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Streaming Media West Keynote: What Skype Can Deliver to Media

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Skype calls have been appearing in television shows for years, but until now producers have had to rely on the off-the-shelf consumer version of the product. That changed when Skype announced at the 2014 NAB show that it would create Skype TX, a rack-mounted hardware/software appliance built for demanding media environments.

Delivering the second day Streaming Media West keynote address, Matt Jordan, senior technical account manager for Skype, explained to the media-savvy crowd why they should invest in Skype TX. Jordan has been with Skype since 2005—or through three different owners—so he knows his way around the product.

"This is a game-changer for Skype," Jordan said. Skype TX offers HD-SDI video input/output and broadcast audio input/output, and lets one operator easily manage dozens of simultaneous calls. The product's auto aspect ratio conversion lets broadcaster ensure that a call is always shown in the 16:9 aspect ratio, no matter the quality of the bandwidth. If the line gets too terrible, however, Skype TX can fall back to a still image while maintaining the call audio. The operator can preview a call and monitor performance.

Skype announced at this year's IBC that it's partnering with three manufacturers to create Skype TX appliances: NewTek, Riedel, and QuickLink. If operators already has equipment from one of those companies, Jordan said, they should consider going with that manufacturer's Skype TX appliance. Each offers a different form-factor and value proposition. All three are studio-grade and can run 24/7.

"Once you've created this content…you can decide where that content resides. It doesn’t have to be beholden to one property on the net," Jordan concluded, urging attendees to talk to the Skype in Media team about how they can enhance their Skype experience.

Watch the full keynote address below and download Jordan's slides.



Matt Jordon of Skype

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