Just days before TV Connect MENA 2014, Elemental Technologies announced that the Middle East’s newest 24-hour news broadcaster, Alarab, which is due for launch later this year, would be using their Elemental Live encoders paired with Elemental Conductor management systems for compression of their live linear and multiscreen feeds. At TV Connect, Elemental followed this announcement up with yet another innovation for the Middle East, debuting their Elemental Delta video delivery platform in the region for the first time. Broadcast Middle East sat down with Mark Horchler, marketing manager for the EMEA region to find out Elemental’s plans for the Middle East and to hear more about their innovative Elemental Delta solution.
DB: Why is a video delivery platform like Elemental Delta needed?
MH: Elemental Delta adapts live video feeds for multiscreen delivery and live-to-VOD services. What that means is that it packages adaptive bitrate streams for OTT services - for example, HLS for iOS devices, Microsoft Smooth Streaming, HDS or MPEG-DASH. So before, if you were delivering OTT content, you’d have to store one version of any given video in all these different formats which quickly multiplied the number of files and storage needed, resulting in large content databases that were very difficult and expensive to manage.
DB: What exactly does the product do?
MH: Delta keeps one version of the video on the origin server and then adapts it, or packages it, on the fly for all of these packaging formats. It also provides just-in-time encryption and ad insertion, allowing targeting of specific users or devices. It enables a live video feed, say from a sports event or concert, to be converted into catch up TV content on the fly.
DB: How recent is the development of on the fly packaging solutions in the broadcast sector?
MH: It’s very recent, Elemental are the first company to combine the origin server, where the OTT video files are stored and accessed, with the packager, which converts the video into the various packaging formats used by different devices. Combining both is much quicker and more efficient and also enhances the ad insertion capabilities and encryption of the feed.
DB: Do you see this being popular in the Middle East sector?
MH: Well we first launched it at IBC and the response from the market globally has been extremely encouraging. We’re anticipating a lot of interest from operators out here given the rapid up-pick in OTT content delivery to mobile phones.