Mobile Video

RGB Tries to Streamline Mobile Video

RGB Networks Inc. has introduced a new feature that it says will trim the significant storage and bandwidth costs associated with TV Everywhere services, including video-on-demand (VoD) and network DVR applications.

RGB is adding "just-in-time" packaging (JITP) capabilities to its TransAct Packager, a product spawned from its 2010 acquisition of RipCode Inc. The upgrade package streams on-the-fly, and only when a client device, such as an iPad, PC, Roku Inc. box, or an Xbox 360, puts in the request. (See RGB Tunes Up Mobile TV With RipCode Buy.)

That way, service providers can support new or emerging adaptive bit rate formats for big customer bases without having to pre-encode and store adaptive bite rate video in multiple HTTP streaming formats. (And there are a lot of them: Smooth Streaming from Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), HTTP Dynamic Screaming from Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE), multiple versions of HTTP Live Streaming from Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and, soon, a more standardized approach called Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP, or MPEG-DASH).

"If you have a library with 150,000 hours [of content], storing that three times could become prohibitively expensive," says RGB Chief Technology Officer Yuval Fisher. "The real value [with JITP] is multi-screen video."

RGB says it's already testing JITP with some large customers as it prepares to start shipments next month, noting that already-deployed TransAct Packagers can be upgraded for JITP.

Why this matters
JITP could be especially handy for major MSOs, such as Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), that are building massive VoD vaults and teaming them with content delivery networks (CDNs).

JITP could also have an important role to play in network DVRs that are legally required to store individual copies of recorded programs. While Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC)'s current DVR Plus service is focused on set-tops and just one streaming format (MPEG-2), newer nDVR products from startups such as Aereo Inc. have mobile, multi-screen aspirations. Without JITP, nDVR storage costs could skyrocket if service providers are required to store a separate version of a program for each type of streaming format.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

Flook 12/5/2012 | 5:37:16 PM
re: RGB Tries to Streamline Mobile Video

If it does what RGB says it does, my guess is this going to be a winner for IPTV providers.

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:37:07 PM
re: RGB Tries to Streamline Mobile Video

Cisco wants to do this with Videoscape, of course -- the network would be the transcoding engine.  A few other companies want to do the same, too. And more will emerge, the longer it takes for service providers to settle on solutions.

I wonder if it's going to be a Highlander kind of niche. You know, "There can be only one."

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