Quantifying 'The Netflix Problem'
4:10 PM -- Marty Roberts, an exec with Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)-owned Web video publisher thePlatform Inc. , told me that his company has taken some steps to improve its workflow so its partners can more easily deliver video to a growing number of connected devices.
Streamlining is needed as the job gets increasingly complicated. Some of thePlatform's partners need to prepare content for more than 30 profiles to cover a range of desired bit rates, screen sizes and device types.
And then there's Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), and what a lot of people in the OTT video world refer to as "The Netflix Problem." There's a Netflix app for almost every connected device out there -- more than 900. While it's nice to be available everywhere, it also creates an operational nightmare.
NewTeeVee spotted a Netflix blog post with a video that gives that nightmare some real-numbers context. Netflix encodes 120 different versions of each movie, so it's trying to streamline its workflow too.
But that kind of encoding requirement makes preparing 25 to 30 different versions sound like child's play. And The Netflix Problem is one of the reasons the cable guys are being choosy about where they are delivering TV Everywhere content. They aren't trying to boil the ocean, but are instead focusing on the most popular platforms and devices first.
The Netflix video/slideshow below gives you a sense of what needs to happen behind the scenes to get Harold & Kumar Get The Munchies (the movie title for the version in the U.K., where White Castle apparently has not taken one big, greasy hop across the pond) onto everything from a Blu-ray player and a Kindle Fire tablet to a Google TV device:
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable