Cable Operators

RGB Packages 'TV Everywhere'

4/09/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

Want to deliver video everywhere,
to every possible device? It will cost you.

Today, operators typically store multiple versions
of a video file, each formatted for a different
end device. As the amount of users and
content grows — and with more smartphones,
tablets and connected-TV devices hitting the
market all the time — the price tag for TV Everywhere
infrastructure can get steep pretty fast.

RGB Networks is pushing a
different approach. The videoencoding
equipment vendor is
touting a “just-in-time” packaging
feature for its TransAct
Packager for Internet-streaming
protocols, which it claims is
a far more cost-eff ective solution
for delivering large libraries of TV
Everywhere content.

With RGB’s on-the-fly packaging
capability, a service provider
can deliver MPEG-4 H.264 adaptive
bit-rate video-on-demand
without prepackaging all its video
assets for four of the most popular
adaptive streaming protocols:
Apple HTTP Live Streaming, Microsoft
Smooth Streaming, Adobe
HTTP Dynamic Streaming and the recently
ratified MPEG Dynamic Adaptive Streaming
over HTTP (MPEG DASH).

That reduces the need for expensive enterprise-
class storage — potentially by an order of
magnitude — because it eliminates the need to
store multiple assets at different bit rates for every
target device and protocol, according to Ramin
Farassat, RGB’s vice president of product
marketing and business development.

“If you have 10,000 assets, this technology
doesn’t make sense — you would just buy disk
space,” Farassat said. “But as soon as you increase
the number of assets, it makes sense.”

RGB has not settled on pricing for the just-intime-
packaging feature of TransAct Packager,
but Farassat said it would cost a few hundred
dollars per stream. That’s compared with anywhere
from $1,000 to upwards of $10,000 per
stream for enough high-performance storage
to deliver content libraries of more than 50,000
hours (depending on number of concurrent users),
according to RGB’s analysis.

Two operators in the Americas are currently
testing the real-time packaging features of
RGB’s TransAct Packager for VOD.
The product is set to be commercially
available later this month.

The system doesn’t require any
special agent on the client, Farassat
said, gathering HTTP information
such as browser type to
determine the nature of the device.
The TransAct Packager works
with content delivery networks to
adjust bit rates dynamically.

Other vendors provide on-thefly packaging for some protocols,
RGB director of product marketing
Andy Salo acknowledged. But
what RGB does uniquely is create
the manifests and deliver the
video chunks into the CDN immediately,
he said.

September