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Video Processing Perspectives

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Submitted by Laura on April 11, 2015

Software-defined video (SDV) solutions are shaping the next generation of linear TV service offerings for both content distributors and content programmers. Just last week, we announced that Comcast selected Elemental video processing software to power encoding for its X1 DVR with cloud technology. At the NAB Show this week, we will describe how Elemental software is powering video delivery for the recently deployed live streaming Shift by MSNBC channel.

Launched last fall, Shift by MSNBC allows viewers to watch live news events while simultaneously engaging with other members of the MSNBC community. By way of example, Jennifer Leung, Director of Product Development at MSNBC, cites the more than 1,600 tweets exchanged between Shift viewers during President Obama’s State of the Union address earlier this year. 

Building MSNBC Shift presented Jennifer and her team with a challenge: creating a 24 x 7 live channel without the luxury of existing infrastructure or dedicated personnel available to larger broadcast and cable networks. “What we’re really good at is content and we look for strong technology partners. We also had to keep in mind the limited resources we had available to us.” So Jennifer and her team turned to Elemental.

“Elemental has done an incredible job of coming to the table to really understand our business space and what it is we’re trying to achieve with Shift – and then architecting solutions that really make sense,” she says. “With any new technology implementation, there’s always going to be a steep learning curve. The support that our teams have received from Elemental has been phenomenal, including helping us sustain and operate the infrastructure we put into place.”

Jennifer characterizes MSNBC Shift as a stand-alone channel that gives the cable network a great playground for content. “We want to find ways to distribute that content to other platforms and actually start to build more interactive experiences with TV – which is ultimately where the majority of our eyeballs come from. With our video infrastructure, it’s about how to deliver personalized experiences and figuring out how we can get content to people that they care about. We’re seeking ways to enrich the experience surrounding the video and have a lot to look forward to in terms of building out new experiences.”

Elemental Delta supports the MSNBC Shift live-to-VOD workflow, making on-demand assets immediately available after the live stream is concluded. “There’s a lot of neat functionality coming out with Elemental Delta – such as time shifting and graphic overlays – which adds production value to the video we’re distributing on the Shift by MSNBC channel,” Jennifer says. “Elemental Delta is actually further improving our workflows because it’s able to capture the moments as quickly as they happen and distribute them on all platforms.”

"It's important to make sure content lives past the time of its being live. The great thing about the live-to-VOD workflow is that when someone visits Facebook after the State of the Union address, for example, to see this video even today, they would not just see the video, they would also see all of the conversation and context around it. And the conversation can continue. Those are the kind of experiences that Elemental Delta allows us to realize. Elemental solutions are what made the difference between our being a 9 x 5 operation and a 24 x 7 operation and workflows powered by Elemental Delta and Elemental Live make the difference for us in creating these new experiences," Jennifer summarized at the Elemental NAB press event on Saturday, April 12.

“Elemental is the best in class video solutions provider, committed to not just supporting video workflows and video infrastructure but really to partnering with customers and seeing through the successful business execution of initiatives such as Shift.”

With its software-defined video solutions, Elemental is integral to video processing and delivery workflows that alleviate the cost and complexity of keeping pace with continual industry transformation. Serving content owners such as MSNBC, as well as content distributors such as Comcast, puts Elemental in a rare position. We look forward to sharing solutions that support the entire content delivery chain with attendees at NAB 2015 in booth SU2724. To receive updates from the show floor, please follow us on Twitter.

Submitted by Lisa on March 24, 2015

Today Elemental is pleased to announce the expansion of our product line to support statistical multiplexing and enhanced management operations in large-scale video processing deployments. New capabilities enable broadcasters, content owners, pay TV operators and other service providers to implement flexible and scalable unified infrastructure that supports both traditional broadcast and multiscreen linear video delivery.

These product line additions are logical extensions to meet the needs of customers that have long used Elemental video processing for both real-time and on-demand adaptive bitrate streaming. In putting forward successful multiscreen offerings supported by Elemental software, customers have inquired as to how that same highly flexible software might benefit traditional video infrastructure and linear TV delivery. Our new offerings are not mere tweaks to our software stack, but additions that allow customers to turn on hundreds of linear channels quickly.

Software-defined video (SDV) solutions are shaping the next generation of linear TV service offerings. To alleviate the cost and complexity of keeping pace with continual industry transformation, operators are looking to software-based solutions that can be easily updated to accommodate technology advances and product enhancements. Elemental® Live encoding, used in conjunction with Elemental® Statmux and Elemental® Conductor management software, give operators the ability to implement video delivery workflows using flexible software in a unified infrastructure. This approach offers operational efficiencies for video distribution that fixed hardware infrastructure simply cannot match. Learn more from our Unified Linear TV Delivery white paper.

At NAB 2015, Elemental will demonstrate video processing and delivery workflows that integrate statistical multiplexing, end-to-end redundancy and multiscreen content delivery such that pay TV operators can architect unified headends for linear channel operations.

To help connect customers with our software solutions, Elemental is also pleased to welcome Todd Hinders to the role of vice president of sales for the Americas. Formerly of Cisco, Todd has extensive experience in the video software and encoding industries and will help bring Elemental solutions for unified infrastructure to pay TV operators and other service providers in North and South America.

Submitted by Laura on March 19, 2015

With 42 matches down - including the heart-pounding excitement of last night’s historic win for South Africa – attention to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 is growing as the knock-out rounds continue ahead of the March 29 final on the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Highest scorers in the intense six-week, 49-match global competition include the likes of Kumar Sangakkara, Brendan Taylor and Ab De Villiers with 496, 433 and 417 runs respectively. From an advanced technology and enhanced fan experience perspective, Tata Sky is another champion.

India’s leading direct-to-home (DTH) operator launched the first commercial 4K video service and set-top boxes in the subcontinent just ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. (Tata Sky is a joint venture between the TATA Group and 21st Century Fox.)

As the sole provider of software-based video processing for the Tata Sky 4K commercial delivery service, Elemental is helping to bring lucky Cricket fans equipped with 4K-capable televisions a view of native 4K content. Software-based Elemental® Live systems perform real-time video processing of Tata Sky 4K content in HEVC at 60/50fps for linear streaming to Tata Sky 4K set-top boxes.

While sports fans were also able to watch 4K broadcasts of the 2014 FIFA World Cup last June, the ICC Cricket World Cup broadcasts in 4K have a much broader scope.

We won’t dare to predict a winner, nor suggest a favorite to take home the Cricket World Cup 2015 trophy. But, on behalf of cricket and 4K fans everywhere, we will declare Tata Sky a winner.

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Elemental Technologies is the leading supplier of software-defined video solutions for multiscreen content delivery. Founded in 2006, Elemental is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.

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