Streaming Media West: The 50,000 Foot View From 6 Feet

"We can also save customers bandwidth since the encoding happens at the truck," said Martinez, "and this means fewer bits required to deliver the initial stream via IP one of our satellite links, which can then be mirrored on a traditional CDN."

On the new compression front, a company called XVD also showed off a new compression that the company says can scale from 64KB up to 2MB, and can do HD at around 6MB. The company sells most of its products as hardware, both encoders and decoders, in the broadcast space, where many users are leery of software-only solutions, but the codec itself can be licensed for use as software-only.

Mindful of the need to fit within the traditional broadcaster's transmission scheme, the company also says its compression can be wrapped in the MPEG-2 transport stream. While there wasn't any technical detail available, the company said they'll pass on a white paper with additional details which may warrant mention in a future article.

On the innovation front, Stream Group—from the south of the Netherlands, near the German border—showed off a product that allowed for overlaying advertisements and electronic programming guides over an IPTV signal.

"We wanted to come to this show to see what the progress of IPTV was in the United States," said Sander Bakker. "Our system has attracted interest in Europe, and we felt this show was a good one to get a pulse on the US market."

While there are still some limitations that might prohibit a consumer from freely choosing to flip to another channel to view the popup ad, such as no ability to automatically begin recording the TV show they were watching when the context-sensitive ad popped up, the technology is based on several previous attempts to provide interactive television, yet adds the social networking aspect to the mix.

"One of the modules we have created allows a friend who is watching a program, to send you a message," said Bakker. "The message appears as a small mail icon on the screen and suggests you watch a particular program. If you accept the suggestion, you are automatically taken to the channel that your friend was watching."

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