Authored by Emily Barrett, Elemental Community Ambassador
On a chilly December morning in 2013, ten Elemental employees arrived at the LIFT Urban Portland warehouse to spend a few hours stocking food donations and organizing shelves. I remember how humbled we were by the accomplishments of LIFT, which is an Oregon Food Bank Partner serving more than 150 families weekly at Preston’s Pantry; providing fresh produce for kids and families from Chapman Elementary under the Food for Kids program; and raising fresh produce in gardens to provide nourishment for low-income residents in Northwest Portland, the Pearl, Old Town/Chinatown and the West End. These individuals can sometimes be “invisible” in areas of growth and wealth, such as Portland’s booming downtown tech corridor.
Our work with LIFT was so satisfying that we resolved to do more! The gentler weather and bountiful produce typical of spring in Oregon makes it difficult to remember that we have neighbors who are hungry and food banks with spare shelves. So, in 2014, we shifted the timing of the annual Elemental Food Drive from December to May and proudly supported LIFT with 646 pounds of donated packaged goods and $1,829 in “virtual” food.
In 2015, the Elemental Food Drive was an even bigger success with the addition of a friendly challenge that included Jive Software and Puppet Labs. The competition focused on who could bring in the most food per employee. While I’m happy to report that yes, Elemental did take first place, the true winner was LIFT. Together, the three companies brought in more than 1,500 pounds of food and in excess of $7,500 in “virtual” food!
This year, Elemental’s partnership with LIFT has deepened considerably. In its first grant cycle, the Elemental Community Investment Fund (ECIF) awarded three local non-profits $10,000 annually for three years. To help combat hunger in the Portland community, we named LIFT as one of the beneficiaries. You can learn more about the ECIF here.
But we’re not going to stop there. With the enthusiastic support of our colleagues at the Technology Association of Oregon (TAO), we are opening up our annual food drive competition to all tech companies in Portland.
Here are the two simple steps you can take to get your company and peers involved and to make a huge impact for LIFT: provide TAO your headcount by May 1 and then encourage your employees to bring in as much food as they can by May 31. Donations can also be made virtually by going here.
This will be a great way to help support our neighbors in need – and to have some fun while we’re at it. And there’s a reward: a Belmont Coffee cart in the office for an afternoon in June, making espresso, latte, flat white, cafe au lait and more for your team. Please join us and give a LIFT to our neighbors in need!
Interested in getting more involved? Contact Katie at Lift Urban.
On Tuesday April 26, European soccer fans watched the UEFA Champions League semi-final match between Manchester City and Real Madrid streamed live in 4K on the BT Sport Ultra HD channel. This premium content is the culmination of the company’s successful bid in July 2015 for exclusive rights to deliver UEFA Champions league and Europa League soccer coverage to audiences across the UK. It also exemplifies how BT is bringing UHD to millions of viewers with the support of Elemental.
The company’s BT Sport portfolio has five channels including BT Sport Ultra HD, the first live sports 4K UHD channel in the UK and Europe. These channels all rely on Elemental Live software to deliver high profile sports content in addition to the UEFA Champions League and Europa League matches, including Barclay’s Premier League, Bundesliga, Rugby Union, MotoGP and the FA Cup. These sports channels are available to viewers through pay TV providers, cable and satellite operators, and BT IPTV. The BT Sport app, launched in August 2013, is one of the primary ways that 3.3 million households access this content. Overall, BT Sport viewership has increased 15 percent year over year, and more than half of the FA Premier League matches reached over one million viewers.
Beyond sports, BT offers its BT TV Everywhere Service to BT IPTV subscribers. Elemental live encoding, video management and video delivery power over 50 channels on this TV Everywhere service, which allows viewers to stream and watch live and on-demand content on a full range of devices and via the internet.
The Elemental team always looks forward to the NAB Show – the variety of events, interaction with customers, partners and colleagues, and the chance to showcase our video processing and delivery solutions on the show floor. This year, we are especially excited to present technology that enables enhanced video offerings and enriched viewing experiences. Here’s a brief preview of what to expect in Elemental booth SU2724 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, April 18-21:
Live Broadcasting from the Cloud
Elemental video solutions are deployable on-premises and in the cloud. During the show, Elemental will demonstrate broadcast-grade video processing and delivery hosted on cloud-based infrastructure for multi-channel linear TV services. Elemental solutions running in the cloud drive revenue-building opportunities with support for content monetization including server-side ad insertion, just-in-time packing and DRM, and live-to-VOD and other time-shifted TV services, while providing both the scalability and resiliency on which video providers depend.
High-Dynamic Range (HDR)
Elemental will showcase three different implementations of high dynamic range video to illustrate improved color space, deeper luminance and increased bit depth as compared to standard definition range video. Elemental-sourced 4K content features explorations in an ice cave, action in a glass blowing studio and a fire dancer performing in multiple settings. This content highlights how HDR closely approximates what is visible to the human eye in the natural world. Elemental is sharing its HDR content with technology partners at NAB – look for these ice, glass and fire video clips encoded by Elemental around the show floor.
Live Channel Playout
Elemental will unveil its live channel playout solution at the show, a software-based approach to linear 24/7 UHD broadcast channel creation featuring dynamic content control and motion graphic overlay. Dynamic content control enables seamless and scheduled source switching between live (IP or SDI) and file-based video inputs, regardless of resolution or frame rate. Elemental Live software can overlay static images and full frame rate motion graphics on video outputs to create static channel logos and animated overlays for promotional advertisements, squeeze back effects, news alerts or sports tickers to enhance the broadcast experience.
SDI over IP
Elemental will showcase software that provides media and entertainment companies with the ability to transport SDI streams over IP. The SMPTE 2022-6 standard specifies how to transport high bitrate signals not encapsulated in MPEG-2 transport streams over IP. In addition, Elemental provides support for SMPTE 2022-5 FEC (forward error correction) for lost packet recovery. Elemental software for live video processing can decode 3G/HD/SD uncompressed SDI over IP and configure and control network-sourced SDI inputs just as other inputs are handled today, with IP and SDI ingest monitoring and standard alerts.
If you plan to attend the NAB Show in Las Vegas, consider scheduling a meeting with Elemental in booth SU2724 to get a first-hand look at the advancements to our software-defined video solutions.