Elemental customer DIRECTV recently announced its newly launched 4K video-on-demand (VOD) service, making it the first multi-channel video provider to offer commercial 4K Ultra HD programming direct to customers’ TVs. The company also has an eye towards live 4K streaming as early as next year.
DIRECTV is a leading provider of digital television entertainment services, delivering a premium video experience to more than 32 million customers in the U.S. and Latin America. Through DIRECTV’s new 4K VOD service, subscribers are able to choose among nearly 30 titles from Paramount Pictures’ and K2 Communications, including a variety of new releases, popular films and nature documentaries.
DIRECTV selected Elemental video processing to bring its 4K content programming to market. Elemental® Server, a file-based transcoding solution, is used by DIRECTV to prepare 4K Ultra HD VOD content for delivery to customers who have DIRECTV Genie HD DVRs and supporting 2014 Samsung UHD TVs.
Together, Elemental and DIRECTV have been able to knock down many of the early barriers to launching a 4K service offering, including the use of HEVC, the latest video compression standard that halves the required bandwidth compared to earlier codecs, as well as 10-bit color depth to eliminate visible contouring and posterization effects.
From our perspective, as Ultra HD content gains a foothold in mainstream programming, a software-based approach to implementing video infrastructure ensures content providers such as DIRECTV can quickly scale to expand their 4K offers to include linear 4K channels and 4K streaming services.
With software-defined video solutions from Elemental, DIRECTV has the ability to adapt to a rapidly evolving market, meet consumer demand for superior video quality and an immersive viewing experience and fundamentally change the way people watch TV.
To learn more, join Elemental on December 17 for a live webcast focused on file-based video processing used by customers like DIRECTV, Warner Bros. and HBO for 4K encoding, large-scale library content conversion, live-to-VOD applications and cloud-based transcoding. Register for the event here.
At industry events this fall, Elemental has demonstrated Elemental Delta, a new video delivery platform that provides a complete solution for real-time content delivery, dynamic ad insertion, time-shifted TV services and live-to-VOD applications. To shed some light on the capabilities of this extension to our line of software-defined video solutions, we’ve spelled out some of the features and benefits offered by Elemental D-E-L-T-A.
Delivery to any screen
Just-in-time packaging enables a complete solution for time-shifted TV and real-time video delivery to address any type of content request, from any type of device.
Encryption and monetization
Ad insertion, replacement or removal and targeted advertising for both live and VOD content lets video providers efficiently monetize content. End-to-end encryption provides the highest levels of content security and protection.
Lower cost of ownership
Reduce IP distribution costs by delivering content best suited to current network conditions. Device and content-specific rules allow video to be optimized, resulting in the best user experience.
Time-shifted TV services
Capabilities include start-over and catch-up TV, nPVR, delayed TV, pause TV, and VOD asset creation from live linear feeds, enabling video providers to implement network-based TV services.
A combination of just-in-time packaging, origin services, intelligent caching, dynamic ad insertion, and end-to-end content protection in a single platform makes Elemental Delta an ideal solution to extend multiscreen video delivery.
Creating a workflow for live streaming large-scale events can be an enormously complex task. Broadcasters and other content providers have a multitude of choices in building out infrastructure that can efficiently and effectively format and distribute live video to consumers in a multiscreen world. In approaching the implementation of multiscreen service offerings, having confidence in the interoperability amongst components in the video delivery the workflow is key. This eases the way for video operators to focus on providing consumers with the best viewing experience possible.
Elemental is well known for its role in successfully streaming live video for major sporting events like the the 2011 Pan-American Games, the 2012 and 2014 Olympic Games, and most recently, the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. In many cases, the workflow design for live events with a global reach include both Elemental Live for video processing and Wowza Streaming Engine media server software for distribution. Interoperability between the two solutions allows customers to effectively bridge the gap between the camera and the end-user’s display.
Terra, the largest provider of Internet services in Latin America, provides a use case example that leverages both the power of Elemental video processing and the capabilities of Wowza Streaming Engine in a unified workflow. In its multiscreen deployment, Terra directs incoming broadcast feeds to Elemental Live software for encoding to five different profiles, which are then fed to Wowza Streaming Engine for distribution to CDN edge servers and to await RTMP, RTSP and HLS protocol requests. This approach allows Terra to prepare premium content for a wide range of viewing devices while minimizing required transmission bandwidth from the origin.
Together, Elemental and Wowza have implemented the interoperability to enable customers like Terra to deliver major live events to a widespread audience. To learn more about how to use Elemental Live encoding instances with Wowza Streaming Engine, Wowza offers a step-by-step guide to enable a connection and take advantage of the functionality Elemental Live provides.
Elemental Technologies is the leading supplier of software-defined video solutions for multiscreen content delivery. Founded in 2006, Elemental is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.