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Dilithium connects mobile devices to Yahoo

Wed, 12/16/2009 - 7:25am
Traci Patterson

Dilithium, which specializes in mobile video adaptation and delivery, has had its roots in mobile video from day one.

The company worked with the International Telecommunication Union on MONA (Media Oriented Negotiation Acceleration) – or the ITU-T H.324 Annex K – Dilithium CEO Paul Zuber told CED.

Dilithium's AnswerFast technology suite forms the basis of MONA, which consists of an algorithm that allows 3G terminals to exchange their preferences early and to start media exchange within 1/2 round trip. The standard improves the video telephony customer experience by reducing the session setup time to around 1 second, comparable with voice calls.

The company specializes in three areas: 1) content adaptation – taking content from any network to any device; 2) video applications – using ViVas (Video Value Added Services), the company’s service delivery platform; and 3) video optimization – which Dilithium can do on STBs, netbooks, PCs, etc.

With video optimization, Zuber said Dilithium can change the bit rate depending on the source and the endpoint, but without compromising video quality, enabling operators to – with the same infrastructure they currently have – service more customers and offer more services.

In July, Dilithium launched with Yahoo, and the company just released a case study regarding Yahoo’s already built-up online video presence, and then its decision to go after the mobile space.

The Dilithium Content Adaptor (DCA) enabled Yahoo to deliver a dynamic video experience across a wide variety of handsets on a single platform, according to the study. This expanded Yahoo’s reach to iPhone OS 2.0, BlackBerry, Android, Palm, Nokia, Samsung, and most 2.5 and 3G handsets.

The DCA was built to perform real-time, on-demand transcoding for mobile devices. For Yahoo, that means total automation of the nearly 40 content transcodings per clip. Since the DCA transcodes on-demand, the first user to request new content automatically triggers the transcoding. On-demand also preserves the time sensitivity of news items and reduces pressure on operation centers, Dilithium said.

And the software-based solution runs on off-the-shelf servers, eliminating the need to add more hardware to the network.

The DCA’s URL-based API and scriptable interfaces provide Yahoo with the ability to serve targeted ads and custom playlists in real time on a per-user, per-call basis. And the same API allows Yahoo to serve content at different bit rates, frame rates and codecs to provide a quality experience for all networks – EDGE, 3G and Wi-Fi.

Dilithium's Content Adapter

Dilithium’s DCA is enabling Yahoo to deploy additional revenue-generating services and applications with advanced technical features, such as live streaming, caching, stream splitting, dynamic bit rate adaptation and full-featured iPhone OS3.

The company will be announcing North American operators that it’s working with in Q1 2010, Zuber said. Dilithium currently does business in about 60 countries, with approximately a billion and a half subscribers served.

As for the future of mobile video, Zuber said that battery life and mobile screen quality will continue to get better, as will storage, but the real innovation will be in the business models.

“The key, ultimately, is providing a cost-effective and compelling, quality experience,” Zuber said. “The challenge for all sectors is the business model and providing a compelling experience.”

More Broadband Direct 12/16/09:
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•  BendBroadband set for wireless telephony
•  Charter reappoints finance expert to board
•  SCTE hires Vernon as VP of marketing, membership
•  ActiveVideo targets CE devices for its CloudTV, hires Choy
•  Dilithium connects mobile devices to Yahoo
•  House votes to turn down volume of noisy TV ads
•  CTIA argues for spectrum inventory
•  FTC accuses Intel of stifling competition in chips
•  EU drops Microsoft browser charges
•  Broadband Briefs for 12/16/09
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