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How to build a Netflix-like multiscreen OTT service (part 2) : panorama of available technical solutions

How to build a Netflix-like multiscreen OTT service (part 2) : panorama of available technical solutions | Mine | Scoop.it

Now that you intensively crawled through part 1 of this blog-post and asked yourself all the right questions intended to avoid common OTT-traps, we can safely presume that you are ready to spend some (or a lot of) time and money on launching your own multiscreen OTT service. So it’s definitely time to choose your bricks, mortar and trowels...

 

As multiscreen OTT/TV Everywhere offers do proliferate while each video tradeshow approaches and connected devices multiply, it’s difficult to monitor all of them and get a 100% accurate idea on who’s got the best offer. Basically your ideal technical partner will most likely be a unique target depending on your background (telco/content owner/TV channel…), your needs (target devices, business models, time to market…), your workflow constraints (CMS, billing, deployed transcoding engines, already deployed apps…) and your budget. Nevertheless, what I tried to do first is to isolate a list of actors whose offer is end-to-end and sufficiently versatile to cover the most common use cases and devices, then provide a complementary list with actors who provide less information but are also known in this market, and then wrap up the post with a bunch of ideas on how you could DoItYourself with less integrated/locking-in solutions. This way, you will end-up with a complete panorama of available technical solutions in mind.


Via Nicolas Weil, Patrick Lopez
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Ericsson Adapts to the TV Streaming Challenge

Ericsson Adapts to the TV Streaming Challenge | Mine | Scoop.it

Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) believes it has come up with a network-based approach to fix a bandwidth-sharing flaw with adaptive bit rate (ABR) streaming that tends to come into play when more than one video stream is delivered to the home.

The idea focuses on the familiar question of whether the intelligence behind a service belongs at the very edge -- the client device, in this case -- or deeper inside the network.

The problem with ABR is that the client device, such as a smartphone or tablet, is in charge of the bandwidth and isn't fair about how that capacity is allocated. If an iPhone is the first device on the home network to request a video stream, it will typically receive a high bit-rate version -- perhaps more than it really needs. Then, when a connected HD television requests a stream, it tends to get the scraps, resulting in a crummy-looking pixel-icious image.

After that, the devices typically end up battling over the available bandwidth, a situation that only worsens as more devices on the home network request streams. (See Adaptive Streaming's Primetime Challenge .)

Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) is trying to solve the problem by applying Weighted Fair Queuing (WFQ), a data packet scheduling technique, to ABR streams. Rather than putting the client in control, Ericsson wants to put those smarts out on the network to define how bandwidth is shared among the devices in the home. The bit rate could be dialed up for video that's streamed to connected TVs or via game consoles, and pinched down for smaller screens, such as tablets or smartphones.

The result, if it works as advertised, will ensure that bandwidth is shared fairly and that each device gets the appropriately sized stream.

"The whole idea is that the network would have a voice in the size of the segments that are being sent, versus blindly sending what the client is asking for," says Jim Alexander, Ericson's senior director of solutions architecture.

Ericsson is trying to tackle this problem at an important time. Cable operators, for example, are starting to use ABR streaming to deliver video to IP-connected devices. They like it because ABR helps to avoid buffering and keeps the video flowing by adjusting bit rates on the fly as bandwidth levels fluctuate. But they'll become less enamored with the technology if they have limited control of the quality as more and more video streaming devices get attached to a subscriber's home network. (See Cable Adapting to Video's Streaming Future and Dish Makes Its Adaptive Streaming Move.)

Ericsson's approach would place control with proxy servers on the network, and would do so without deep packet inspection. In one scenario, the system could work in tandem with a simple dashboard that lets customers register devices and determine how they should be prioritized from a bandwidth perspective. The connected TVs in a given home would probably be at the top of such a list.

But creating such a dashboard will require some serious experimentation. Ericsson's WFQ-based approach is still in the "investigation stage," according to Brad Ferris, Ericsson's head of portfolio management for solution-area media, and the company isn't speculating on when it will be ready for prime time.

Ericsson will demonstrate what it's put together so far at next week's Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) Cable-Tec Expo in Orlando.


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RGB Networks Expands Multiscreen Delivery and Monetization Solution

RGB Networks Expands Multiscreen Delivery and Monetization Solution
Addition of Encoding and TransAct Enhancements Strengthen
eVIA Multiscreen IP Video Delivery Ecosystem
SUNNYVALE, CALIF. – September 4, 2012 – RGB Networks, the leading provider of scalable multiscreen IP video delivery solutions, today announced the expansion of its Enhanced Video Intelligence Architecture (eVIA) to include the newly upgraded TransAct Encoder/Transcoder. Adding integrated encoding to RGB’s existing TransAct Transcoder product, the new TransAct Encoder/Transcoder now offers the ability to ingest uncompressed SDI-sourced live content, as well as IP and file input, for live or on-demand IP video delivery to smartphones, tablets, PCs and connected TVs, as well as traditional set-top boxes. In combination with hardware and software enhancements to the TransAct family for improved video quality and reliability, RGB’s eVIA multiscreen solution remains on the leading edge of IP video technology.
TV Everywhere services are rapidly becoming a required complement to traditional video experiences, and subscribers are increasingly expecting the same high quality, choice and variety of services. As such, video service providers (VSPs) need to be able to navigate the challenges of this new IP world, expand their services to include the delivery of both live and on-demand video to any IP video-enabled device, and subsequently reap the benefits of multiscreen’s rapid evolution.
The enhancements to RGB’s eVIA multiscreen delivery and monetization solution strengthen RGB’s TV Everywhere ecosystem and enable VSPs to prepare for the next phase of multiscreen. This robust suite of products, with a wide range of encoding, transcoding, packaging and ad insertion capabilities, includes RGB’s award-winning Video Multiprocessing Gateway (VMG), TransAct Packager and TransAct Encoder/Transcoder. The upgraded TransAct Encoder/Transcoder rounds out eVIA’s capabilities with encoding and file-to-tile transcoding. These capabilities complement the robust real-time transcoding capabilities of RGB’s VMG and the flexible packaging offered by the TransAct Packager, providing VSPs with a comprehensive multiscreen IP video solution.
“The addition of the newly revamped TransAct Encoder/Transcoder to our eVIA ecosystem, gives providers the key building blocks they need to stay on the leading edge of multiscreen video delivery,” said Nabil Kanaan, Sr. Director, Product Marketing for RGB Networks. “The strengthening of eVIA opens up new opportunities for video service providers to develop compelling live and on-demand services, which increase both subscriber retention and revenue-generation, and ultimately ease their transition to a monetized, multi-device video environment.”
The enhanced TransAct Encoder/Transcoder offers versatility with a variety of input/output choices, including SDI input and output for live video, packaged formats such as Apple HLS, Microsoft Smooth Streaming, Adobe HDS, MPEG DASH or RTMP, or mezzanine format for just-in-time packaging. Offering industry-leading density of up to four HD-SDI inputs per one rack unit platform, the highly scalable TransAct Encoder/Transcoder offers ease of integration to fit into a variety of different environments. Offered on RGB’s Application Media Server (AMS) platform, the product provides carrier-class reliability, with hot swappable power supplies and fans, as well as redundant Ethernet interfaces.
The TransAct family’s updated compression engine offers enhanced H.264 compression tools for high-quality video encoding. In addition, RGB’s TransAct Encoder/Transcoder offers the widest array of audio/video codecs for encoding or transcoding, as well as extensive audio capabilities, such as loudness correction. Furthermore, RGB’s TransAct Commander provides multi-node management through a converged headend, enabling clustering and chassis-level N:M redundancy, while also controlling encoding redundancy with upstream SDI switchers.
A demonstration of RGB’s complete eVIA solution can be seen at IBC, September 7-11, 2012 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The RGB team will be available at stand #4.C78 throughout the show to provide a hands-on demo and more details about RGB’s multiscreen video delivery and monetization capabilities.


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Skyfire raises $10 mln for Europe, Asia push

Skyfire raises $10 mln for Europe, Asia push | Mine | Scoop.it

Skyfire Secures $10 Million in Series D Funding to Fight
Mobile Warming Across the Globe
Panorama Capital leads latest fundraising round to accelerate global growth of Skyfire's video
optimization and mobile cloud solutions into European and Asian markets
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – October 11, 2012 – Skyfire, a leader in mobile video optimization and
cloud solutions for mobility, today announced it has raised $10 million in its Series D financing to
fuel the company’s expansion into Europe and Asia.
With mobile video consumption expected to rise steeply over the next three years, Skyfire aims to
battle what its CEO Jeff Glueck has coined 'mobile warming,' or the strain put on mobile networks
that are dealing with exponentially greater data use. The Skyfire Rocket Optimizer, the company’s
powerful carrier-grade network video and data optimization platform, provides breakthrough
bandwidth savings for wireless operators, with an average of 60 percent data savings for videos
and 50 percent for images. Skyfire is currently being deployed to deliver optimized video to tens
of millions of Americans through its Tier One operator client base.
Panorama Capital, a new investor in the company, is leading the round with participation from
current Skyfire investors Verizon Ventures, Matrix Partners, Trinity Ventures, and Lightspeed
Venture Partners. Skyfire will use these funds to meet the demands of its growing list of wireless
operator customers and to increase its global sales and marketing resources, with further
aggressive expansion within Europe and into Asia. The company plans to scale its team and hire
staff to cover existing relationships and new opportunities in Eastern Europe, Japan, Southeast
Asia and Australia, thereby adding to its London and Silicon Valley offices.
“With the current boom in mobile video, we believe Skyfire’s cloud-based data optimization
technology represents a disruptive advancement that will change the economics for wireless
operators around the world,” says Shankar Chandran, a founding partner at Panorama Capital.
“Data deluge is crushing mobile operators, straining the user experience, and squeezing
operating margins,” says Jeff Glueck, CEO of Skyfire. “Operators in Europe have announced that
bandwidth on 4G LTE networks is being filled 85% by video alone. Our new funding lets Skyfire
take our proven technology in North America to new regions on a global scale.”
Skyfire continues to innovate on other cloud-powered products as well, with the recently launched
Skyfire Horizon browser extension platform. Skyfire Horizon allows users to customize their
default mobile browsers with extensions, plug-ins, and toolbars similar to how consumers
currently personalize their desktop browsers. A Tier One North American carrier has deployed the
Skyfire Horizon platform across their upcoming lineup of Android-powered mobile devices.


Via Patrick Lopez
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