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Monday, November 24, 2014

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Analysis for 'Encoding'

  • Encoding.com Raises $3.5 Million Series B From Harmonic and Existing Investors

    Cloud-based encoding company Encoding.com has raised a $3.5 million Series B round led by video infrastructure provider Harmonic, with participation by existing investors. The new round brings to $8 million the total capital raised by the company.  

    The investment follows a partnership announced last April between the companies in which Encoding.com integrated Harmonic's ProMedia Carbon transcoding solution. That deal allows content providers and distributors who already use Carbon on-premise to tap into Encoding.com's Carbon deployment to meet transcoding demand spikes.

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  • Encoding.com and Harmonic Partner For Cloud Transcoding

    Encoding.com and Harmonic have announced a partnership to offer unlimited cloud-based transcoding to content and service providers to convert broadcast-quality content into numerous other media formats for multi-screen delivery.

    Jeff Malkin, president of Encoding.com told me that there are 2 principal benefits of the partnership: 1) existing Harmonic ProMedia Carbon customers can use their presets/profiles to easily augment their own on-premise encoding infrastructure when workloads increase by utilizing Encoding.com cloud capacity, and 2) for new customers who want to tap use cloud transcoding instead of building their own infrastructure, they can use Encoding.com. In both situations transcoding costs and time to market are reduced.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #196 - 3 Key Themes from IBC

    I'm pleased to present the 196th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. Colin was at the big IBC event in Amsterdam last week and today we discuss 3 of his key themes: how Amazon Web Services (AWS) has become deeply immersed in the online video industry, the rollout of HEVC (high efficiency video coding) plus 4K TV, and the prevalence of multi-screen video solutions.  

    Colin explains how AWS has succeeded in online video, particularly with cloud-based transcoding that leverage its elastic computing resources. This is a theme I hear repeatedly as well and wrote about recently with T3Media's integration with AWS.

    Colin then discusses how HEVC is rolling out, but notes continued industry reservations about 4K TV. Last, Colin observes that multi-screen video solutions were on display everywhere at IBC. With the rise of mobile phones, tablets and connected TV devices, multi-screen has become mainstream. One thing Colin notes was nowhere to be found at IBC was 3D, which he views as now dead on arrival.

    Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 2 seconds)


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  • VideoNuze Podcast #186 - 4K TV & HEVC Rollouts; DVR vs. SVOD; Curved TVs

    I'm pleased to present the 186th edition of the VideoNuze weekly podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. Colin attended a CDN conference earlier this week first shares observations on the potential long-term rollout of 4K TV and HEVC, along with the deployment of Netflix's Open Connect CDN based on conversations with Netflix and Time Warner Cable.

    Next we turn to data from NPD earlier this week indicating that for watching TV shows, DVR usage is more than twice as popular as SVOD services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon, which I wrote about earlier this week. Colin caveats the data, noting that in SVOD-specific homes he believes the usage is stronger than NPD suggests.

    Lastly we touch on news that Samsung will be selling curved TVs, for $13K apiece. Colin and I are skeptics, to say the least.

    Listen in to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (16 minutes, 28 seconds)




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  • VideoNuze Podcast #175 - NABShow 2013 Observations

    I'm pleased to present the 175th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. This week Colin and I attended NABShow 2013 in Las Vegas, where we had a booth and recorded 20+ video interviews with industry executives, which we'll post over the next couple of weeks.

    Through the interviews and other on-site discussion, we came away with a number of observations, which we share today. We focus specifically on the trend toward live event / live linear streaming, what's coming up with HEVC encoding and whether 4K TV will fly. All of these were omnipresent topics/questions at NABShow.

    Listen in to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (16 minutes, 39 seconds)




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  • eyeIO's Encoder Gets First-Ever THX Digital Video Certification

    If you've been watching streaming video for as many years as I have, then no doubt you agree that one of the most remarkable changes has been the quality of video delivered. It wasn't that long ago when postage stamp sized windows with audio and video out of synch were the norm, whereas today, we can watch on big screen TVs, with buffering a random occurrence.

    But the quality bar is getting even higher as this morning eyeIO ("I-I-O"), an early stage video processing technology company, is announcing it has been awarded THX certification for digital cinema HD video quality, a first for an online video encoder. The certification program objectively tests picture quality using 46 data points in 6 categories that were developed by the major Hollywood studios. A score over 90, on a scale of 100, is viewed as "THX Excellent Quality." eyeIO achieved a score of 95.528 for its H.264 first-generation encoder, when streaming at a rate of 5.8 mbps.

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  • upLynk Debuts Next-Gen HD Encoding Platform; Lands Disney/ABC

    upLynk is debuting its HD Adaptive Streaming Platform this morning, a next-gen spin on encoding and playback which reduces content providers' capex and opex for delivering high-quality video to multiple devices. As validation of its approach, upLynk is also announcing that Disney is using upLynk for its ABC Player, ABC Family and Watch Disney TV Everywhere apps.

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  • thePlatform Unveils "Smart Workflow" to Accelerate Video Formatting and Delivery [VIDEO]

    A recurring theme in the video industry this year has been the proliferation of video-enabled devices and fragmentation of viewing. This has resulted in vastly increased complexity for content providers to prepare and deliver the properly formatted video efficiently and cost-effectively to all these devices. Recognizing this escalating challenge, online video platform provider thePlatform is announcing new "Smart Workflow" features in its mpx video publishing system this morning, to accelerate the formatting and delivery of video to multiple devices.

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  • Brightcove Accelerates Transcoding-to-Playback Cycle with New "Instant Play" Service

    Brightcove is announcing a clever new cloud-based transcoding service this morning that allows users to begin playing back a video even before its entire file has been transcoded. Dubbed "Zencoder Instant Play" (for the transcoding company Brightcove recently acquired), the service gives content providers with time-sensitive video the key benefit of a faster publishing cycle. In areas like news and sports, this could mean establishing an early lead in viewership and monetization for breaking stories.

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  • Encoding.com Replaces Revision3's Encoding Systems [VIDEO]

    Yesterday, Encoding.com announced that Revision3 (which was recently acquired by Discovery) is replacing its in-house encoding infrastructure with Encoding.com. The win is a validation of Encoding.com's vision for its cloud-based, encoding-on-demand service model as more scaleable and cost-effective vs. the traditional approach of media companies operating their own encoding systems.

    Jeff Malkin, Encoding.com's president and I caught up at the recent NABShow. Jeff discusses why over 3,000 companies across multiple industries have elected to work with the company for their encoding needs. Encoding.com is also moving into TV Everywhere, to support longer-form video encoding for multiple device delivery. Watch the video below (5 minutes, 58 seconds)

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  • Elemental Raises $13 Million for International and Product Expansion

    Elemental Technologies, which has developed an innovative GPU-based video processing technology, has raised a $13 million Series C round led by Norwest Venture Partners, to fund international and product expansion. Total financing raised to date is $29.6 million. Elemental's CEO and co-founder Sam Blackman told me yesterday that the company racked up "8-digits" in revenues last year, up from "7-digits" in the two prior years, and has been close to being cash flow positive for the last couple of quarters.

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  • Brevity Aims to Disrupt Transcoding Workflows [VIDEO]

    An interesting new company named Brevity came out of stealth mode here at the NABShow this week. Its V3 technology transcodes large video files during highly accelerated transport from one location to another without any degradation of quality. The company is aiming to disrupt traditional production workflows which it considers expensive and inefficient.

    Given the push to higher resolution and longer-form video, along with multi-screen delivery, Brevity's time savings and simplification is an exciting prospect for content creators. V3 will be available at the end of Q2.

    Brevity's COO, Timothy O'Brien explains Brevity's approach in detail in the following video.

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  • Netflix Deal Puts Startup eyeIO's Encoding Platform in Spotlight

    Some start-ups go to great lengths for visibility before ever launching a product or landing a customer, whereas others stay completely below the radar until they have big concrete news to share. Squarely in the latter category is eyeIO (never mind the awkward name) an "ultra-low-bandwidth" encoding technology provider that has a bare bones web site, but does have a very high-profile first customer in Netflix. Yesterday, Rodolfo Vargas, eyeIO's CEO and co-founder and Charles Steinberg, another co-founder updated me, though they are still playing things pretty close to the vest.

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  • Encoding.com Integrates Vid.ly and Rolls Out Future-Proofing

    Encoding.com has integrated its Vid.ly video platform directly into the Encoding.com interface, thereby bringing together the two services that had previously stood alone. As a result, Encoding.com customers have the option of using Vid.ly as well or instead of the Encoding.com service. Jeff Malkin, Encoding.com's president explained to me last week customers can now flexibly decide whether they want to host their video themselves (Encoding.com option) or just have URLs created to embed in their sites (the Vid.ly option). Given resource constraints for many customers, Vid.ly is often a preferred route.

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  • Sorenson Releases Squeeze Server 1.5 With Full Adaptive Bit Rate Support

    Sorenson has released Squeeze Server 1.5, an enterprise transcoding solution. The key new feature is support for Adobe Dynamic Streaming and Microsoft Smooth Streaming, in addition to Apple HTTP Adaptive Streaming which was already supported. As a result Squeeze Server 1.5 can now optimize for all three of the primary adaptive bit rate streaming platforms.

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  • Encoding.com Introduces "Instant Encoding" That Works During Download

    Service provider Encoding.com is continuing to push the bar by introducing today the beta version of "Instant Encoding" - a new process which begins encoding the video file while it is being downloaded, as opposed to waiting until it is entirely delivered before starting the process. According to Encoding.com's tests, the result is an average 30% acceleration in encoding, with larger files achieving up to 100% acceleration. Instant Encoding is available to customers with the addition of an API call. The best part is Encoding.com isn't charging anything extra for the feature. Faster encodes of course means quicker time to availability, which is a key differentiator for media companies trying to distinguish themselves in a social media dominated world.

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  • 63% of Online Video Now Available in HTML5

    MeFeedia released some interesting research this week, reporting that the universe of online video it indexes (30 million videos at 30,000 sites), shows the percentage of video that is HTML5 compatible is now up to 63%. The key HTML5-compatible formats are H.264, WebM and Ogg. Video formats were already a confusing terrain before Google jumped into the mix by acquiring On2 Technologies and open-sourcing its VP8 codec as WebM.  Then, earlier this year it announced that its Chrome browser would drop support of H.264, in favor of WebM. Meanwhile, the iPad, which doesn't support Flash has sold 15 million units in the past year, putting even more pressure on content developers to work outside of Flash. The 63% figure, up from 10% a year earlier, suggests that is indeed happening.
     
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  • Vid.ly Makes Sharing Videos To Mobile Devices a Snap

    If you've ever sent one of your "must see" video clips around to friends or family, only to have them exasperatingly tell you "It didn't play for me!" when they tried accessing it on their mobile device, then a clever new service called Vid.ly is going to make you smile. Vid.ly's mission is to radically simplify the video transcoding and playback process so that virtually all mobile devices or browsers can play any video - regardless of their original format. Given the confusing proliferation of formats - Flash, WebM, HTML5, etc. and devices (iOS, Android, Blackberry, game consoles, etc.) that is a significant value proposition.

    Vid.ly's special appeal to consumers is that it puts a familiar URL-shortening, social media-friendly front-end on Encoding.com's cloud-based transcoding capability, which has been battle tested by 1,000+ content providers to date. But whereas URL shorteners like Bit.ly primarily focus on making very long URLs shorter and therefore more manageable for social media use, Vid.ly actually addresses the underlying playability of the video and also provides a short URL.

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  • Sorenson Enters Cloud-Based Encoding Market for Enterprises

    Sorenson Media is entering the cloud-based encoding market with the launch today of its new Sorenson Squeeze Server, targeted to enterprise users. The opportunity for cloud-based encoding has heated up recently as the number of end-user devices and encoding requirements has exploded, dramatically increasing encoding complexity for content providers. Concurrent improvements in cloud infrastructure have made non-hosted solutions more attractive.

    Sorenson Media's COO Eric Quanstrom explained to me last week that a key differentiator of the Squeeze Server is dedicated server instances, thereby avoiding potential slowdowns associated with shared servers and also offering unlimited scalability. Squeeze Server uses Amazon's web services infrastructure and guarantees 99.9% uptime.

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  • Encoding.com Now Offering Expanded Codec Support for HTML5

    HTML5 is gaining further momentum today as leading cloud encoding provider Encoding.com is now supporting the WebM and Ogg Theora video codecs, adding to its longstanding support for H.264. As a result, customers can now choose "presets" for these codecs so that all browsers and devices supporting HTML5 will be able to seamlessly playback video.

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