Streaming Media

 

The 2013 Streaming Media All-Stars
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!
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The best thing about choosing our annual list of Streaming Media All-Stars is realizing just how far online video has come since we selected our inaugural team in 2008. Back then -- yes, a whole 5 years ago -- the list was populated mostly by old pros, veterans who’d helped establish online video in its early days and were already widely acknowledged as the industry’s pioneers. 
 
With each successive year, the list contains lesser-known -- but no less important -- names. There are still a handful of old-timers who might not be as well known as their predecessors but who, invariably, have done as much to advance online video as the people who’ve been garnering all the headlines. But there are also plenty of newcomers, people who come to online video from startups as well as from the broadcast and enterprise space.
 
Whatever their backgrounds, the members of this year’s Streaming Media All-Star team share the same passion for communicating via online video. They’ve not only innovated technology and practice, but they’re out there sharing their knowledge with the rest of us. This latter characteristic -- that of the champion, the evangelist, and the teacher -- is what really sets them all apart.
 
As always, we’ve asked each of our All-Stars a handful of questions; their responses tell you not just about them, but about where our industry is and where it’s going:
  • What are your proudest achievements?
  • What’s the “next big thing” you’re working on?
  • What’s the biggest trend in online video right now?
  • What’s the biggest challenge facing the industry?
 

Dylan ArmajaniDYLAN ARMAJANI

Digital Workflow Technologies, Viacom, Inc. 
 
PREVIOUS JOB TITLES
  • Live Streaming Manager, AOL/The Huffington Post
  • Live Streaming Lead, NX Streaming
PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT
 
I would say launching HuffPost Live was my proudest career achievement thus far. Building not only the live streaming infrastructure to support a 24x7 live stream from two studios on opposite coasts, but also building a production workflow based around an online social community was a wonderful experience. Election night was when it finally hit me that this was going to be the future of news. People were willing to break away from their TV to consume breaking news, and they wanted to add their own voice to it.
 
NEXT BIG THING
 
As simple as it sounds, the "next big thing" I want to focus on is maximizing the efficiency of live encoding. Working on more effective methods of transmitting a video signal from point A to point B. Also maximizing the use of bandwidth and resources, and pushing more repackaging into the cloud.
 
BIGGEST TREND
 
I think we are seeing more and more live "premium content" going online and we are starting to see online content as not just a place to view "second screen" or "behind the scenes" content but a place to consume primary content. The past year I had the privilege of working with Bowery Presents & YouTube to launch one of their channels focusing on live content. It was great to see productions such as Bon Iver live from Radio City Music Hall produced entirely with the online audience as the primary focus. As the average home bandwidth increases and more and more people are getting used to viewing video on their computers/phones/tablets/OTT boxes…etc there is a whole new market of great content being produced exclusively for these audiences.
 
BIGGEST CHALLENGE
 
I think the biggest challenge facing our industry is encoding & delivery. Consumers & advertisers demand content on every device but device makers are all working off of different standards and ideas of what works best. It makes encoding & delivery a constant struggle. It seems like its the same challenge each year, and I hope that our industry can finally begin to standardize as DASH becomes a real viable option.
 

Sam BlackmanSAM BLACKMAN

CEO & Co-Founder, Elemental Technologies, Inc. 
 
PREVIOUS JOB TITLES
 
IC Design Engineer, Pixelworks, Inc.
 
PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENTS
 
Well, convincing my wife Adriane to marry me was no small feat, and then she took on the responsibility of bearing our children as well… but in a work context, I am most proud of the amazing team that we have been fortunate enough to assemble at Elemental. I believe people here love coming to work every day, and are excited, motivated, and challenged by the opportunity to work with world-class colleagues.
 
NEXT BIG THING
 
At Elemental we believe that in the relatively near future, all video will be delivered over IP networks, as opposed to legacy video delivery systems. However, multiple methods of delivering video will coexist for many years, so we are leveraging our software-based, GPU-accelerated architecture to optimize delivery over any video network. This processing convergence will let Elemental Live and Elemental Server systems deliver the highest-quality video to any device, whether they are on legacy networks or OTT IP connections.
 
BIGGEST TREND
 
Beyond the convergence of video processing infrastructure, HEVC/H.265 compression will be very important in the immediate future. This new compression standard will provide video streams with similar quality to AVC/H.264 – at half the bitrate. As HEVC rolls out, it will dramatically improve video viewing experiences on lower-bandwidth networks (such as mobile), and also enable previously unheard of experiences like watching Ultra HD/4K streams over IP connections. HEVC implementations will undoubtedly be rolled out over IP connections and multiscreen devices initially, so for the first time in history the best video experiences will be available via OTT rather than traditional broadcast networks!
 
BIGGEST CHALLENGE
 
Helping our customers effectively monetize multiscreen content. Content owners and aggregators should be compensated as much for multiscreen viewing as they are for traditional linear broadcast viewing, and that is not the case today. We are working to solve this with streaming technology partners such as Apple, Adobe, and Microsoft as well as traditional and new entrant ad insertion solution providers that help media companies monetize content across all viewing devices. We are also spending a good amount of our resources in concert with DRM and watermarking technologies that help content owners ensure assets are protected and only delivered to intended recipients. It’s a complex ecosystem that Elemental helps navigate on behalf of our customers.
 

Michael DubeMICHAEL DUBE

Manager, Systems Integration and Operations, Home Box Office, Inc.
 
PREVIOUS JOB TITLES
  • Senior Solutions Engineer, Origin Digital and Accenture
  • Broadcast Systems Specialist, ABC News
PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENTS
 
Consulting with some of the largest companies on the planet to architect complex live and on demand solutions.
 
NEXT BIG THING
 
HBO is working toward developing a file-based ingest and distribution system using AS02 and JPEG 2000.
 
BIGGEST TREND
 
Distribution of media with elaborate authentication schemes.
 
BIGGEST CHALLENGE
 
Delivering the very best in quality to our subscribers, giving them what they want, when and how they want it, all in the most time-efficient and cost-effective manner.
  

Charlie GoodCHARLIE GOOD

Co-Founder and CTO, Wowza Media Systems, LLC 
 
PREVIOUS JOB TITLE
 
Director of Engineering, Adobe Systems, Inc.
 
PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENTS
 
One of my proudest achievements has been taking Wowza Media Server from a simple remote video recording server to a full multi-protocol media server with Wowza’s primary focus on our customers’ success as both the driving force and guiding principle. Wowza Media Server’s features and capabilities are extensive, and I’m proud with how, as a company, we have been able to contribute to the development and evolution of online video as well as our customers' own growth and success. I am amazed every day at the broad uses of Wowza Media Server and how it has been adopted worldwide. It's been exciting to see how customers can take this streaming software and use it in so many different ways, but all with the same goal of growing their businesses.
 
NEXT BIG THING
 
There are so many new things in the works that all add up to making online video easier and more engaging. Everything from on-the-fly video-on-demand transcoding to support for new streaming protocols such as MPEG-DASH is playing an important role in the development of content delivery. I don’t think there’s any single “big thing” that will move the industry. Instead, it will be just the right combination of capabilities that embrace the broad uses for online video that will make video more compelling, more mobile and more usable across different industries.
 
BIGGEST TREND
 
The biggest trend I am seeing is that video is being used in new, “non-traditional” ways every day. More and more industries are starting to see the value in integrating online video into their business. From video cameras in nursery schools so parents can check up on their children to video cameras on military vehicles to capture the fighting on the front line, online video is permeating the entire connected space. And as we create easier, simpler, yet more powerful streaming solutions, I anticipate the uses of online video to increase.
 
BIGGEST CHALLENGE
 
There is still too much divergence in the industry. MPEG-DASH and Common Encryption are great attempts to create standards and force convergence, but these standards will take time to have a positive effect.
 

Lisa HsiaLISA HSIA 

Executive Vice President, Bravo Digital Media, NBCUniversal 
 
PREVIOUS JOB TITLES
  • Senior Vice President, Bravo Digital Media, NBCUniversal 
  • Vice President, NBC News (executive in charge of TODAY, Dateline, and Peacock Productions)
  • Senior Producer, Dateline NBC
  • Producer for Katie Couric (Dateline) and Diane Sawyer (Prime Time)
  • Producer/Director of independent feature films and documentaries
PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENTS
 
Building Bravo Digital Media into a successful business that drives innovation and change, and leading the market with interactive experiences that delight fans and advertisers.
Transitioning from being a TV news executive to the new frontier and Wild, Wild West world of digital, proving that it is possible to recreate and redefine if given an opportunity.
 
NEXT BIG THING
 
We just launched a new interactive product called “Play Live” which allows fans to engage with a show in real-time from their phones or tablets simply by logging onto a URL. I think the future lies in giving consumers fun and engaging experiences and utilities that also are easy to use.
 
BIGGEST TREND
 
At Bravo, we’re into transmedia storytelling – giving fans a chance to experience a story across multiple platforms, whether they be video, social or interactive. The progress we’re making in targeting users and content will make the storytelling experience even deeper and meaningful over time.
 
BIGGEST CHALLENGE
 
A method to effectively monetize great content through distribution and windowing, while concurrently making it good for the user and a profitable business continues to challenge us.
  

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Presenting the fourth-annual Streaming Media All-Stars, the 15 best and the brightest who had the greatest impact on our industry this year.
It's time once again to celebrate the people who made our industry great in the past year and continue to drive innovation. Presenting the ten new inductees to the Streaming Media All-Stars!