thePlatform debuts new video management system
Comcast subsidiary thePlatform celebrated its 10th anniversary with the launch of its mpx Beta, which is a retooled video management system that was designed to simplify online video publishing.
“As these businesses are maturing with larger libraries, we found that the need for scalability and reliability were going up in our customers’ minds,” said Marty Roberts, thePlatform’s vice president of marketing. “The reliability factor is becoming a key decision factor for them.”
Mpx Beta offers a new console that can be divided into three separate screens to manage and publish video libraries across the Web, mobile devices and set-top boxes. Roberts said the new interface mirrors video products that are already in use, such as Adobe Premiere, and allows the users to customize the screen to larger monitor sizes and to fit their own preferences.
The new publishing system, which integrates seamlessly with the previous version, also has “smart publish profiles” that let the content distributors see what the requirements are for a device or destination prior to publishing video to them. For example, a day after Apple’s iPad was announced last week , Roberts said thePlatform had already determined that its encoding profile was slightly different than an iPhone with its requirement for an H.264 file that is encoded at 640 x 480.
By working backwards from the device or intended Web site, thePlatform is able to establish the ideal bit rates for the content prior to it being sent out, which also means a better viewing experience for the customers.
“When this device hits the market, our customers are going to be ready for them,” Roberts said of the iPad. “It’s one-step publishing so the editor doesn’t have to worry about it.”
The company’s mpx Beta is built on a new service-orientated architecture (SOA), which thePlatform started developing two years ago. Roberts said the SOA provides more reliability and scalability as the load increases, and that it’s “a foundation that will take us through the next 10 years.”
Alongside mpx Beta, thePlatform has also released its mpx Dev Kit that includes the programmatic capabilities to manage the complete video publishing lifecycle with standardized APIs, complete documentation and extensive code samples. It enables customers to access the underlying services of mpx Beta to extend its capabilities.
ThePlatform’s cable customers include Rogers Communications, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cox Communications and Cablevision. The company is working with Comcast, Rogers and programmers  on their respective TV Everywhere service offerings.
Last year, thePlatform picked up more than 20 programming networks and media companies, including: Travel Channel, News Corp.’s News Digital Media, 4Kids Entertainment, Big Ten Network, Fox Sports Networks and E!.