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Some key features :

- Automatic 2D to 3D conversion

- Support of polarization glasses, NVIDIA's shutter technology, and anaglyph 3D glassesSupport of 3D TVs, NVIDIA 3D Vision Glasses Kit, and 120 Hz displays

- 3D depth and shift effect adjustment

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Startup Umami Serves Side Of iPad Content For TV

Startup Umami Serves Side Of iPad Content For TV | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

New York-based startup Umami will jump into the "second screen" fray with the expected release in the next few weeks of an iPad app, free to consumers, that will serve up contextually relevant content for shows on 40 broadcast and cable networks.

 

Umami fingerprints the audio in TV content across the 40 networks using a large-scale digital video recorder system.

 

When a user fires up the app, it "listens" for which channel is currently on by comparing it to the Umami fingerprint database, then pulls up news, cast pages, episode guides and social media feeds from various sources in a flipbook-like format. The system works on DVR recordings, too.

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IBC interview : Next-generation compression: the market for HEVC and DASH

IBC interview : Next-generation compression: the market for HEVC and DASH | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Despite increases in network capacity over the last decade, the thirst for more and higher quality video means compression is still a critical element in TV delivery. In this IBC2011 discussion, Dr Paul Stallard and Matthew Goldman from the CTO Group at Ericsson's TV Business consider next-generation compression technologies including HEVC and MPEG DASH. HEVC could support full-resolution 3DTV, ultra high-def and provide a leapfrog option for HD service providers using M2. It could also ensure longer battery life for mobiles and tablets decoding video. Meanwhile, DASH could bring some much-needed rationalisation to the delivery of adaptive bit rate services.

 

Direct video link : http://bcove.me/74q3hkf3

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Implementing Audio Tracks in Flash

Implementing Audio Tracks in Flash | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

In our era of ubiquitous globalization and internationalization, most of Web projects are launched in multiple languages. This especially applies to online video projects. Videos with alternate audio tracks and subtitles often attract viewers by the very fact of their existence. Most of popular content is created outside Russia, so there is abundance of content with original audio tracks and subtitles. Such content allows you to enjoy video in the original quality and detail, and learn foreign languages. In this post, we will tell you how to implement this functionality in Flash video player using OSMF 1.6.

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Taking a FRESH (SOA) approach to the newsroom

Taking a FRESH (SOA) approach to the newsroom | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Television news is, for a number of reasons, the most critical part of most broadcasters' operations. The way a broadcaster handles news is the clearest indication of its character, and the best way to create and manage a brand identity. Because of its very nature, it is a broadcaster's most complex operation, and working under intense pressure is an everyday norm.

 

There is a long history of technology solutions to ease the production of television news — dating back 30 years to first-generation newsroom computer systems such as Basys and Newstar. Newsroom computer systems have dealt traditionally with words: wire services, scripts, running orders and research archives.

 

More recently, a parallel stream of technology developed that handled the media assets: video clips, voice-overs and so on. The two computer networks are commonly linked, usually via a standard interface, which now is almost exclusively the Media Object Server (MOS) protocol. This production system manages ingest and live recording, moves content to editors and graphics workshops, compiles and delivers playlists, and hands completed content over to the archive.

 

These two systems are both mission-critical for the news broadcast. Both are complex and both have heavy demands on processing and network traffic. But, operating them as two independent, albeit linked, systems seems wrong. Instead, the ideal solution must be to have one computer network that handles all the elements of news production.

 

Put bluntly, such an architecture can be a nightmare to manage and maintain, and definitely not the path that should be taken in 2011. That said, let's look at a system that could very well be the answer broadcasters need.

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IBC content protection: a bomb-proof shelter inside a SoC

IBC content protection: a bomb-proof shelter inside a SoC | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Pay TV security is an ongoing battle between operators and not just pirates but also individuals who would rather not pay for the service. At the same time, operators have one hand tied behind their backs because unlike in banking, customers are not bothered if someone next door is hacking into their service.This rules out biometric techniques to authenticate users since people are unwilling to have their eyeballs examined to get at their premium content.

 

At IBC this year there was a growing view among operators and security vendors that no single technology can defeat the pirates, especially as services extend to multiple devices in TV Anywhere and OTT deployments. There is also recognition that defences against increasingly sophisticated attacks on encryption keys held in System on a Chip (SoC) components in set-top boxes, home gateways and other devices require stronger defences.

 

For this reason the San Francisco based cryptography company Cryptography Research has gained significant traction among both silicon manufacturers and conditional access (CA) vendors, leading to two significant announcements during the show :

- firstly, the company announced that a fourth Pay TV SoC vendor, MStar Semiconductor, was licensing its CryptoFirewall technology in addition to Broadcom, ST Microelectronics and ViXS, which are already on board.

- a licensing agreement with CA vendor Verimatrix

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SOAs gaining traction as standards work continues

SOAs gaining traction as standards work continues | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

At the recent IBC Show in Amsterdam, numerous vendors were extolling the benefits of a service oriented architecture (SOA) for capturing, producing, processing and distributing video and audio content as digital files. It’s the latest industry buzz term, but this one appears to have staying power as it brings the potential cost- and resource-saving benefits for both customers and the manufacturers themselves.

 

Although clearly interested, many attendees were left feeling a bit cautious about how to most effectively design and implement such an IT-centric system, even with the knowledge that it would increase efficiency and staff productivity while helping content providers manage the transition to a multi-screen, multi-format universe.

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The battle for second screen (by Dmitry Ivanov)

The battle for second screen (by Dmitry Ivanov) | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

I’m back from IBC, Amsterdam. One of the hot topics this year was ‘second screen’. In short words it is a way to show some synchronized content on PC, tablets or smartphones during TV programs. Usually second screen contains some additional information and makes TV shows more interactive. Broadcasters may attract more viewers and generate additional revenues using second screens. Some examples of such systems which I found quite interesting:

- Snell ScreenToo

- EVS C-Cast

- never.no Interactivity Suite

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DTS and Digital Rapids Break Ground with First Solutions to Support UltraViolet

DTS and Digital Rapids Break Ground with First Solutions to Support UltraViolet | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

DTS and Digital Rapids have announced the companies' first tools to support the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem's (DECE) UltraViolet standard.

 

DTS showcased its newly launched DTS MediaPlayer in Stand 2.B50 during this year's IBC exhibition, using UltraViolet Common File Format (CFF) files created with Digital Rapids' upcoming version 2.0 of the Digital Rapids Transcode Manager automated transcoding software.

 

Both products support UltraViolet CFF files and serve the standard's goal to combine the benefits of cloud access with the power of an open, industry standard-empowering consumers to use multiple content services and device brands interchangeably, at home and on-the-go.

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Framework for Interoperable Media Services : FIMS White Paper [PDF]

Framework for Interoperable Media Services : FIMS White Paper [PDF] | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Currently in the media industry, users are implementing service-based systems using proprietary systems with bespoke software ‘glue’ holding it all together. They are doing this without an open, agreed framework and without standardized interfaces. While several organizations have identified a number of common processes such as capture which are performed essentially the same way throughout the industry, users are implementing these processes as services in different ways. At the same time, technology vendors are responding to demand for services-based products, but interoperability between different implementations is non-existent. This is because there is a lack of an agreed framework and publically developed service definitions in the media industry.

 

The AMWA-EBU FIMS (Framework for Interoperable Media Services) Task Force was established in December 2009. FIMS is a framework of service definitions for implementing media related operations using a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) approach. Media companies deploying this framework can expect that doing so will promote interoperability and reusability of services. FIMS defines service models with associated management, error handling, communication, and time awareness.

 

To properly exploit this technology the Task Force has developed a common framework which will help ensure integration interoperability, interchangeability and reusability of services. This will drastically reduce integration costs, allow users to more freely choose the most appropriate products on the market at any given time, improve maintainability, and aid in the adoption of new technologies.

 

FIMS also has begun the process of defining open services that are loosely coupled thereby enabling multivendor services to be integrated and creating “best-in-class” media systems. The services can span a wide domain of operations and permit integration of FIMS into business and management systems. The bottom line is that implementing FIMS will move facilities to an agile environment that is more easily configured, modified, managed and governed compared to non SOA systems.

 

Read the full whitepaper here : http://wiki.amwa.tv/ebu/images/1/12/FIMS_WhitePaper_Version_1.0.1.pdf

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Open-source broadcast live graphic server CasparCG Server 2.0 Beta released

Open-source broadcast live graphic server CasparCG Server 2.0 Beta released | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

CasparCG server uses flash templates for the graphic overlays - as Vidigo Graphics does - combined with usual Blackmagic or Bluefish cards.

 

V.2.0b brings lots of new features such as blend modes, image scroller (great for credits and tickers), real-time adjustments of brightness, contrast, saturation and levels of all playing media, plus blurring, deinterlacing and any many other GPU filters.

 

Download and try by yourself ! http://www.casparcg.com/casparcg20b1

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Hands-on with the Apple Final Cut Pro X 10.0.1 Upgrade

Hands-on with the Apple Final Cut Pro X 10.0.1 Upgrade | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

o is Final Cut Pro X finally ready for pros?

 

Apple released Final Cut Pro X version 10.0.1 on September 20. Highlights include XML import and export, enhanced control over the export of audio and video files, Xsan integration, and GPU-accelerated export, as well as a downloadable trial version. I looked at the new features and quickly discovered that all that glitters is not gold, though there are some valuable nuggets in the release, particularly relating to performance. At the end of this article, I’ll post a list of features that I consider essential for professional use so we can track Apple’s progress over time.

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Fraunhofer's STAN: four cameras, three dimensions, no glasses

Fraunhofer's STAN: four cameras, three dimensions, no glasses | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

There are some glasses-free 3D TVs around, but their limited viewing angles and poor picture quality aren't very inspiring -- so Fraunhofer's latest project is a welcome endeavor. It's developed STAN (STereoscopic ANalyzer), a system that lets broadcasters easily use four cameras instead of the usual two, for 3D recording.

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Video Processing in the Cloud (SpringerBriefs in Computer Science)

Video Processing in the Cloud (SpringerBriefs in Computer Science) | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it
As computer systems evolve, the volume of data to be processed increases significantly, either as a consequence of the expanding amount of available information, or due to the possibility of performing highly complex operations that were not feasible in the past.

Nevertheless, tasks that depend on the manipulation of large amounts of information are still performed at large computational cost, i.e., either the processing time will be large, or they will require intensive use of computer resources. In this scenario, the efficient use of available computational resources is paramount, and creates a demand for systems that can optimize the use of resources in relation to the amount of data to be processed. This problem becomes increasingly critical when the volume of information to be processed is variable, i.e., there is a seasonal variation of demand. Such demand variations are caused by a variety of factors, such as an unanticipated burst of client requests, a time-critical simulation, or high volumes of simultaneous video uploads, e.g. as a consequence of a public contest.

In these cases, there are moments when the demand is very low (resources are almost idle) while, conversely, at other moments, the processing demand exceeds the resources capacity. Moreover, from an economical perspective, seasonal demands do not justify a massive investment in infrastructure, just to provide enough computing power for peak situations. In this light, the ability to build adaptive systems, capable of using on demand resources provided by Cloud Computing infrastructures is very attractive.
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Second-Screen Startup Syncs With TV from the Cloud

Second-Screen Startup Syncs With TV from the Cloud | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Two buzzwords in one little startup? Meet New York-based SecondScreen Networks.

In the TV industry lately, a red-hot concept is that of a “second-screen experience,” in which viewers get additional info, content or ads on an iPad or other handheld device that corresponds with what they’re watching on TV.

 

It’s interactive TV, but without having to put the interactive stuff on TV. Companies attacking this space include Shazam Entertainment, Invidi Technologies, IntoNow and Spot411 Technologies (see Interactive TV Moves to Second Screen).

And, as you’d expect given its name, there’s SecondScreen Networks. Seth Tapper, a serial Silicon Alley entrepreneur, founded the company in September 2010 with angel funding and now has five full-time employees.

 

“We’ve seen Intercast, the Full Service Network, Canoe Ventures — but nobody has really figured out how to get single-screen interactive TV to scale,” Tapper says. “But it’s already at scale if you look at Twitter.”

 

But — and here’s where he thinks he has an advantage — SecondScreen is doing it without any client-side code. The company’s idea is to monitor hundreds of channels using servers that know exactly what’s on any given channel at a given time. Your iPad app (for, say, Fox’s Glee) contacts SecondScreen through the cloud to know exactly when the show and its ads are airing.

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HTTP video accelerates at IBC2011

HTTP video accelerates at IBC2011 | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

The last thing digital video needs is new jargon that fuels another cycle of hype. So here’s the quick case for spotlighting hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) video: In tech years, HTTP is not new, but ancient, or as old as the Internet; HTTP linked to video is proving to be a strong growth engine.

 

The longer defense is that HTTP provides a hook for the “multi-screen” and “over-the-top” (OTT) themes that dominated IBC 2011. The key is that in contrast to IPTV-centric protocols, HTTP focuses on the client—on whatever device and at the end of whatever network—and its so-called GETs, or means of retrieving information or video from a network server.

 

This protocol and its adaptive bit-rate (ABR) cousins have yet to conquer the world. In fact, a competing theme at IBC 2011 was “hybrid,” whose resurgence indicates “more longevity in broadcast,” said ADB VP Strategy Paul Bristow. Moreover, there were other categories of technology on display: advanced advertising, HD, 3D, Super Hi-Vision, content distribution networks (CDNs), conditional access (CA) and digital rights management (DRM) systems.

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Skin tone macroblock detection for video coding can improve the perceptual quality of human faces

Skin tone macroblock detection for video coding can improve the perceptual quality of human faces | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

In video compression algorithms, the quantization parameter is typically adapted based on overall bit usage and relative complexity of the region in the picture. However, such complexity-based rate control algorithms do not emphasize the fact that certain objects, such as human faces, are more sensitive to the overall perceptual video quality. To improve overall perceptual quality, it is important to classify human faces as regions of interest (ROI) and preserve as much detail as possible. The challenge is to develop a reliable algorithm that works in real-time implementations. This article will explore a low-complexity system that can run on a single-core DSP as part of an encoder implementation.

 

The proposed system is a low-complexity, color-based skin tone detection, which classifies skin tone macroblocks (MB) as ROI MBs and non-skin tone macroblocks as non-ROI MBs (MB; 16 × 16 block of pixels). The classification is based on some empirical thresholds applied to the mean of the color components. The empirical threshold values were defined after an extensive training using material that covers all kinds of races. According to this classification and a modified rate control (RC) that permits smoothly assigning different levels of quality, we can increase visual quality in human faces.

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Jet-Stream CDN v10.6 released soon : many new features related to adaptive streaming

Jet-Stream CDN v10.6 released soon : many new features related to adaptive streaming | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Jet-Stream is finalizing the R&D cycle of a new version of its next generation CDN technology.

 

Version 10.6 will be officially released on Content Delivery Summit, Monday 17 October, in London and is a major upgrade with many new features that focus on advanced CDN architectures; true CDN federation preparation; enhanced robustness and scalability for even more premium CDN services; advanced and intelligent HTTP adaptive ingest, caching and delivery; enhanced distribution intelligence; and scalable log processing.

 

Some of the new features :

- IIS Smooth Streaming support went from beta to operational with full auto and dynamic live smooth stream relaying per delivery node, per account, per live stream

- Remote origin pull ingest (live and VOD) for any HTTP adaptive streaming service (such as Apple HLS, Microsoft Smooth, Adobe HDS)

- Run a HTTP adaptive CDN on a mix of appliances, industry standard hardware, virtual servers and cloud servers

- HTTP adaptive log entries aggregation into true sessions log entries for various services

- Multi-CDN log processing capabilities, CDN federation ready

 

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IBC connected home: DLNA now supports premium video

IBC connected home: DLNA now supports premium video | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

The announcement by the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) of support for premium video during IBC2011 heralds the coming of age for home networks. The extension of DLNA’s Interoperability Guidelines to include premium video including HD content plugs an important gap in the standard, which previously was confined to streaming user generated content (UGC) between connected devices within the home.

 

The key enabling technology for DLNA’s premium video support is Digital Transmission Content Protection over IP (DTCP/IP), which was developed by five companies: chip maker Intel and CE giants Hitachi, Panasonic, Sony and Toshiba. This group, referred to collectively as 5C, formed an entity called the Digital Transmission Licensing Administrator to license the DTCP technology. Designed specifically for the home network, DTCP encrypts content between devices within the home after checking that they both support the standard.

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Livecasting On The Go (by Dmitry Ivanov)

Livecasting On The Go (by Dmitry Ivanov) | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

A bit more impressions from IBC, Amsterdam. Another hot topic: equipment for mobile broadcasting using wireless networks. It’s some portable device which can be attached to a camera and send audio/video streams to dedicated server installed in broadcasting facility, to CDN etc. The choice is much wider this year; there are a lot of new products. This short review maybe does not include all the solutions shown on IBC, only those of them that I paid attention due some reason and was able to have a closer look.

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Edgeware boosts QoS over unmanaged networks

Edgeware boosts QoS over unmanaged networks | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

The trend towards cloud-based service delivery is creating a need for products that enable Quality of Service (QoS) over unmanaged networks, according to Swedish owned distributed video network technology vendor Edgeware. The company has developed a strategy called Distributed Video Delivery Network (D-VDN) to address this need, and announced the first product in this line, the Convoy VDN, at IBC2011. This helps operators deploy advanced video services with acceptable QoE over the unmanaged network between a cloud service and its subscribers, with the ability to tie in with a wholesale CDN (Content Delivery Network).

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Why an Open Source ProRes Decoder Matters

Why an Open Source ProRes Decoder Matters | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

ProRes 422 is Apple's lossy video high quality video compression format. It is the native format of Apple's popular Final Cut Pro video editing software. ProRes is also the format requested for HD Television and HD and SD Film to be delivered to the iTunes Store.

 

Still Apple products and tools are the only first class citizens of the ProRes ecosystem or were until now. Today an intrepid hacker released an open source reverse engineered ProRes decoder for FFmpeg. Now everyone trying ingest ProRes files is on an equal footing.

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Allegro DVT unveils Genova turnkey OTT solution : Flash/Smooth/HLS/WebM

Allegro DVT unveils Genova turnkey OTT solution : Flash/Smooth/HLS/WebM | Video Breakthroughs | Scoop.it

Allegro DVT has unveiled the Genova turnkey OTT solution and proposed an integrated headend running on blade servers at IBC2011 in Amsterdam.

 

The use of blade servers reduces the overall complexity of the system and makes routing, redundancy and administration simpler than in the past.

 

The Allegro DVT Genova software headend is a fast deployable turnkey solution for WebTV and OTT which embeds licenses for:

• Genova Live Transcoder, which provides live Web TV and OTT, to create a live multiscreen TV offer with playout on Adobe Flash, Microsoft Smooth Streaming, Apple HLS and WebM.
• Genova File Transcoder, which provides file-to-file batch assets conversion.
• Genova Fragmenter, which handles fragmentation and re-multiplexing of IP streams to commonly used Web TV and OTT formats.
• Genova Origin, a streaming server appliance.
• Genova Manager for redundancy and management.
• Support for single or distributed blade servers.

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