Witbe launches new version of OTT Robots

Witbe recently launched version 2.0 of its OTT Robots, which were designed to provide Content Delivery Network (CDN) infrastructure monitoring for CDN operators and service providers that are offering multi-screen and over-the-top (OTT) video services.

As the industry is making more video content available to any screen over any network, service providers are increasingly relying on CDN operators to stream content using adaptive bit rate technologies (ABR). This introduces new challenges to measure and control the quality that’s delivered to end-users, and calls for a new generation of monitoring technologies.

Witbe's OTT Robots are automated test appliances requesting content to the CDN as a customer would do when using any multi-screen application. They identify manifest and chunk errors, detect loops in live streams, measure download speed, and highlight load balancing issues, for both on-net and off-net cache servers. They support Microsoft Smooth Streaming (MSS), Apple HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) and now, MPEG-DASH to provide comprehensive assessments of CDN performance and better identify inter domain responsibilities.

Witbe's OTT Robots can be installed in a core network or within a CDN node. They can also be connected to any consumer broadband line, either fixed or mobile, to monitor third-party CDNs in a completely non-intrusive manner.

At IBC2013, Witbe introduced its S200 hardware platform, which brings the same feature set in a pocket- sized enclosure that also offers built-in Wi-Fi and 3G/4G radio interfaces to monitor CDN services from wireless networks.

"With the new version of these OTT Robots, Witbe offers a unique solution for real-time alarming, SLA enforcement and routing optimization," explains Jean- Michel Planche, Witbe's President and co-founder.


GreenPeak debuts new chip

GreenPeak Technologies recently added a new chip to its ZigBee product portfolio. The new GP490 is a low cost, low power ZigBee PRO communication controller that allows the design and manufacture of cost and energy optimized sensor devices for the smart home applications market.

The GP490 was developed to address the smart home market’s demand for low power sensor applications such as door sensors, window sensors, temperature sensors and light switches.

These kinds of low power, low data rate smart home applications equipped with the energy optimized GP490 will be able to operate on a coin cell battery for over 10 years, eliminating the maintenance problem of frequent battery replacement.

The GP490 allows developers and manufacturers to supply ZigBee Smart Home sensor products that can be offered as low as $5 each.

The GP490 development kit with reference design and software is currently available. Certification guidelines and tools are provided to accelerate ZigBee certification.


Miranda rolls out IP simulcast output  

Miranda Technologies recently added an IP Simulcast Output functionality to its iTX hardware.

The IP Simulcast Output is a mezzanine-encoded IP signal output that resides alongside the standard SDI channel output on the iTX. Miranda said the production of the encoded stream within iTX improves playout efficiency because that step traditionally required an additional downstream encoder.

Broadcast facilities and service providers are transitioning to IP platforms to streamline operations, lower costs and handle the increasing demand for data throughput.

The development of the iTX IP Simulcast Output serves this growing need in several ways. For example, the encoded stream can emanate directly from iTX to an emission-level encoder/transcoder for simple distribution of programming bound for multiple platforms, such as Web and OTT.

“Because the iTX simulcast output – either MPEG-2 or H.264 – leverages the power of an IP infrastructure that is for many already in place, the headaches of dedicated SDI cabling and distribution are sharply reduced,” said Dave Stollery, Miranda’s vice president, workflow and playout. “By removing an interim step and a potential failure point in the workflow, we create an unobstructed, straightline route to fast and efficient playout to a multitude of devices.”

Other updates to iTX include version 1.1 of iTX Render Service for Adobe After Effects CS6 software.

iTX Render Service automates and manages fully rendered After Effects graphics, making them immediately ready for playout from either the iTX platform or Miranda’s Vertigo Suite of graphics automation and asset management tools.


Comcast's thePlatform reaches for cloud with Virtual TV Framework   

Comcast-owned thePlatform has launched its Virtual TV Framework, which lets service providers replicate their 24-hour, live, linear programming and video on demand (VOD) television services via the cloud.

The Virtual TV Framework uses thePlatform’s mpx video publishing system to allow service providers to mirror their full TV experiences to various devices. It also allows service providers to create better and more personalized features across IP-connected set-top boxes, game consoles, Smart TVs, tablets, and other devices.

The mpx system provides TV operators with centralized video management via a user-friendly, Web console.

The new Virtual TV Framework provides cloud-based management of linear TV, VOD, enhanced discovery and personalization, targeted adverting, commerce, content protection, and multi-screen user interfaces (UIs). The cloudbased capabilities are made possible by mpx’s open APIs and technology partners, along with underlying innovations in unified metadata management, video ingest, and distribution.

Technology partners include Alcatel- Lucent, Microsoft, Adobe, Accedo, FreeWheel, BlackArrow, TMS, Rovi and ThinkAnalytics.

Virtual TV Framework’s development was also spurred along by customers that include Comcast, BT, LGI, and Sky.

“Our customers can now transition to TV services that incorporate the best of TV, and the best of the Web,” said Ian Blaine, CEO of thePlatform. “Our Virtual TV Framework is the culmination of more than a decade of technical experience managing video for many of the largest TV and media companies in the world. It’s not a monolithic stack, but rather an open framework that gives them greater flexibility and cost control.

Mpx is engineered to work in parallel with legacy TV systems – leveraging existing infrastructure investments – while providing a clear migration path to an all-IP based architecture.”


Optelian serves up FlexManager  

Optelian recently took the wraps off Flex- Manager, which was designed to reduce the time create and deploy packet optical services.

FlexManager is at the core of Optelian’s Intuitive Packet Optical Networking offerings that leverages its Service Driven Networking.

Optelian’s Service Driven Networking approach eliminates the complexity associated with creating and managing Ethernet services by using common, standardized service definition attributes and software intelligence to translate requirements, implement end-to-end services, and manage those services throughout their lifecycle.

For Ethernet services, FlexManager uses MEFstandardized attributes within a service creation wizard to identify how the network must deliver the service.

FlexManager takes care of recommending service paths, configuring service endpoints, intermediary points, and all attributes of the end-to-end MPLS-TP connection.

“FlexManager provides operators with simpler management of their packet optical service delivery network.

Our Service Driven Networking approach puts services first as opposed to the technology that enables them,” said David Weymouth, Optelian’s CEO.