Streaming Media Europe: The Buzz from the Expo Floor
A look at some of the highlights on the Streaming Media Europe Expo floor, including StreamUK, Haivision, Mobile Viewpoint, 1080 Media, Connected Home Academy, CasterStats, Make.tv, Xtstream, Vision247, and Telestream
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Here's a round-up of some of the products and services making a buzz on showfloor on day one. Access to the expo at Streaming Media Europe is free, and will be open from 10:00 - 16:00 on Wednesday, 17 October, so come join us at the Olympia Conference Centre in London to learn more.

StreamUK

StreamUK is promoting media management platform StreamMP and in particular the TRIBAL technology within it. TRIBAL is an acronym for a toolset targeted at growing online fan communities. It includes options for social media, real-time sharing, intelligent integration into web CMS, and video workflows, branding, and analytics.

The company’s flagship client is Liverpool Football Club, of which there is a demo. “The key message is that through TRIBAL and the management of YouTube channels—which we recently added to our portfolio—we get a bigger audience and thereby more value to media content,” CEO Duncan Burbidge says. “It makes it much easier to provide a premium service for owners who can see a ROI on the quality they are serving their customers.”

He added: “StreamMP is built on the Kaltura codebase and we bring over 12 years of European experience and an in-house development team that solves technical problems in Europe time zones.”

The company has grown 35% in the last year and has a new office in MediaCity, Salford, the better to service another of its key clients, the BBC.

Burbidge revealed that StreamUK is on the verge of a deal with a German company and also with a UK soccer league. Other clients include newspaper group The Guardian, which both make use of Stream Crowdsourcer to manage the ingest, transcode, and curation of video, and Yahoo, which has deployed Stream Connect for live webcasts across Europe.

At Streaming Media, Burbidge says he is keen to learn more about the syndication of video content—which deals work and which ones don’t. “The management of syndication and how to leverage YouTube is a big theme for us so long as you can retain a quality OVP.”

Haivision

Haivision is demonstrating internet streaming and enterprise IP video distribution solutions, which says CMO Peter Maag, “are aimed at unleashing the full power of live streaming.”

New from Haivision at the show is the Linux version of its software-based encoder/transcoder for adaptive bitrate (ABR) streaming. The device, says Maag, is ideal for streaming live events, and distance learning. KulaByte is based on H.264 and natively supports both RTMP playback devices and HLS supported by iPhone and iPad, as well as STBs such as the Roku streaming player.

Also displayed is the HyperStream Live SaaS, a Cloud-based streaming platform which transforms live internet streams into the formats and data rates suitable for multi-device distribution. This, explains Maag, is designed to reduce the cost and complexity of OTT delivery.

“The pay-per-use live Cloud transcoding software features adaptive bit rate (ABR) technology to automatically scale distribution based on bandwidth availability without the need for any additional hardware,” he says. HyperStream also allows users to establish live transcoding and stream management instances automatically within Amazon’s eight EC2 regions and provides connectivity to the Akamai HD Network.

Mobile Viewpoint

The experience gained during its support of the BBC's coverage of the Olympic torch relay this summer, led Mobile Viewpoint to develop a product that combines an extendable antenna with off-the-shelf USB modems.

The WMT-Bold was launched at IBC and is being exhibited here alongside backpack technology featuring 8 modems, a smaller version with 4 as well as an iPhone client.

“Everybody has something to start with and then they can build out to bigger systems,” said Michel Bais, MD.

The Dutch live video via bonded 3G/4G [also known as CellMux] provider faces competition from LiveU and Teradek among others, but Bais says the company's tech is unique.

“We have a proven low latency of 2 seconds and we are using industrial modems and external antennas to deliver a more technological product, something that works very well in all conditions instead of making a cheap box,” he said.

Bais is also eyeing the UK as it begins to rollout a nationwide 4G network from 2013. “3G is not good enough to get sustained high quality video so 4G will make that easier and also to get sustained live coverage from stadiums and higher capacity areas.”

The WMT-Bold combines an embedded hardware encoder in a cassette sized pack for attaching to a camera or carried on the person, and off-the-shelf USB 3G, 4G, CDMA2000 and Wimax modems which are located in a separate antenna array to provide the highest possible gain.

The tech was recently reviewed comprehensively by Dom Robinson here.

1080 Media

1080 Media is showcasing its own mobile, "go anywhere," 3G HD transmitting system that CEO Clifford Webb says, can replace large SNG uplink trucks for live streaming and broadcasting.

Launched a month ago, the Wireless Multiplex Transmitter (WMT) unit bundles eight 3G mobile channels from various network operators into one signal for up-linking video.

“The system constantly selects the best quality signal from each of the cards to ensure the best continuous uplink signal,” explained Webb. “It's a totally portable system. It has an extendable 2 metre antennae, transmitting live video [and/or audio] or store and forward.”

It can be configured as a "one-to-one" feed for transmission to a broadcast network MCR, or through 1080 Media's own IT system.

Also highlighted is the firm's multimedia provision for the Mayor of London’s 2012 Festival of events which took place throughout London, June through September. 1080 Media and partners provided comprehensive photo and video coverage of the event and, with TVEverywhere, created a bespoke online Content Management System to make content available to meet press office and social media requirements, while also recording them for posterity for the Greater London Authority.

Connected Home Academy

IT and telco training specialist Perpetual Solutions is exhibiting under the Connected Home Academy brand, which Sam Hurrell, IPTV Learning Program Director, explains, provides training and education to the telecoms and broadcast industries around Connected Home technologies.

“Our training programmes encompass technical overviews to deep level ‘hands-on’ engineering courses around classic managed IPTV to unmanaged OTT TV and everything from video encoding and head-end to content protection and DRM, Home Area Networking, VoIP to ZigBee,” he says.

“Anyone looking to extend their understanding of streaming media or the Connected Home environment, at either a business or technical level should come and hear how we've helped customers such as BT, Sky, Cisco, Ericsson and Akamai expand their critical skills base,” says Hurrell.

“The greater opportunity will exist for those first movers who gain the knowledge and skills more quickly than their competitors allowing them to enter markets with less competition. The Connected Home Academy exists to accelerate access to those skills within organisations.”

CasterStats

Visitors can view WebDashboard, a just launched realtime browser-based audience analysis tool from CasterStats, the brand of audience measurement software from Belgium's Touchcast.

“The CasterStats Dashboard Desktop was a single-user Windows product and the new web tool allows users to follow the evolution of an audience in realtime from any location,” says the company's Jean-Luc Halleux. Analysis includes number of listeners/viewers per channel, bandwidth, audience geolocation (country, region, city), players used and more.

“The WebDashboard and WebReporter are ideal for stream hosting companies and CDN's who want to offer professional audience statistics at a competitive price to their clients,” says Halleux.

With the CasterStats Reporter and CasterStats Server product broadcasters can obtain detailed historical reports about audiences per day, per week, per quarter or per year and can compare any period of time with another period. The products are also offered as a SaaS.

Another good reason to come by the stand is to obtain a personal copy of the Free Audience Measurement Dictionary – AKA the CasterStats Glossary – helpful for anyone's understanding of the experts when they talk AQH, AAS, ATS, peaks, ATH or TTS.

Make.tv

Make.tv is highlighting its web-based studio for multi-camera live production over IP. Designed to replicate and relocate all the functions of a traditional outside broadcast vehicle within a web-browser, its software is aimed at the growing demand among users all the way from corporates to sports franchises for cost-saving decentralised production of live events.

“It's designed like TV production van where all the inputs from webcams, professional cameras or uploaded pre-recorded videos can be viewed for live mixing or editing,” explained Suha Geisler, CTO.

The Cologne, Germany-based outfit offers several additional tools outside of its central Studio package including a new and free iPhone app that permits streaming of live video from the device.

It also has a neat way of incorporating audience interaction inside a show either through an instant feedback voting widget or even personalised participation.

“Individual viewers just have to grant access to their webcam and their video will appear integrated into the live stream,” he said.

Xstream

Copenhagen-HQ'd Xstream is demoing its end-to-end online video platform, MediaMaker, inviting visitors to learn how they can build a customized OTT TV and multi-screen TV business.

Specifically, visitors will get a demonstration of Xstream’s deployed Smart TV apps and its just introduced white label smart TV app.

In addition, visitors can get their hands on the company's revamped Shop module which has been enhanced “to meet the demand for increasingly customised and classy, online video business models, including, TVOD, SVOD, AVOD,” says Frank Thorup, CEO.

“We want our clients to focus on what they do best, and we’ll provide them with the tools, software and architecture for getting there. The unique payment, billing and Shop module features enable clients to create their own, customised, business model right out of the box. This is a crucial factor for our clients and our success.”

The Shop module in the MediaMaker OVP features solutions such as pay-per-view for live or on-demand shows, download-to-own, pricing templates, configuration of season passes for TV shows and the ability to create bundles for movies or TV content, including the generation of vouchers or gift-cards and other subscriber targeted promotions.

“Basically everything a provider needs and wish for to create and implement a vast range of business models for their online video service,” says Thorup.

Vision247

TV and IPTV solutions business Vision247 comes to Streaming Media Europe fresh from its double win at the IBC Connected TV Awards. The company was named Best New CDN and best Service Delivery Technology for its Freeview Connected TV platform, and Best TV Service Delivery for its XtremeIPTV platform.

These technologies are demonstrated on the stand alongside solutions for live video streaming, VOD and interactive broadcast and a mobile app for Roku, shortlisted for the Best TV app at the Appster awards.

The company's portfolio combines broadcast playout operations with the Xtreme OVP and full CMS targeted at OTT distribution. It even has its own CDN.

“We believe in developing the core tool kit because we want in-house control,” says CEO John Mills. “For example, if people want to launch channels OTT instead of just redistributing one that exists on satellite our platform is geared up. We think that is the way the world will go. When you have three billion connected TV devices expected to be shipped by 2016 this huge audience potential is matched with the growth of an OTT ‘open market’ broadcasting platform where content owners can also broadcast, not just existing channels or network owners.”

Given this trend, Mills questions whether the app model of content delivery on Connected TVs is one that consumer's really want. “People still want channels, particularly if you can deliver a channel in a way that allows fully integrated catch-up TV and even future picks from the schedule. Since we already do playout, we are well positioned.”

Telestream

Telestream features transcoding and live streaming solutions including its new product for adaptive bitrate streaming / OTT multiscreen delivery, Vantage Transcode Multiscreen.

This, says the company, accelerates multi-bitrate H.264 transcoding and packaging for multiscreen video delivery. Vantage includes market-specific transcoding solutions that can be used standalone or integrated into the more extensive Vantage workflow.

Telestream is also showing new features for Wirecast which enables capture, live production, and encoding of live streams for broadcast to multiple servers and platforms. Version 4.2 includes a virtual camera output that allows it to be picked up by any device or software that takes a camera source, such as Skype and Google Hangouts.

Its Episode video encoder, also on show, can now be integrated with Premiere Pro’s timeline to benefit users of Adobe Creative Suite; as well as with the media management system of Axle Video, a US-start-up.

“We understand the complexities of file format conversion, IP-based media exchange, metadata handling and compatibility between devices,” says Barbara DeHart, VP marketing. “Whether your needs are file-based video transcoding and delivery or live streaming production, Telestream has solutions to help simplify your workflow.”

Visitors can take away an “educational package”—a collection of white papers—including The Essentials of Video Transcoding and the Guide to Adaptive Bitrate Streaming.

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