thePlatform has introduced Unified Ingest Service, a streamlined process for pay-TV operators to manage video and metadata for distribution across set-top boxes and connected/mobile devices.
thePlatform's co-CEO Marty Roberts told me that while operators are highly motivated to increase the breadth of their content offerings, they are challenged by the fact that ingest is still a largely siloed process depending on distribution channel (e.g. linear, VOD, IP video, etc.). As an example, Marty noted that in one operator's case, it is now taking in up to 16 different files for the exact same piece of content.
Given the explosion of distribution, the complexity and cost of content ingest has increased dramatically. This is also true for metadata, but yet another issue is that metadata for IP distribution is now often richer than for TV, given the push for search engine optimization. However, due to silos, this richer metadata doesn't get cycled back into TV-based viewer experiences.
Unified Ingest Service allows operators to receive one HD mezzanine file via terrestrial delivery which can be transcoded using thePlatform's optional mpx Accelerate services. Properly formatted video is then available for both set-top boxes and connected/mobile devices. In addition, metadata can be ingested from multiple sources and normalized. Metadata sources are parsed efficiently using ingest adapters.
Unified Ingest Service is available for thePlatform mpx customers. Marty said that it has already been deployed by one large operator and is being tested by another. For existing customers, other than an upfront integration fee, there's no ongoing cost for Unified Ingest Service.
(Note: thePlatform is a VideoNuze sponsor)