mpx – Successfully Changing the Engines on a Flying Plane

Posted 10/11/2010
by Ian Blaine, CEO

Announcing the Gold Release of mpx

Today, we are pleased to announce the gold release of mpx.

This project actually started three years ago. We were on pace to manage one billion video views that year and our original system, mps, was starting to show its age. The technology and development methodology we started with in 2000 had served us well over the years but we realized that we had to make changes if we wanted to maintain velocity in a rapidly evolving market.

Our customers’ businesses were maturing rapidly and their needs required a faster pace of innovation from us. And the projects we saw on the horizon would require enterprise-class reliability to handle billions of video views every month, which is something you need to design for from day one.

Recasting video management

So we made a decision to start over, not from scratch, but with a playbook based on years of experience with demanding customers who constantly pushed the envelope. Our vision was of a brand new video management system built on a true service-oriented architecture. We named it mpx.

Each mpx service plays a distinct role, such as ingest, sharing, publishing, feeds, entitlements, or players. They can be scaled horizontally: when a customer recently added 5 million new titles to the system, we added ingest capacity to meet the task. The mpx services can also be federated, allowing for some to be hosted in the cloud, and others to be deployed in our customers’ facilities to provide an optimal user experience.

mpx meets the reliability requirement. With a federated deployment, customers get geographic redundancy and integrated caching so the audience can keep watching video, even if the backbone goes down.

A new face

On top of the mpx services, we’ve built a brand new video management console. A main design goal was easy management of large content libraries, because it’s common for our customers to manage tens of thousands—or even hundreds of thousands—of videos in our system. They needed simple features like faceted search, personal shortcuts, and blade navigation to make working with video libraries easy.

One management feature that will make a big difference for our customers is the Publish Profile. Creating the many video formats and thumbnails that differ for every web site, mobile device, and TV can be complicated. Once a Publish Profile is set up, video producers can simply click publish without any knowledge of the complexity behind the scenes. And mpx is the only system that enables editors to combine a static playlist with a dynamically updating feed.

The business model support you need

We’ve found that customers have a need for a growing variety of business models. So we built content restrictions with geo-fencing, availability windows, and integrations with several DRM systems. You can set advertising policies that define when to display an ad, and which ad server to use as a primary and which as failover to ensure you maximize your fill rate.

If you need a digital store, our Consulting Services team is here to help you out. The mpx syndication tools help your content reach web sites such as YouTube and MSN, mobile phones on AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon, and over-the-top services like Boxee, Roku, and GoogleTV. If you’re considering a TV Everywhere model, we can now authenticate customers of Bright House, Comcast, Cox Communications, and Time Warner Cable, and more adapters for other MVPDs are on the way.

A new engine

Some have described a re-architecture as changing the engines on a flying plane: it’s difficult to build something new while maintaining and improving the old. We’re very proud of thePlatform team and everything they have accomplished. We believe our easy video management, support for more business models, and enterprise-class reliability are simply better than everything else in the market. We got there by sticking to our roots, which are solidly planted in great software development, but also by realizing that we had to try new things. mpx represents our best work yet.

If you’d like to learn more about mpx and how it can help your video business, please contact us today.

Ian Blaine
CEO of thePlatform


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