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RealNetworks Creates a YouTube-like Experience

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For companies that want to create their own private YouTube, where employees can easily upload and view videos, RealNetworks has a solution. Two representatives from RealNetworks, Martin Schwarz, assistant vice president of Helix products, and Rob Thomas, technical sales director for Streaming Ltd, a RealNetworks partner, explained how Helix can create a video library system in a webinar hosted on StreamingMedia.com on Tuesday, April 5.

One-third of corporations use videos at least once a week to communicate with employees, Schwarz started off, and 64 percent plan to use more video this year. User-generated content (UGC) sites have made online video easy for consumers, while home DVRs have gotten people used to having content on-demand.

While companies could simply use YouTube, he said, the site isn't ideal for businesses. People hand over their rights to content when they upload it, and video quality is determined by YouTube. Then, there's on-screen advertising, which may be for products or services that reflect badly on the company that created the video.

With Helix, companies can create their own private YouTube. Thomas took over the webinar and talked up how easy it is to use Helix. Users can upload videos in any format and stored videos will play on any platform or device.

"If you make things simple, people will use them," said Thomas.

Helix's system offers RSS feeds for each video category and a clean, YouTube-like interface, Thomas said. It offers embed codes, and can be used to store videos that companies simply want to embed on other pages.

The Helix media library can store both video and audio files. Designed for easy management, it lets the administrator monitor comments and change categories. Users can also customize the look by adding a logo or using custom colors. Content access can be restricted in different ways, including using permission lists or restricting viewing to an IP address range.

Because workers are increasingly mobile, videos can be viewed on portable devices, including Apple iOS devices.

During the question and answer part of the webinar, viewers wanted to know about WebM support (it's not there; Helix supports H.264, though) and Multicast support (it's coming soon). Responding to many questions for pricing information, Schwarz  said that a software license retails for about $9,000 and that there's also a paid support element. Educational and government customers get a price break. There's a free trial for those interested.

The complete webinar will be archived here for 90 days. Free registration is required.

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