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Skylab Launches Video Publishing Platform
UK-based digital agency introduces MediaTank, an online video platform with simplicity in mind

Manchester, UK-based Skylab has launched a white-label video platform that aims to turn every company with a website into a broadcaster capable of delivering HD video to an online audience.

MediaTank, says Skylab, has been designed to help companies bring rich media to websites with an online broadcasting platform that can simply be bolted-on to existing sites.

Nigel CollierSays Skylab managing director Nigel Collier, "There are other more complex systems out there aimed at large scale video publishing but this is aimed at businesses from SMEs to large PLCs as well as media, film, and production companies.

"We've tried to design a really simple application which is nonetheless very, very rugged and reliable. Users can upload once and distribute many times to multiple sites rather than managing a multitude of different types of content. Content management is in their control."

Skylab will design and build a fully brandable and customizable one-page addition to a company website. This page may contain an unlimited number of channels, videos per channel, a viewing section, and a browsing section. Content can be switched on and off, metadata applied, or content syndicated to external sites such as YouTube with Skylab's content management system.

A broad range of files including AVI, WAV, Flash, MOS, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4 can be taken in, encoded to H.264 with storage on Amazon's cloud-based servers. Content delivery is also from Amazon, although any CDN can be hooked in.

There's a one-off installation cost, which includes the site build, testing, and staff training, then a monthly rental including license fee with the cost of delivery and encoding bundled in.

The frontend of the player is currently Flash, with an HTML5 version in development for distribution to iPhones among other devices.

Skylab MediaTank

A password-protected function would allow private sharing of online show reels or works in progress.

The platform has been trialed with communications agency SKV Communications, which will employ it to broadcast its client's portfolio of video news releases, corporate videos, and internet viral films.

A major broadcast related company is also likely to move into tests with the platform, Collier says.

Skylab was created in 2005 as a digital agency creating digital strategies and IP, websites, apps, social media, and film.

Clients include Manchester development agency MIDAS, British Swimming, Manchester Utd soccer club, ITV, and the BBC.

MediaTank is its first commercial product.