SeaWell Networks Secures Funding, Working on H.264 SVC Product


SeaWell Networks kindly requests that you remember its name.

The company is leaving stealth mode and announcing that it has raised $7 million in Series A funding. The funding round was led by BDC Venture Capital, one of the largest VC firms in Canada, with additional support by Northwater Capital and Ontario Centres for Excellence.

As for what exactly the company does, you'll need to wait a few months. The most that CEO Brian Collie can say is that it's creating an H.264 Scalable Video Codec (SVC)-based scalable solution that should simplify delivering media to three screens (HDTV, computer, and mobile), while driving down costs. SeaWell will sell licenses to its product and deliver it on appliances. For more on H.264 SVC, see Jan Ozer's post at his Streaming Learning Center blog.

A white paper on the company's site entitled "The Next Generation ofAdaptive Streaming," explains the benefits of H.264 SVC. While the technology is new, it's getting a lot of attention. It seeks to offer a scalable solution to content providers while also delivering a more satisfying experience to end users.

"It's a technology that's not necessarily a public name, but Jan Ozer predicted that it will be one of the top 10 technologies to watch this year," Collie said, referring to a blog post on AV Technology.

While there are other solutions to delivering video to multiple screens, says Collie, they don't reduce costs for the content provider, and they require that the provider create multiple versions of content. The benefit of H.264 SVC is that it lets the content owner encode once. Rather that creating multiple versionsot;../tiny_mce/themes/advanced/langs/en.js" type="text/javascript"> // -->of each video, it breaks the data into layers with each later adding more information.

SeaWell is based in Toronto, Canada, and was formed in September, 2008. It previously took seed funding from Northwater Capital and has been in stealth mode until now. Collie won't say how many employees the young company has, but will say that a formal product announcement with endorsements from major media companies will follow this summer.

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