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Year In Review... Satstream

satstream_sm1210_l You only had to walk around the show floor at IBC this year to realize that, along with 3D, 2010 was about convergence and three-screen delivery. The broadcast environment is rapidly evolving with new and exciting technology and products being brought to the marketplace, enabling more and more opportunities to reach consumers via different platforms.

Consumers are expecting improved quality and choice on each of these platforms. They want to be able to sit at home and enjoy the latest programs on the TV, but they equally want to connect to the Internet via their laptop, on the move and catch up with the latest action from a sporting event, or spend their lunch-break watching a drama, for example.

Until relatively recently the third screen — mobile, was a less attractive alternative for consumers. The technology has existed to deliver good quality mobile TV for some time, but the handsets have only recently become powerful and reliable enough to turn those feeds into a quality, enjoyable, mobile TV experience. The recent advances in handset technology with the iPhone and other smartphone devices, as well as tablet devices such as the iPad is revolutionizing the mobile TV experience and consequently driving consumer demand for more and more compelling content delivered to the mobile environment.

Indeed, over the past year, SatStream has very much witnessed a rise in the demand for three-screen delivery, and we have had numerous requests to encode feeds ready for delivery to the Internet, mobile devices, and even connected devices. We have always remained technology, format, and platform agnostic, meaning we can provide signal acquisition and transcode into any format, such as Flash, Windows Media, Silverlight, Real, and QuickTime, and have those feeds compatible with any delivery platform.

satstream_sm1210_g1 One such project putting that to the test this year was for CERN, the European organization for nuclear research. SatStream was involved with the live webcast of its latest Large Hadron Collider experiment. SatStream acquired the satellite downlink and transcoded the footage for delivery both to the Internet and to mobile handsets. We also produced a video postcard of the event using Adaptive Streaming technology, meaning that the viewers would get a seamless experience, without buffering, whatever their viewing conditions and available bandwidth.

Another trend we have witnessed this year is the way in which niche broadcasters are coming on board with Internet TV and the benefits it offers for reaching a wider audience. Using our latest product, ChannelStream, we have been streaming a number of live channels and have found that this kind of service is especially poignant for region or culture-specific channels targeting expatriates residing across the World.

satstream_sm1210_bio As we move into 2011, the trend for multi-screen delivery will continue. Mobile smartphones such as the iPhone and tablets, such as the iPad will very much drive a rise in mobile TV, and the proliferation of Internet-enabled devices will again offer broadcasters, content providers and operators more vehicles to deliver compelling content to the consumer.