The introduction of Apple’s iPad fewer than two years ago was a catalyst that spurred the introduction of video on hundreds of devices. But all that multi-screen video requires multiple versions of the same asset. As such, thePlatform and Comcast are using Elemental Technologies’ video processing to deliver the appropriate asset to different devices.
The Elemental Server file-based video transcoding solution is coupled with thePlatform’s cloud-based mpx video management system for multi-screen video delivery. (For more on mpx, click here).
Comcast is the first company to use the combined offering to deliver on-demand video to XfinityTV.com; and to the Xfinity TV app for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Elemental Server also provides the capability to support other IP-devices.
In addition to the need to produce different assets suitable for the screen sizes and resolutions of PCs, tablets and mobile devices, content companies also need to produce different iterations of those assets for adaptive streaming.
"Adaptive streaming creates multiple profiles of quality level and bit-rate level to deal with network congestion or CPU clogging," says Keith Wymbs, vice president/Marketing at Elemental Technologies. "It’s crazy; it is literally insane. We talked to one major content provider creating 240 different versions of one asset to cover the full possibility of stream-size technology, and different quality levels and network levels."
For Comcast, Elemental is creating 18 different profiles for each asset, targeting Apple and Microsoft Silverlight players.
"thePlatform is a content management system that manages the workflow of IP-connected delivery, prepares the assets, tags the assets, manages the assets," says Wymbs. "We actually change the asset. We do transcoding, which optimizes video for delivery to those different possible targets."
Content companies employing Elemental’s solutions include CBS, Disney and PBS. According to Wymbs, "We spent the first few years proving out our technology in the programmer space. We have now started to extend to the service provider market."
Elemental will exhibit its solutions for multi-screen video delivery at the CableLabs 2011 Summer Conference set for Aug. 7-10 in Keystone, Colo.
In separate but related news, Elemental is opening an office in England to handle its business with TF1 Group in France, WRN Broadcast in the United Kingdom, QVC in Italy and VMMa (Flemish Media Company) in Belgium.