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NEWS MOVE & DELIVER “ If you ever find yourself wondering how far this streaming video will take us, the answer is ‘very far’ it seems. According to Cisco’s latest VNI Mobile Forecast Report, by 2019 (that is just 3.5 years away remember) 4.6 billion smartphones users will drive 97% of all mobile data and 72% (yes, nearly ¾) of this mobile traffic will be streamed video. Anyone still using a Nokia 1110 (which sold more than 250 million units worldwide from 2005 onwards) will find this hard to believe but for most of us this seems like a logical - if slightly mind-boggling - conclusion. Experts are predicting that the demand for OTT services like Netflix and live streaming and downloads from BBC iPlayer et al will continue unabated and push the capabilities of mobile networks and the internet to the limit. And they’re already creaking. If you’ve ever tried to check half-time scores on your phone whilst inside a football stadium or attempted to text your whereabouts to a friend at a music festival you won’t need us to explain how congested our data networks already are. Very much like CDN providers, mobile network operators are facing up to the fact that the networks probably won’t be able to cope with what is coming down the line, especially as viewers expect an uninterrupted high quality broadcast TV-like experience when streaming video. It is unclear from these unskilled ears and eyes whether the tie-up between Qwilt and Altiostar (below) is a revolution, evolution or just hot air but, all things considered, it feels like another step in the right direction. What is clear is that this is an area that is still evolving. Improvements in streaming technology will help to make the distribution of content more reliable. And through it might not seem like it, network speeds continue to get better meaning that more viewers/users are able to watch streams uninterrupted at the highest quality possible. The quality of encoding is improving too, promising better resolution. “ Maybe this streaming stuff will catch on afterall. Transcoding Streaming At NAB (Booth SU6524) Blonder Tongue Laboratories will launch STEP (Scalable Transcoder-Encoder Platform), a 1RU to 3RU sized integrated system for broadcasters looking to do multi-screen video-over- IP distribution. STEP is suitable for: HD/SD MPEG-2 or H.264 encoding; HD/SD MPEG-2 to H.264 and H.264 to MPEG-2 transcoding; HD to SD downscaling; and creating adaptive bit rate live profiles supporting HTTP streaming protocols such as HLS, HDS, and IIS. “Broadcasters need cost-effective, versatile solutions in order to adapt to today’s fast-paced and ever-changing competitive environment,” said Walt Davis, senior director of product management and technical services at Blonder Tongue. “STEP features a flexible software architecture that allows users to overcome the technical challenges of multivendor products, constantly changing design requirements, and the introduction of new standards. By providing superior-quality encoding, transcoding, downscaling, and streaming functionality, all in a single software- based package, STEP makes video-over-IP distribution affordable, scalable, and easy.” Qwilt, the online video delivery and open caching solutions company, has announced a technology and go-to-market partnership with Altiostar, a leader in NFV Cloud RAN (C-RAN) infrastructure. Combined, Qwilt Open Caching technology and Altiostar eNodeB technology will create an integrated C-RAN and open cache offering for mobile operators that has the potential to reduce network latency and improves viewer QoE. Qwilt and Altiostar are engaged in joint go-to-market initiatives including joint marketing and selling of the integrated solution which is currently in trials. Alon Maor, chief executive and co-founder of Qwilt, said: “By uniting with leaders like Altiostar, we are offering mobile network providers a competitive solution that buoys the streaming video business case. Furthermore, by delivering an Open Caching solution deep in the mobile network, tightly integrated with the RAN, operators can rest assured that the consumer focused services they deliver stay at the forefront of an increasingly competitive market.” 32 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 99 MARCH 2015