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A Sneak Peak Behind the 2012 GRAMMY Awards

One of the tacit benefits of working for a technology provider is the access it provides to cool events. Like the 2012 GRAMMY Awards.

Here’s how it came down: Our esteemed partner, AEG Digital Media, needed a way to stream and monetize its production of GRAMMY Live, a three-day webcast covering exclusive events, parties, and red carpet interviews.

Millions of viewers were anticipated, from around the world, logging in from all sorts of different devices – PCs, laptops, smart phones, tablets. That meant AEGDM needed a way to encode and deliver high-quality video, from multiple sources, to multiple devices, over a variety of available bandwidth.

Plus, the system needed to install flawlessly. There wasn’t a surplus of time available for working out kinks. And, it had to be something AEGDM could depend on 100%.

Which brings us to the Cisco AS8100 Series Media Processor. That’s what AEGDM – happy with previous experience with the product -- chose to perform the adaptive bit rate processing and streaming critical to viewers’ video experiences  and so to the success of the event.

(Pardon me here, but I wouldn’t be a Cisco person if I didn’t mention that the AS8100 is a part of our Videoscape platform. We built Videoscape to help our content and service provider partners to reinvent their TV offerings, by combining a variety of content and applications, from any source, into an immersive, personalized experience.)

To pull back the covers a bit further. The AS8100 encoded all the video from the GRAMMY into 8 different bit rate streams. This allowed each client device to pick (behind the scenes) the optimal bit rate stream, depending on the bandwidth available to each consumer, moment by moment. That way, each and every consumer got a personalized stream right-sized to deliver them the best possible video experience.

After the AS8100 encoded the content, the streams were injected onto a content delivery network (CDN) for streaming to a worldwide, connected audience. For three full days, GRAMMY Live delivered high quality video content, to millions of viewers around the globe.

All in, a great experience, especially for us everyday people who work at a tech-heavy company, without regular access to people like Adele. Thanks again, AEGDM!

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