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Avail-TVN trials managed TV Everywhere

Mon, 06/13/2011 - 8:25am
Brian Santo

Avail-TVN will use transcoding systems from start-up Elemental Technologies to deliver more than 100 channels of content to a range of end devices.

Avail-TVN separately announced a new managed multi-screen service called AnyView.

Elemental Technologies is one of very, very few companies that use graphics processors (GPUs) in addition to standard processors (CPUs) to perform transcoding.

The forte of GPUs is parallel processing, which is particularly suitable for many transcoding operations (for example, discrete cosine transforms), while others are best handled by serial processing performed by CPUs. Integrating both technologies is profoundly complex, Elemental's CEO Sam Blackman explained recently in the company's headquarters in downtown Portland, Ore.

The benefit, he said, is that the approach can handle extraordinary numbers of formats and screen sizes. Blackman said the company has several customers transcoding into 100 formats in real time. One customer, he said, is transcoding up to 200.

Elemental Live encoders deliver linear television content to connected devices, while Elemental Server systems create and format VOD content.

Avail-TVN is using the company's Elemental Live and Elemental Server video processing solutions in its Super Headend facility in Burbank, Calif., along with the Elemental Conductor management system. Other customers include PBS, CBS and Disney.

"Consumers are changing the way they consume video, and this is driving innovation across the digital media services value chain," said Jon Romm, COO of Avail-TVN. "Elemental Technologies is providing us with key building blocks to enable Avail-TVN to deliver to our customers the high-quality video experience that consumers are coming to expect."

AnyView
These new transcoding capabilities will be one of the key enabling technologies for the managed multi-screen video service, called AnyView, that Avail-TVN is offering. AnyView will enable service providers to extend the traditional VOD and linear television experience to authenticated, broadband-connected devices such as PCs, Macs, tablets and smartphones.

Trials of the service are underway in several markets in the Caribbean, the company said, with U.S. trials scheduled in July. Commercial deployments are expected in Q3. Avail-TVN did not identify any of the companies involved in the trials.

AnyView uses adaptive bit rate technology to stream encoded video files at the appropriate data rate to connected consumer electronic devices.

A rights management engine controls access to content based on a variety of business rules, including device attributes, content format, location and subscriber tier of service. Authenticated subscribers will be able to continuously view the same program from one device to another, Avail-TVN said.

With AnyView, Avail-TVN offers:

  • Equipment, installation and management
  • Multi-platform movie rights
  • Free and subscription content
  • Adaptive bit rate encoding
  • Cloud storage
  • White label client device user interfaces
  • Content security – DRM/CA/encryption
  • Integration with BSS systems
  • Metadata/artwork management
  • 24x7 monitoring
  • Customer care
  • Royalty settlements
  • Usage reporting

AnyView video is encoded in MPEG-4, but it currently supports a range of iOS-, Android-, OS X- and Linux-operated devices, including the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, PCs, Macs and Roku. Support for additional devices is planned before the U.S. commercial launch.

Avail-TVN added that it has secured multi-platform movie rights and permissions from a number of major and independent studios and a growing number of programmers.

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