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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- Cable Adapting to Video's Streaming Future
- Cablevision's Network DVR Debuts in the Bronx
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable