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Elemental Pushes Into New Areas at NAB
While known as an appliance vendor, Elemental extends into CPU-only based systems and virtualized environments.
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[Note: This sponsored interview was recorded at NAB 2014.]

The 2014 NAB conference was a busy time for Elemental Technologies, which showed off several new advances, partnerships, and technologies. Streaming Media sat down with Elemental's head of marketing, Keith Wymbs, to catch up. One of Elemental's biggest stories was the announcement of a new product category.

"We’re known as an appliance provider and that’s how we productize our software. We’re known for having powerful systems that are based on graphics processors," Wymbs said. "But what people don’t know is that we’ve actually extended our platform to be fully capable in CPU-only based systems. We’ve also extended our platform to be virtualized in virtualized environments. So in BladeCenters that are running, for instance, VMware, or Citrex Xen, and obviously in terms of the further extension of that is the Elemental Cloud. And that’s something that we announced a year ago at the show and now we’re kind of showing some of the results of that."

There were a few important real-time 4K demonstrations taking place at NAB. Not surprisingly, Elemental was behind two of them.

"Today at the show we’re actually showing two demonstrations," Wymbs explained. "One demonstration is with Level 3, and the other one’s with Akamai. They’re both 4K HEVC in real-time. One of them’s p30, one of them’s p60. They’re both MPEG-DASH. So they’re using that as the adaptive streaming technology. And we’re putting that content, real-time onto their backbone and delivering it right to the show floor. So they can be decoded in both of their presences here, and we’re really happy to be partnered with both of them in that effort."

For more news from Elemental,  watch the full interview below.

 

Eric: Hi. I’m Eric Schumacher Rasmussen, the editor of Streaming Media Magazine, and I’m here at NAB 2014 with Keith Wymbs who’s the head of marketing for Elemental Technologies.

Keith: Thanks for having me Eric.

Eric: Good to see you. You’ve had quite a busy show. You’ve got a lot of stuff going on, so let’s dive right into it. What have the major announcements been for you here at NAB?

Keith: Yeah, two of the big ones, probably two of the biggest are our strategy around software defined videos. So we’ve announced essentially a new category. And it’s not just announcing a category, it’s really around a lot of the work that we’ve been doing over the last 18 months to extend our software platform to be universally applicable. So we’re known as an appliance provider and that’s how we productize our software. We’re known for having powerful systems that are based on graphics processors. But what people don’t know is that we’ve actually extended our platform to be fully capable in CPU-only based systems. We’ve also extended our platform to be virtualized in virtualized environments. So in BladeCenters that are running, for instance, VMware, or Citrex Xen, and obviously in terms of the further extension of that is the Elemental Cloud. And that’s something that we announced a year ago at the show and now we’re kind of showing some of the results of that. Full capability regardless of underlying infrastructure, regardless of the type of deployment that a customer would want. It’s a pretty big deal for us. And one of the partner announcements that we did at the show, as you know, is our relationship with Ericsson. So Ericsson just, I think, three weeks ago, at TV Connect, announced their Ericson virtualized encoding platform. And that platform is essential designed to be agnostic to the underlying framework, whether it be a hardware-based encoding processing, or software-based encoding. Obviously they want to be applicable to all applications that customers would want. And serving tier 1 operators like they do across the world. They run into all types of situations where perhaps a customer has an application that requires hardware-based encoding. They have that. They have best in class hardware-based encoding. But they also have customers that are moving towards software. And Elemental, fundamentally believes that the industry is in the midst of a shift, and perhaps that even at an inflection point, in terms of, software-based solutions.

Eric: Seems like it, yeah.

Keith: And so we’re proud to announce that we had the first third party to be integrated under the EVE framework. And so, Dr. Giles Wilson has stood up on our behalf, he came to our press event, and obviously we do a press release on that. But we’re pretty excited about what it can offer tier 1 operators in terms of choice in the market.

Eric: You’re also demoing some interesting things here at NAB, obviously in the realm of 4K  but you’re doing something a little bit different with Akamai I believe, correct?

Keith: Yeah, we’re actually doing-- kind of pushing the envelope even farther than we have been. We’ve been doing a series of worlds first obviously for streaming technologies, the ability to do real-time is quite important. We’ve showcased that over the last six months. Getting all the way to 4K HEVC p60-based compression, doing that in real-time, which is very hard to do. We believe we’re one of the only providers in the world doing it. Today at the show we’re actually showing two demonstrations. One demonstration is with Level 3, and the other one’s with Akamai. They’re both 4K HEVC in real-time. One of them’s p30, one of them’s p60. They’re both MPEG-DASH. So they’re using that as the adaptive streaming technology. And we’re putting that content, real-time onto their backbone and delivering it right to the show floor. So they can be decoded in both of their presences here, and we’re really happy to be partnered with both of them in that effort.

Eric: Sounds great, and finally, I know you’ve got some customer announcements that are new. So why don’t you tell us about those?

Keith: Yeah, so we actually did two things at the show here. We disclosed the fact that we are powering the BBC’s Video Factory, which as you know, they broke, I think, that news at Streaming Media West, they did a presentation based on it. And the Video Factory is essentially their cloud-based processing platform for the iPlayer. So they have needs where they spike two hours a day to customize content for between 15 and 20 different regions. And you don’t want to buy infrastructure to have that capability sitting around for those two hours a day when you need it. And so they burst to the cloud environment using Elemental Cloud, and they’ve written to our APIs to be able to do that. And it’s a huge deployment for us in terms of landmark, the BBC work, and obviously iPlayer with three billion requests that they delivered last year. It’s an amazing deployment for us. We also announce MobiTV. So MobiTV is a really well know provider of mobile video solutions to operators like AT&T, Verizon, Deutche Telecom, and they’re extending their solutions to the multiscreen world. So not just mobile delivery, but also tablet-based video, as well as, gaming consoles. All the things that we love in streaming video, and we’re powering both their live and on-demand solutions for that multi-screen strategy that they have to get all the way into the home, and help their operators really take advantage of all the things that we see in IP-based video streaming.

Eric: Alright, well, once again, lots going on. Lots of things to watch, lots of things to learn more about with Elemental Technologies. We’ve written about them often on Streaming Media.com, and we’ll continue to do so. So thanks for taking time to talk to us here at NAB.

Keith: Thanks Eric.