Sunnyvale, CA-based RGB Networks has acquired privately held RipCode in an all-stock deal and plans to incorporate RipCode’s technology for mobile IP video into its Video Multiprocessing Gateway (VMG).

Nearly all of RipCode’s 26 employees are being retained by RGB and will continue to operate out of RipCode’s office in Austin, Texas. RipCode will continue serving its existing customers and markets with its transcoder hardware and software products.

RGB announced its VMG in September 2009 as a hardware solution to enable video delivery to multiple devices. (For more on VMG). RGB intends to embed RipCode’s mobile video technology while it continues to trial the VMG solution.

"We’ve deployed (the VMG) in quite a few places," said Jef Graham, CEO of RGB Networks. "One challenge is, this is a change service to the people deploying it. It’s a big deal for them, so they’ve been very tight-lipped about it. Some of the trials are almost complete."

RipCode’s technology for converting live and on-demand video content to formats required for the mobile environment will add to RGB’s transcoding and ad insertion capabilities for TVs and PCs.

Explained Brendon Mills, CEO of RipCode, "We make products to take files or live content and transcode them to various screens and screen sizes."

RipCode also brings to the table its adaptive-streaming and progressive-download delivery technology, which allows mobile carriers to throttle video bitrates globally to help ensure 3G and 4G networks don’t get overwhelmed from the volume of video data.

"We can, on a session-by-session basis, adjust that bitrate on the fly for mobile carriers," said Mills.

How does this kind of mobile video delivery differ from over-the-top (OTT) video delivery as viewed already on Hulu and TV Everywhere websites?

Graham said OTT doesn’t have any means of managing the flow of the video or ensuring its quality. Also, content from Hulu and similar services is somewhat dated, and has been sitting in a storage device. "When you deliver on a managed network, you can offer TV-like service," he said

Convergence, consolidation

The VMG is RGB’s answer to providers’ needs to consolidate their headends and to build converged delivery networks to deliver IP video solutions that scale across all subscriber devices.

BigBand Networks is approaching convergence and IP video delivery with its Converged Video Exchange (CVEx) control plane software solution. (For CVEx).

And, as for consolidation at headends, Comcast has embarked on a major project with its converged multiservice access platform (CMAP). (For CMAP analysis and CMAP description).

Graham said RGB is a CMAP vendor, and the VMG chassis will be used with CMAP. But, he added, RGB’s announcement today of adding RipCode’s mobile video technology to its VMG is not directly related to the CMAP project.

-Linda Hardesty

The Daily

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