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Adobe Primetime Debuts With Comcast, NBC Sports

After more than a year in the works, Adobe Systems Inc. announced general availability today of the Adobe Primetime platform. Comcast Corp. and NBC Sports are the company's first customers for its multi-screen TV technology. Plenty of vendors are vying to be the platform providers for TV Everywhere services. As Adobe and others know well, however, few operators or programmers are interested in taking on every component of an end-to-end solution. Comcast and NBC Sports are big wins for Adobe, but even they are only using pieces of the Primetime platform. Comcast is using Adobe's video player, digital rights management solution, ad insertion technology, ad serving tools, and analytics capabilities. At the moment, Primetime is only supporting Comcast's Xfinity desktop streams, but Adobe told Light Reading Cable that iPad support is coming "extremely soon." (See also Comcast Web TV Unit Prefers HTML5 Over Flash.) Adobe is a little vaguer about what pieces of the platform NBC Sports has implemented. However, the company does say that Primetime powers live and on-demand content for NBC Sports across Web browsers and mobile apps. Presumably one of the technologies in use is the authentication solution Adobe Pass, which has become a virtual industry standard. Adobe Pass has been rolled up into the Adobe Primetime platform along with a number of other point solutions. (See Adobe Expands Its TV Everywhere Platform.) Significantly, Adobe has also adopted Apple Inc.'s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) protocol as its default delivery method, though the company says it will continue supporting its own HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS) protocol. Separately, Adobe also released the results of its U.S. Digital Video Benchmark study today. Among the findings, mobile video viewing increased 300 percent between the fourth quarter of 2011 and the fourth quarter of 2012. — Mari Silbey, Special to Light Reading Cable
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