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The 2011 Streaming Media All-Stars
Presenting the fourth-annual Streaming Media All-Stars, the 15 best and the brightest who had the greatest impact on our industry this year.
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The list that follows represents our fourth annual Streaming Media All-Star team. You might think that by now it’s old hat or even that it’s becoming harder and harder to identify people who have given so much to the online video industry that they deserve special recognition.

Nothing could be further from the truth, and the 15 names that follow are every bit as important to online video as were the members of our first All-Star team in 2008. While they might get recognition from the companies they work for, they don’t often get their due for their overall contributions to the industry. Making those phone calls informing them that they’ve been selected is one of my favorite duties each year.

As in past years, we’ve made up mock baseball cards for each All-Star, but rather than simply listing their “career stats,” we’ve asked each of them a few questions:

  • What achievements are you most proud of?
  • What “next big thing” are you working on? 
  • What’s the biggest trend you see in online video? 
  • What is the greatest challenge facing our industry?

Andy BeachANDY BEACH

VP Marketing and Product Management
SeaWell Networks 
www.seawellnetworks.com

PREVIOUS JOB TITLES

  • Chief Technologist and Founder, Last Exit
  • Director of Product Management, Inlet Technologies
  • VP of Marketing, Elemental Technologies

PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Being directly involved with and present at the first demonstrations of live streaming HD video for both Microsoft Smooth Streaming at the MIXX conference and Apple HLS at WWDC.
  • Publication of my book, Real World Video Compression.

NEXT BIG THING

My newest project involves the network-based intelligent management of adaptive streaming video. It’s called Spectrum, and it is a software product that allows content creators to reduce their encoder costs and requirements while giving content networks the subscriber management, ad insertion, and DRM business models they need.

BIGGEST TREND

One of the biggest trends I’m hearing is the decoupling of existing workflows. In particular we’re moving the final packaging of content to the network (and even the edge) and away from the encoder, where it has existed so far.

GREATEST CHALLENGE

The biggest challenges fall more to the business side, where we need better agreements around licensing, windowing, standardized encryption, and reasonable end-user license agreements from the client platforms we’re delivering the content to.

John BishopJOHN BISHOP

Director Strategic Initiatives
Cisco 
www.cisco.com

PREVIOUS JOB TITLES

  • Co-founder and senior vice president of strategy, product, and business development, Inlet Technologies
  • Director of product management Osprey Technologies, ViewCast

PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Enabling world class broadband experiences such as those seen with Major League Baseball, the 2010 Winter Olympics, and the last two seasons of Sunday Night Football, and proving that broadband video can be very successful when treated like a first-class citizen.
  • A close second is helping guide Inlet to a successful acquisition by Cisco. This was so sweet for so many reasons, but the greatest was the people who helped make Inlet a success.

NEXT BIG THING

We must continue to improve not only the video experience; we must ensure that experience remains consistent and compelling across all IP-connected devices.

BIGGEST TREND

Today, ABR makes up just a small percentage of all online video; as users continue to consume more and more video while demanding better quality, ABR will eventually become the standard for all online video. Additionally, new presentation models (such as multiple camera angles) and a dramatic increase in the amount of metadata will drive new monetization opportunities for media over IP.

Jim BrutonJIM BRUTON 

Global Lead, Voice & Video Telecommunications
Ernst & Young 
www.ey.com

PREVIOUS JOB TITLES

  • Owner, AlphaNet, Inc. 
  • War Correspondent, NBC News & MSNBC 
  • Technical Director, Media, UN/UNICEF

PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Emmy, National Geographic Television, “Survivors of the Skeleton Coast.”
  • Pioneer and inventor of the Live by VideoPhone solution, which was used by news networks around the world following 9/11.
  • First live webcast from the summit of Mount Everest for Telekom Malaysia.

NEXT BIG THING

  • New webcasting production tools that increase ease- and scale-of- use, versatility, and reach.
  • Ruggedized biometrics tools for field and emergency use, leveraging HD, 3D, and other immersion technologies.

GREATEST CHALLENGE

Interoperability. To the major players in the unified communications field, I want to say this: It‘s great going to trade shows and seeing highly polished videos on every major player’s Vision of the Future, and hearing how I’m invited to be part of it. But if what I purchased last week won’t work with any of your wonderful solutions, then how do I join in that Vision? Interoperability means I don’t have to toss those strategy decisions I just made and the money I just spent. It means you and I can begin our relationship almost retroactively and grow from it together. That’s a huge “first-in” competitive edge over your competition.

Steve HellmuthSTEVE HELLMUTH 

EVP, Operations and Technology
NBA Entertainment 
www.NBA.com

PREVIOUS JOB TITLES

  • Senior Vice President and General Manager, MLB Productions 
  • General Manager, Potomac Television 
  • Production Manager, NBC Sports

PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Helping establish the NBA as a digital property that embraces the latest technology to enhance the game experience for our fans.
  • Our record-breaking season on NBA.com. This season fans around the world have viewed more than 2 billion NBA video highlights on NBA.com.
  • The D-league and WNBA live games online produced with TriCaster blazed a trail for minor league sports—we just completed the third year with the D-League, streaming in HD with the TriCaster.

NEXT BIG THING

The ongoing NBA Digital Media archive, where we are in the process of digitizing the league’s entire video library—more than 450,000 hours of games, highlights, and programming dating from 1946.

BIGGEST TREND

Fans want to connect with the NBA to access game highlights and behind- the-scenes footage that go beyond online and include mobile devices and social media platforms.

Chris KnowltonCHRIS KNOWLTON 

Senior Product Manager
Microsoft Media Platform 
www.microsoft.com

PREVIOUS JOB TITLES

  • Senior Program Manager, Microsoft (IIS Media) 
  • Program Manager, Microsoft (Windows Media) 
  • Strategic Alliance Manager, NetApp (Filers and NetCache)

PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Helping to advance streaming media with the release of Windows Media 9 Series in 2003.
  • Evolving the media delivery strategy at Microsoft with the creation of the IIS Media team in 2006.
  • Launching IIS Smooth Streaming to deliver dynamic adaptive streaming over HTTP in 2008.
  • Driving creation of, and alignment around, the new Microsoft Media Platform brand in 2011.

NEXT BIG THING

I’m doing product planning for new technologies that make it increasingly simple to deliver and monetize high-quality video experiences to almost any client.

BIGGEST TREND

The dramatically increasing use of streaming video by end users as a new or supplementary method for consuming news, education, and entertainment.

GREATEST CHALLENGE

The increasing number of online video technologies and the rapid pace of their evolution provide a sometimes-dizzying array of options for customers. The more we can reduce or abstract away complexity, the faster customers will be able to comfortably move forward with their online video deployments.

Related Articles
Our annual team of the most innovative, influential, and important players in the online video arena.
Fri., April 10, by Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen
The third annual Streaming Media All-Star team is made up of the people who've done the most over the years to advance both new technologies and sustainable business models, as well as those who time and time again have given back by educating newcomers inside the industry and evangelizing about online video to those outside it.
We'll announce our Streaming Media All-Star Team in April, but we need your nominations. Who are your picks for the 2011 "Who's Who of Online Video"?
It's time once again to celebrate the people who made our industry great in the past year and continue to drive innovation. Presenting ten new inductees to that elite group, the Streaming Media All-Stars!