Elemental, deltatre ink turnkey video system deal

Reflecting the growth of all things second screen, Elemental Technologies and deltatre have announced a comprehensive technology and marketing partnership to deliver a turnkey digital video system for sports rights-holders and broadcasters worldwide.

It’s a good time to be launching such a thing, too. Deloitte has christened 2013 as the Year of the Device, which isn’t an overly catchy title but does reflect the fact that there are 268m tablets in circulation worldwide, with a further 150m to ship this year, and that European research suggests anywhere between 40 and 80% of viewers are interacting with their main set via other screens. Add in 1.4bn smartphones and counting – as many as another 1bn this year – and the drive is really on for sports rights holders to capitalise on second screen activity.

Essentially the new system pairs Elemental video processing systems with the deltatre Diva platform to give them the ability to manage their unilateral and multilateral video feeds for multiscreen delivery right out of the box.

The Diva platform already employs Elemental systems at various broadcasters’ facilities, providing a complete on-premise adaptive bit rate encoding video workflow. The combined system also enables easy on-boarding of third-party technologies such as content delivery and ad insertion solutions.

The two companies worked together on a recent large sporting event where deltatre’s mission was to develop and manage the official event website, the associated video application and all the mobile applications for the event. As a part of all this, the company needed to edit, transcode and publish a highlights package of each match played for viewing on a wide range of online platforms, including the iPad, iPhone, Windows 7 phone and Android devices. Factoring in the need to support adaptive bit rate streaming on each of these platforms, deltatre determined that 22 distinct outputs were required for its application.

Elemental’s Elemental Server was a crucial part of achieving the targets in the tight timeframe specified. Video editors carved each match into a five-minute highlight reel, using Apple Final Cut Pro to create a high quality ProRes mezzanine file. This polished source file was placed in an output folder continuously monitored by Elemental Server. Elemental Server detected and copied incoming files into the appropriate watch folders. The system then transcoded the file, simultaneously creating the required 22 iterations before uploading the finished products to Akamai for streaming to web, tablet and mobile devices. The workflow was capped off with Elemental Server generating and sending notification of completed jobs to systems operators.

Fast forward back to the present, and company execs are excited about the match up between the two companies.

“This solution combines the best-of-breed multiscreen technologies and services for our customers,” said Keith Wymbs, VP of marketing at Elemental. “Together with deltatre and its industry-leading Diva platform, we realised great success in delivering a superior service to our mutual clients in 2012. Now we can offer them the opportunity to maximise their second-screen reach and viewer engagement even more efficiently.”

“Digital video consumption is growing dramatically on all devices: laptops, tablets and smartphones. We need to provide the best possible quality on all screens with an optimised workflow. The selection of Elemental as our preferred video processing partner reflects the importance of both quality and flexibility,” said Carlo De Marchis, chief product officer at deltatre. “Elemental solutions complement our best-in-class Diva platform, mobile apps, web applications, remote operation capabilities and services. Together, we will increase the overall quality, consistency and service level for our joint customers but also we will enable new user experiences to become reality.”

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