Instead of increasing the volume of new product announcements coming out of IBC 2016, this blog will focus on what’s really happening in the IP video marketplace.
With some obligatory background: A few years ago, our broadcast and service provider video partners asked for a way to transition from hardware-based to software-based, from fixed to cloud, and from device-specific to virtualized — all with a vigilant focus on video quality and operational simplification.
The result was our flagship Virtualized Video Processing platform, or “V2P” as we like to call it. V2P covers everything we’ve built to compress, transcode, orchestrate and distribute live, linear and on-demand video, over IP.
Here’s what happened since, in use-case terms: In the U.S., the Federal Communications Commission issued a mandate for cable providers to include descriptive audio services as a “second audio program” (SAP) to the airing channel. Devised to assist the vision-impaired, the accessibility requirement stipulates a way to read aloud what’s happening on the screen.
In developing its compliance strategy, Altice USA opted to deploy our V2P platform to ingest, prepare, record, and deliver the SAP streams for a mix of about 800 live and on-demand channels.
We’ve worked with Altice for more than a decade, on everything from CCAP and DOCSIS 3.1-based access platforms, for faster Internet speeds, to CDNs, 4K VOD, and the Altice “Zive” subscription VOD service. So the addition of V2P capabilities, to help meet the FCC mandate, was a natural extension — and it positions them for broader and deeper service expansions.
So that’s pretty cool, for them, and for every other operator contemplating a compliance strategy. (Hint hint!)
Swisscom used our Ultra HD (UHD) live encoders to distribute the 2016 European Football Championship. As the leading Swiss digital TV provider, with 1.4 million customers, Swisscom started with a sort of encoder bake-off, and ended up picking a V2P production direction. It included our HDR-ready 4K encoders, and integration with our virtual DCM (Digital Content Manager.)
It’s already pretty cool to be a technology player in the media and entertainment industry. But to be part of a project that involves the European Football Championship? Bonus!
Lastly, a bright and new feather in the cap, were software able to wear caps: Our first-ever V2P deployment in India, with Videocon d2h — one of the country’s biggest conglomerates and DTH operators. Specifically, Videocon selected V2P for the flexibility it enables them to scale horizontally to multi-screen, cloud-DVR and on-demand offerings — while preserving crucial bandwidth needs.
There’s more to the story, and it goes like this: Videocon also needed a disaster recovery strategy, which they built in software using our Virtual DCM. Ultimately, the same platform will mirror across both hardware-anchored and virtualized environments. This gets them to high-quality next-gen services, and reduces the complexities associated with failover techniques.
So: One customer using V2P to take their customers into the dazzling world of 4K, and another solving a key failover protection goal. Stay tuned for the V2P momentum continue! #neverbetter