Microsoft and Imagine release public preview of Azure

Imagine Communications and Microsoft have released a public preview of Azure Media Services Premium Encoder. This new cloud offering for on-demand workflows provides agility and scalability for global multiscreen deployments – enabling media companies to stream broadcast-quality content to virtually any device, anywhere in the world. Imagine Communications and Microsoft will demonstrate the Azure Media Services Premium Encoder at the 2015 NAB Show in Las Vegas, April 13-16.

“The collaboration between Imagine Communications and Microsoft is about solving critical multiscreen delivery and monetisation challenges while also transitioning to a future network architecture that is defined by IP, software and the cloud,” said Charlie Vogt, CEO of Imagine Communications.  “As a key technology partner in the development of this solution, we are helping global media companies and enterprises efficiently design and launch scalable, end-to-end media processing applications, workflows and services on demand – using reliability and virtually unlimited capacity of Azure.”

Cloud-based encoding, which provides media companies the ability to effortlessly utilise transcoding only when required, is an advanced alternative to investing in premises-based encoding platforms that may sit idle for long periods of time. The Azure Media Services Premium Encoder enables media companies to rapidly and efficiently design and launch scalable, cloud-based media processing applications, workflows and services on-demand, while dramatically reducing their IT implementation and maintenance costs.

The innovative solution streamlines common workflow problems through the integration of a studio quality processing engine with automated decision-making logic and advanced metadata processing. It also supports additional input and output codecs and file formats such as 4K Ultra HD in AVC and closed captioning, streamlining the ability to deliver across all classes of outputs from mobile to broadcast.

Accessible through a standards-based, programmable web interface with Media Services REST API, the Azure Media Services Premium Encoder can be used as part of an end-to-end Azure Media Services workflow such as adding on-demand capacity to an existing on-premises datacenter. Included with the solution is a graphical workflow design tool that supports parallel tasks and in-line logic, allowing users to customise media processing by creating sophisticated, intelligent workflows that are streamlined for exact processing requirements.

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