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Ramp Provides an HTML5/HLS Solution for Multicast Customers
Enterprises now have a single-vendor way forward for multicast, one that doesn't rely on Flash and accepts any type of video.

Enterprise video company Ramp wants to provide enterprises that rely on multicast for live video with a way forward. With Microsoft no longer supporting the technology, many companies have been searching for a simple solution that allows them to broadcast in-house without a major expense. At NAB today, Ramp announced AltitudeCDN Multicast+ with Wowza Streaming Engine, a software-based HTML5/HLS product that, thanks to Wowza support, works with any video input.

Most enterprises rely on multicast, notes Ramp president and CEO Tom Rocca, but Microsoft discontinued support a year ago. With Ramp's offering, enterprises have a way forward that doesn't rely on Flash. The offering is pure HTML5 and HLS, he says, with forward error correction and an extra layer of security. Organizations won't need to make any hardware investments to use it, but install a 100 MB instance on a server. The stream requires approximately 60 percent more throughput that traditional Multicast for forward error correction redundancy, so companies that were equipped for three channel multicast can handle two channels with Ramp's offering.

Besides the server instance, enterprises will need to add receiver software on each computer that's able to view video. That endpoint software strips out the HTML5/HLS multicast stream. Streams aren't decrypted until they reach the individual receivers.

Ramp has partnered with Wowza before, and here Wowza plays an important role in making the Multicast+ system video agnostic. As part of the server instance, Wowza technology transcodes video input as needed and feeds it into the system. Without Wowza support, the system would have strict requirements about what source video it could accept.

"It's agnostic to video source, so it's not Flash: it's pure HMTL5 and HLS," Racca notes. "Those people who have Office 365 have a multicast solution. We're agnostic to the network so we support it over wireless, Wi-Fi, and for any device—every browser and mobile device. No one else in the market is doing that."

NAB attendees can get a look at the solution at the Wowza booth, and talk with early adapter GE which has been beta testing the offering since January.

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