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Senior executives at Sky and software-defined video solutions specialist Elemental Technologies have revealed the operational and technological benefits of their working and financial partnership, with the pay-TV operator confirming that it is leveraging Elemental to process and deliver its OTT TV service NOW TV and mobile TV service, Sky Go.
In December 2014, Sky made a $4 million equity investment in Elemental, as part of a its series D financing building on its existing commercial relationship with Elemental for Sky Go.
“We love to give our viewers the flexibility to choose how, where and when they watch their favourite shows,” said Matt McDonald, director of broadcast services for Sky. “Elemental offers the platform we require for live video and VoD streaming and rapid deployment of new services that delight customers.”
The Sky OTT service infrastructure is deploying Elemental Live as the video processing engine in a workflow controlled by Elemental Conductor. During live streaming, Sky channel IP inputs will be fed to Elemental Live software, which will encode original and aggregated linear content in real time for delivery to mobile devices and the web. For the Sky VoD workflow, Elemental Server systems transcode content into multiple formats and encrypt it for high-quality, protected output to consumer’s devices, including Apple TV, over the Sky Content Delivery Network (CDN).
“Sky is constantly innovating new ways for customers to enjoy premium TV Everywhere content,” said John Nemeth, VP sales/EMEA for Elemental. “Elemental’s level of quality and flexibility enables us to uniquely support Sky’s mission to delight existing customers and redefine the meaning of TV.”
“We want to be associated with companies that ‘push the envelope’,” commented Sam Blackman, CEO and Co-founder for Elemental. Emma Lloyd, Sky’s Director of Corporate Business Development and Startup investments, said the Elemental investment was a “brilliant example” of where Sky had partnered with progressive industry players.
The comments came as Elemental outlined plans to showcase disruptive innovations to help content providers address next-generation video complexity at IBC 2015. In addition to its full product suite, Elemental will highlight MPEG-DASH implementation, automatic provisioning of live channels in the cloud, CDN-independent ad insertion, second-generation 4K with high dynamic range (HDR) and workflows for better optimising content monetisation.
“The future is now: MPEG-DASH is widely deployed, 4K UHD services are coming online and HDR is making an entrance,” said Keith Wymbs, chief marketing officer for Elemental. “Only the scalability and flexibility of software can keep pace with the relentless advance of video technology. This is illustrated by Comcast X1 Cloud DVR, Sky Go and NOW TV, and other services offered by more than 600 media leaders using the Elemental platform. Software is eating the video industry as it has with other technology industries in the past.”