Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Video's "Perfect Storm" helps thePlatform evolve, Blaine looks forward to new challenges

Fireside Chat on Quality over the Internet:

Colin Dixon interviews Ian Blaine at ETIA 2014
When thePlatform CEO Ian Blaine started the company in 2000, video broadcasting was either tied to cable systems, or required a massive expenditure of $10 per Gigabyte for streaming solutions. He explained to moderator Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia how it was a perfect storm of high-quality-video-capable devices like the iPad and game consoles, along with widespread availability of high-speed broadband, and a willingness of content providers to put premium content out over the internet that helped launch the massive increase in popularity for video streaming.

Blaine sees one of the biggest future challenges is to extend quality video streaming to live events -- which will require not just quality, but immediacy and the ability to deal with large viewing spikes. In terms of technology, he is hopeful that MPEG-Dash will eventually be very helpful in reducing the complexity of the streaming environment today. He is optimistic about 4K for niche markets like sports, but uncertain how important it will be in influencing consumer buying decisions.

While Blaine wouldn't predict whether streaming would eventually become the only solution for distributing content, he was more interested in progress in the user experience -- something he called "time to watching something good." Key to providing that is better targeting, in his mind. Dixon tied that to the impatience and "me-centered" younger generation, but Blaine insisted that it was just common sense not to want to waste time.

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