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July 31 2012


U.S. Video Services NeuLion to Stream 2014 and 2016 Olympics in China

PLAINVIEW, NY -- NeuLion, a U.S.-based digital video services company, has won the contract with China Central Television (CCTV) to provide video streaming services for the 2014 Winter and 2116 Summer Olympics in China, the company says.

Late last week, the International Olympics Committee announced that it had awarded the rights for the upcoming games to the Chinese broadcaster for $160 million.

NeuLion is streaming HD quality video of the London 2012 Olympics for CCTV as we reported earlier this month.

NeuLion was founded as a private company in 2004 by executives of Computer Associates.  Computer Associates founder Charles Wang is chairman of the company.  Mr. Wang is also owner of the NY Islanders professional hockey team.

We interviewed Wagner at the company's headquarters for this video about streaming the London 2012 Olympics in China.  We have republished that interview today.

Andy Plesser


January 11 2012


Exclusive: Hollywood Studios Readying Common File Format for Digital Distribution

LAS VEGAS - The industry consortium of five of the the major Hollywood studios, the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), is readying a common file format for digital content distribution, says Mitchell Singer, President of the group and Chief Technology Officer of Sony Pictures in this interview with Beet.TV

Singer calls it the first interoperable DRM system, allowing consumers to share digital films across multiple devices irrespective of the security solutions.   It will be released later this year, he tells Beet.TV

The work of DECE and progress with its product called UltraViolet was presented at a sesson at CES on Tuesday.  

A panel composed of the participating studios and executives from Samsung and Amazon was moderated by CNET News.com reporter Greg Sandoval who filed this report.

Singer says in this inteview that in 2012, some 250 million DVD's and Blu-ray disc will be enabled with UltraViolet, allowing consumers to store their physical collection in the "cloud."  

At the event, Amazon announced it would be joining the effort in a limited way.  Also, Samsung announced it would have an UltraViolet button on some new Blu-ray players to allow users to easily upload movies to their digital "lockers."

Andy Plesser

December 14 2011


Content Protection Firm Irdeto Expands "TV Everywhere" Offerings

Software security firm Irdeto is migrating its service provider-centric business to also include content protection now for online services, said Jan Steekamp, VP Business Development & Sales at Irdeto, in this interview with Beet.TV

Irdeto has built its 1000-employees business over the last 40 years to focus on content protection on TVs, set-top boxes, video game consoles and mobile devices. It'll still service that world, but with the growth of content via broadband, Irdeto is now also aiming to protect TV-Everywhere type of programming delivery models.

"What we have now done is looked at the Internet and customized our services to offer on the Internet," Steenkamp said. "We are installing technology to assist content operators in achieving content lockdown and doing management software too to track where their content is going so they know where the leaks are."

He added, "It is up to us to protect it as early as possible and to ensure that those people who own the content get the right payment and the operators distributing it get paid for it."

Daisy Whitney

September 18 2011


Latakoo Helping Newsrooms Move Big Video Files Fast

SAN FRANCISCO -- Austin-based Latakoo has a product which allows video producers to compress big files to under 5 percent of their size and then send via the Web.

The company has 200 customers, many in the news business, according to this report in TechCrunch.   We caught up with Jade Kurian, president at the TechCrunch Distrupt conference earlier this week.

Another company which provides video compression to video publishers including The New York Times is San Francisco-based Aspera.  Here's our story from earlier this year.


August 03 2011


Apps on Internet-Connected TV's to Grow Fast, Report

Internet-connected TVs with built-in apps are poised to grow 36% over the next five years. That growth will be fueled in part by demand for built-in apps for Netflix, YouTube and others, said research firm In-Stat.

Already, 60% of homes that have these apps are using them once a week already. This research underscores the powerful position Netflix is in, but the company does face some challenges, and for all the details on the hurdles and opportunities check out this week's New Media Minute.

-Daisy Whitney

Note: Daisy's New Media Minute is produced and sponsored separately from Beet.TV, but we pleased to feature it regularly on our channel.  AP

August 01 2011


IAC's Vimeo Launches Video Sharing Service for Businesses

Vimeo, the big video sharing site, known mostly for its global popularity as the video player of choice for the creative community, is launching today a commercial service for small businesses.

The site, which had not permitted commerical content, is launching Vimeo Pro, an online video platform product which has an annual fee of $199 and provides 50 GB of storage and 250,000 annual streams.

We spoke with Dae Mellencamp, General Manager of Vimeo, a unit of IAC, for this overview of the product. She explains where the new offering is positioned in the marketplace, between free video sites and big enterprise solutions.

She explains that the commerical videos will not be integrated into the Vimeo site as the tool is meant mostly to create videos for customer sites.  Vimeo does not provide integration of video advertising.

Andy Plesser

May 10 2011


Roku Owners are "Cutting the Cord" in Substantial Numbers

Some 15-20 percent of Roku owners are cancelling their cable or satellite services agreement and are relying solely on a broadband connection to get their television programming, said company VP Jim Funk in this exclusive interview with Beet.TV.

The Roku box, which connects via WiFi or Ethernet to a television set, streams a variety of free and subscription channels.  It is enjoying considerable growth, spurred in part by a new retail strategy and overall consumer demand.   The company expects the number of Roku devices to triple this year, from one to three million.

We spoke with Funk today at the Streaming Media East conference where he was a panelist on "cord cutting," moderated by Peter Kafka of AllThingsD's MediaMemo.

Funk also spoke about Roku's new deal with EPIX.

Much more from the show to follow.

Andy Plesser


February 02 2011


With U.S. State Department and Army as Customers, Brightcove Plans Expanded Government Video Work

WASHINGTON, DC -- Seeing an opportunity with government agencies for the distribution of Web video, Boston-based Brightcove has launched a "federal government initiative" with Carahsoft, a big government IT consulting firm.

The U.S. State Department is using Brightcove.  Today it streamed the Global Chiefs of Mission conference with speeches by Secretary Hilary Clinton and Joint Chiefs head Admiral Michael Mullen. (See below.)

The Department is also using the platform to communicate with U.S. citizens in Egypt about safety and evacuation plans.

Yesterday at our event at The Washington Post, we spoke with Brightcove VP Jeff Whatcott about the efforts in D.C. and the new association with Carahsoft. 

Brightcove sponsored the event and Whatcott was a panelist.

OVP Industry Consolidation

Whatcott addressed the big industry consolidation  announced on Monday by KIT Digital which we reported.

Publishers in a Panic

We spoke about the fast changing demands for publisher to provide video to a myriad of new mobile and connected devices.  It is a technology transformation which is putting some publishers into a "panic," Whatcott says in this interview.

Andy Plesser


January 11 2011


Verizon iPhone Will Not Run on 4G Network (yet), CNET's Maggie Reardon

While the imminent introduction of Verizon's 4G smart phones created a good bit of buzz at CES, the highly anticipated Verizon iPhone will likely run on the company's existing 3G network, at least initially, says Maggie Reardon, lead telecom reporter for CNET News.com in this interview with Beet.TV

Whether the iPhone will run faster on Verizon than on AT&T, is not yet clear as Reardon says that some Verizon customers in New York and San Francisco are finding unsatisfying speeds with their Android devices.

For fast connectivity, the 4G devices are in a different league, connecting as speeds approaching wired broadband, she says.  

Andy Plesser



December 09 2010


Verizon Developing Ultra Fast 10GB Per-House Connection in the U.S.

In November, Verizon FiOS announced a substantail increase in connection speed to 150 MBPS down and 35 MBPS up for all of its 12.5 million U.S. subscribers. 

This is about 50X faster than the typical DSL connection.

With the fiber network in place, the company is working on far faster speeds which will reach 10GBPS up and down per house in a "few years," says joe Abeault, Director of Consumer Product Development, in this interview with Beet.TV.

Why so much speed?  He says it will spark application development.

The "killer app" for ultra bandwidth will emerge, but for now the high speeds are of most value to businesses and other power users, he adds.

Here at the home studio of Beet Media, this "power user" has Verizon FiOS and clocks the connection at 43 MBPS down and 33 up which is adaquate for our project management needs, but we're gonna crank it up to the new speeds in a few days.

This is the second of two interviews with Ambeault.  The first, on Verizon FiOS Flex View can be found here.

Andy Plesser 

December 07 2010


Verizon's "Flex" Will Download Premium Video to Apple Devices in "Early" 2011

Subscribers to Verizon FiOS TV now have the abiilty to download a range of premium video to rent or buy onto several devices including Windows PC's, theBlackberry Storm2, HTC HD2, Motorola Droid 2 and Droid X.

Unlike offerings of Comcast which allows subscribers to stream programming, a program referred to as "TV Everywhere" -- the Verizon program could be called "TV Anytime." 

(Comcast introduced live streaming to the iPad last month.)

The program, called Flex View, debuted last month throughout the United States.

In an interview with Beet.TV, Joe Ambeault, Verizon's Director of Consumer Product Development, says that the service will be available on Mac OS and iOS devices "early" next year. 

He says that Flex works on non-Verizon mobile devices.

Ambeault speaks about having solved DRM issues.  He says that in the future, some form of Flex will be available to consumer who aren't subcribers to the home TV service.

Andy Plesser


December 06 2010


W3C's Le Hegaret: Developer "Sentiment" is Building Around Google's WebM Video Codec

CAMBRIDGE, Mass -- With its acquisition of ON2 and its video codec VP8,  Google is seeking to establish a unified, industry-wide codec for publishers to create HTML5 video.

Google's effort is called the WebM Project. It involves several industry hardware and software companies including Adobe.

Recently Beet.TV visited the offices of the W3C, the global, non-profit organization headed by Tim Berners-Lee, which sets standards for the Web.   The W3C is headquartered on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Philippe Le Hegaret, W3C interaction domain leader, who heads the video standards group for the W3C, is interviewed here.

In a nuanced and decidedly diplomatic conversation, he said while a standard around one codec for HTML5 is not yet settled, he sees "potential" with WebM. 

When asked about the performance of WebM vs. Ogg Theora, Le Hegarert cites community "sentiment" which finds that WebM has better performance interms of "bandwidth and quality."

The difference in performance is not suprising as Ogg is based on an earlier ON2 codec.

Also in the interview he speaks about evolving standards for surfacing metadata from videos.  He explains how standards around metadata and video will likely be standarized next year.

Andy Plesser

November 04 2010


Forrester's McQuivey: Microsoft Could be "Dominant Player in the TV Business Overnight"

LOS ANGELES -- While the television industry is abuzz in anticipation over Google TV, the big story in the convergence of television and the Web could be the Xbox, says Forrester's James McQuivey, a top industry analyst.

With 30 million units installed in the U.S. and 42 million worldwide, the Xbox could become the "dominant player in the television business overnight," he told our correspondent Jamison Tilsner in this interview at the Streaming Media West show.

McQuivey notes that the integration of Kinect, which becomes available today, will provide extraordinary functionality for video viewers. 

Last month,  the Xbox controller became a functional remote control for subscribers to the AT&T U-verse.

In this interview, he speaks about the opportunities for Google TV and the serious challenges for Hulu.

Andy Plesser

Editor's Note:  Welcome Jamison to Beet.TV.  Many of you know Jamison as a founder of Tubefilter.  He is now Evangelist for Kantar Video.  We are delighted to have his contributions from time to time.  AP

October 04 2010


August 26 2010


Cisco Buys Boston's ExtendMedia for Undislosed Sum

Cisco, ramping up its efforts around online video management services, has purchased Boston-based ExtendMedia for an undisclosed sum, the Cisco announded today.


As we reported last year, ExtendMedia is playing a key role in the "TV Everywhere" initiative of cable operators.

We have republished our interview with ExtendMedia President and Founder Keith Kocho from back in 2007.  The topic we spoke about was P2P and content delivery networks.

Andy Plesser


August 03 2010


Online Video Platform Twistage Gaining Traction with Enterprise Customers

New York-based online video platform company Twistage has been gaining traction in addressing the needs of companies' internal "enterprise" needs for online video management.

One of  the company's fastest growing customers is Sequoia-backed Jive Software, where its video solution is widely deployed.

It is providing services to several companies including Computer Sciences and BMC.

The company launched in 2006 and has raised $3 million, according to CEO David Wadler.

I spoke with Wadler back in May at the Streaming Media East conference about developments at the company.

Late last year, the  company got a boost with a favorable Forrester analyst report.

Andy Plesser

July 27 2010


Video Trancoding Company Elemental Gets $7.5 Million from Disney's Venture Unit

Elemental, the Portland, Oregon-based company that quickly transcodes videos for the Web, has received a $7.5 million round of funding from Disney's Steamboat Ventures and other earlier investors.

Here is our interview with Elemental's CEO Sam Blackman.  

July 24 2010


Exclusive: BlackBerry Funds Viewdle -- Visual Recognition for Video to Launch Soon on Mobile

Viewdle, the visual recognition software company with origins in the Soviet military, has received a venture round from the RIM's BlackBerry Fund, says John Albright, co-managing partner in this exclusive interview with Beet.TV.

The company is headquartered in San Jose with engineering operations in Kiev.  It launched in 2007 and has recently gone into stealth mode.  It will launch visual recognition for videos on mobile devices and the desktop next year.

The "B" round involves the BlackBerry Fund and other corporate investors, Laurent Gil, CEO, told me on a phone call last night where I reached him in Paris.  Gil declined to name the other investors or provide the size of round which closed recently. The investment has not been previously disclosed.

He said that the technology would be available to many operating systems which could include RIM. 

Earlier this week in at the paidContent Mobile conference at Columbia University,  I interviewed Albright, about the investment and the emergence of  "augmented reality" and visual computing. 

He notes that while forms of this technology is used by various military and intelligence organizations, it is not available to the public.  In this video interview, he says the company's products will be broadly introduced next year.

He explains how the Viewdle software can identify and index individual faces and other objects, and make them part of a personal public profile.

The software could have  big implications for search and indexing as video is not "crawled" by conventional search engine technologies. 

Viewdle's founders formed the company out of technology that was developed at the Institute for Computing and Information Technology (ICIT) in Kiev, Ukraine.  The technology was initially funded for use by the military in the former Soviet Union and has since been transferred to Viewdle.

About the BlackBerry Partners Fund

Albright explains that the Fund, which is focused on companies in the mobile category,  has several non-RIM investors including Thomson Reuters and RBC. He says the technologies it funds are not necessarily for RIM devices.

Viewdle's A round came from KIT Digital back in 2008.

Google's Marissa Mayer Weighs in on Viewdle

Check out this episode of Vator.tv where Google's Marissa Mayer gives her thoughts about challenges and opportunities for the company. This segment is from January, 2009.

Andy Plesser

July 16 2010


Akamai Says Internet Demand for World Cup Viewing Doubled over 2006 -- Italy vs. Slovenia Biggest Net Draw

Akamai, the Boston-based content delivery network, said today that demand for Internet services around the World Cup doubled over demand in 2006 during certain peak times.   

The busiest time for traffic was on June 24 for the Italy vs. Slovenia competition, the company says.

Akamai streamed video for 24 broadcasters into 65 nations.

Earlier this year in Las Vegas at the NAB conference, we spoke with Akamai's Suzanne Johnson about the industry trend around HD video consumption.  We republished this video today.

Andy Plesser, Managing Editor

June 13 2010


Cisco Gearing up for Demand for 3-D Video over IP

LOS ANGELES --  Cisco is ramping up its support for 3D TV as the industry gears up for the launch of the first slate of 3D networks later this year and early next.

At the Cable Show in LA, we caught up with Ken Morse, Cisco's CTO of Service Provider Video Technology.

He says  Cisco customers are increasingly asking for 3D support as this market heats up. Cisco tells us that the next-gen 8600 series Cisco boxes that are being deployed now, such as with cable operator Cox, are compatible to deploy 3D.

Growth is also coming as consumer watch video via alternatives devices like game consoles, Morse said. The company is also investing heavily in adding social media capabilities to its platform.

Looking beyond this year, Cisco is keeping its eye on formats like Blu-Ray with its full-res hi-def 3DTV and on what it means to define the specs for 3DTV. Cisco said it will design next-gen boxes with 3D in mind.

Daisy Whitney, Senior Producer

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