BBC Works With Unified Streaming on New iPlayer Backend

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The BBC's iPlayer has seen strong growth, requiring the broadcaster to upgrade from its aging On Demand Production Service backend to a new system called Video Factory. One of the companies helping the BBC make the switch is Unified Streaming, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, which provided the software for on-the-fly packaging.

Video Factory launched on September 30, 2013. By the middle of this month, the BBC hopes to have the first live channels online, and by this summer the BBC should have all live content available -- all of which will rely on Unified Streaming's Unified Streaming Platform (USP).

Besides using USP for live linear channels, the BBC plans to use it for live events and video-on-demand (VOD) content, as well. The broadcaster has plans to stream live football, Commonwealth Games, and music festivals this summer, and is planning for viewing spikes of 600,000 viewers or more. VOD content will come in time, but for now the BBC is focusing on audio: USP supports 30 live BBC 1, 2, and 3 channels, as well as around 40 regional channels.

Video Factory is cloud-based. Live broadcasts are uploaded to the cloud where they are transcoded, then packaged for on-demand viewing or sent to a distribution service. USP supports adaptive bitrate streaming, Unified Streaming points out.

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