For those who don’t know it, FOSDEM is one of the legendary European events of the open source community, where free beer meets lightning talks, tech lectures and hacking sessions. It’s a crowdy 2-days event in Bruxelles, with lots of open source developers having different focuses, from Linux to databases, virtualization, security or programming languages… and of course media!
Let’s take a look at some OTT & workflow oriented projects that were presented during the Open Media devroom program.
While most of IBC’s buzz was generated by the shiny #hevc + 4K couple, it was a good occasion to stand back from the hype and measure how one of the most important video standards (at least for the #ott world) had spread over the industry since last year. MPEG-DASH is not sexy (let’s remember that it’s basically a collection of XML schemes), it’s a bit boring (as it’s usually demonstrated with the Big Buck Bunny that you saw not less than 2.000 times) and it’s complex – but once you go past those defaults, you might find that its potential to simplify your workflows and boost the profitability of your video service is high…
And that’s precisely what the industry has finally understood: video distributors want to streamline their workflows and save their storage budgets by reducing the number of output formats, they search for ways to build long term strategies with evolutive solutions – and all of this implies rolling away from proprietary #abr solutions like Smooth Streaming, HLS, HDS and the now defunct Widevine WVM proprietary packaging format (rest in peace), DASH’s first victim.
Today many content providers must change of OTT platform after the first implementation of their service (or even before first deployment) because it’s a dead end : either the platform is deceptive in terms of overall features coverage or missing sub-features, or it doesn’t evolve quickly enough compared to the competitive pressure of premium OTT markets. And we can’t really blame the content providers for this, as it’s always a very difficult decision to take when you have to choose your OTT platform service/solution provider: you are pressured by the competition and you need a fast time-to-market, and in the same time you would like to ensure long-term platform evolution capacity and technical control on it. Usually you end up with the solution offering the quickest time-to-market – or pretending so. You also end up with feature zones unfinished or finally covered with the help a third party solution – thus clearly challenging the idea of decent one-stop-shop OTT platform provider…
Geneva in late March doesn’t feel as wild as a Las Vegas boulevard, but still there was a reasonable amount of gaming excitement at the EBU headquarters, where several events were following each other, beginning with a #dash Interoperability Forum meeting which was closely followed by the BroadThinking event, where industry actors and broadcasters come to show off their latest implementations advances and/or share the results of their real-life deployments or research studies. A good way of managing the transition between TV Connect and NAB…
Where Broadcast meets Broadband : that’s the promise of the EBU’s hybrid event which flies between industry competition, standardization efforts and broadcasters’ realpolitik – all wrapped in a warm and funny ambiance provided by the various speakers and the EBU team. The 2013 edition was a major success because it allowed the participants to get a rather good idea of the general trends of the industry, and at the same time to go deep in technology when needed, while having opportunities to discover edge tech demos on the lobby attending the conference room.
NAB 2012 closed its doors two weeks ago, so it’s a good time to draw an appraisal on various themes concerning OTT issues, and especially premium OTT issues, that have been handled through industry technology offer during the tradeshow. Here we’ll go from production to distribution and examine the salient NAB facts and products, at least the ones which have a potential influence on OTT workflows evolution in the coming months (or years ?).
If you got a plane for Amsterdam in September, there’s a chance that it’s not (only) to make you bulldog walking under the red lights : you will probably be undermining your new pair of shoes in the alleys of the RAI, seeking the freshness of streaming video innovations.
Each year the trip is too short – and the feet do hurt – especially if you didn’t carefully select your target booths in advance in order to see the more interesting technology breakthroughs. While making this preparation exercise, I thought that I could share my choices, in order to save your time and shoes a bit, and to hear back your tips as comments. So here are some suggestions of visits to arrange if your job is to build streaming-media-oriented-production-workflows like I do.