thePlatform Simplifies Live Event Publishing for TV Broadcasters and Programmers Across Web, Tablets
SEATTLE – May 7, 2013 – Historically, media companies have needed to juggle separate back-end systems for managing live online events and the rest of their premium video assets. Today, thePlatform, the leading white-label video publishing company and independent subsidiary of Comcast, introduced a single Web-based console to schedule and manage live signal acquisition and encoding, handle dynamic advertising insertion and metadata creation, and automatically archive live video broadcasts to create rapid video-on-demand (VOD) clips or replays.
The enhanced live video service will be offered as an integrated component of thePlatform’s award-winning mpx video publishing system. As part of mpx, TV broadcasters and service providers, cable programmers, and other media companies can centrally manage on-demand and live video content for playback across computers, tablets, smartphones, and other devices.
“Delivering quality, live online video broadcasts of major events is more technologically and economically feasible than ever before,” said Ian Blaine, CEO of thePlatform. “Given the rise in popularity of online viewing for events, especially sports, companies are looking to mpx for a scalable, enterprise-class system that seamlessly manages live events, as part of their broader video portfolio. We’re now making everything simpler—one console for simplified management, one feed to enable content discovery, one player to watch across screens, and a rapid transition of the event into VOD files.”
Streamlined Workflow: Managed with One Console
For years, thePlatform has supported live video for major TV sports networks, and others, by embedding URLs to specific video streams that were scheduled and managed via third-party systems. Now, with mpx, companies can manage live events in real-time, from a single Web console, and use thePlatform’s Player Service to view live events on computers, tablets, smartphones, and other devices.
The new service will enable customers to take advantage of unique features offered by a variety of innovative hardware and cloud-based transcoding partners. mpx’s initial embedded console implementation is with Elemental Live, and thePlatform plans similar integrations with other partners throughout the year.
Cue Points and Dynamic Ad Insertion
Lacking predictable triggers or breakpoints, live events require manual, operator-directed insertion of ads, graphics, or alternative programming within a video broadcast. mpx provides the means to do so, and takes advantage of the brief time delay inherent in online broadcasts to enable customers to insert ads, statistics or other graphics at given cue points in the video.
Leveraging thePlatform’s existing advertising partner integrations, such as FreeWheel, customers can insert dynamic ads in-stream to maintain high-quality, TV-like viewing experiences on the Web and other devices. During the live event, customers can also easily insert metadata and accompanying graphics in real-time—such as stats for the player who just scored a goal, or biographical information for the celebrity who just received an award. mpx also enables customers to model content rights obligations in advance (i.e. set geo-restrictions ahead of the live feed, or insert alternate programming during a restricted half-time concert performance).
Auto-Archiving for VOD
While the live event is airing, the media file and its associated cue points for ads, chapter breaks, and associated metadata are automatically saved and archived within mpx for VOD. This added functionality enables programmers and broadcasters to rapidly publish or syndicate the video to third-party sites or their own websites, and make the footage easily discoverable for search and recommendations.