Comcast subsidiary thePlatform has rolled out a new video Ingest Service offering that was designed to help large media companies upload their video libraries quickly and easily.

The Ingest Service is part of thePlatform’s media publishing system, and it was developed to address the challenges of companies with large or dynamic video libraries. According to Marty Roberts, thePlatform’s vice president of marketing, other means of ingesting large, or rapidly updating, content libraries required either 2,600 hours to manually upload 1,000 hours of high-definition video, or forking out $40,000 to $60,000 in professional services to integrate with existing systems and storage.

Because of the sheer amount of videos that thePlatform handles – the aggregate total of its clients rank second behind Google sites among the top online video sites in the nation – the company saw a need for the new Ingest Service.

“I don’t think our competitors have seen the type of bottleneck yet that we see,” Roberts said. “This was built for speed and scale.”

The new Ingest Service gives thePlatform’s clients an automatic means to move video and metadata online and into thePlatform’s media publishing system (mps).

The service addresses what thePlatform found to be the three key areas that it said were necessary to serve large media companies, including: the ability to replace manual processes with an automatic means to upload new online video libraries; constant monitoring of video files via “Watch Folders,” which enable video to be ingested from files placed in an FTP folder, and/or a Feed Reader, which enables Media RSS to automatically ingest content; and the use of ingest adaptors that convert various proprietary metadata formats into the industry standard, Media RSS. Each of these capabilities is a part of thePlatform’s new service.

"For media companies that want to publish their programming quickly to consumers, the first critical bottleneck is ingesting that video content into a system that can deliver it," said Ian Blaine, CEO of thePlatform. “Historically, this has been technologically difficult, time-intensive and expensive for many media companies. Our new Ingest Service helps remedy many of those issues.”

Roberts said set-up for the complimentary, free service takes 20 to 30 minutes. ThePlatform will work with each customer to define an ingest profile, which specifies the metadata formats and content requirements. Content is then automatically loaded into mps.

The supported formats include addContent, Media RSS, CSV and XML, but additional format adaptors can be built to meet various needs.

The company’s clients include Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Cablevision and Cox on the cable operator side, as well as Comcast’s portal Fancast.

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