Streaming Media West: The 50,000 Foot View From 6 Feet
At this year's Streaming Media West 2007 show, which just wrapped at San Jose's McEnery Convention Center, the exhibit hall was shared with the KMWorld knowledge management conference. While there was some overlap in interest between the two shows, there was also a marked difference in the types of attendees, from management to the creative class.
Within the Streaming Media portion of the show floor, though, there was also a diversity. Besides the stalwarts such as Real, Microsoft, Vectormax, and a host of CDNs, there was a sense of a shift taking place as a few new companies I spoke to were exploring the space for the first time.
The Broadcast/Streaming Overlap
Jay Schwartzberg, VP of business development at Omnibus, summed up the diversity fairly well as he showed his product line of intelligent master controls.
"Our primary focus has been the broadcasters who use our master control systems," said Schwartzberg, formerly VP of sales at VBrick, "but since I'm familiar with the streaming media space, this show allows us to explore interest from non-traditional broadcasters who might be reaching a level of production complexity that requires master control and media asset management."
Omnibus' products fit right in at NAB, competing against products from Crispin and others, but the trend that Schwartzberg sees is one that is moving beyond just traditional broadcasters with standard master control and into a software-based master control environment that's ideal for streaming.
"Many broadcasters understand the need to stream," said Schwartzberg, "and want tools they are familiar with. Since we replace a significant amount of hardware with a single rack unit master control device, this means the tools are also ideal for those who want to do complex portable streaming or build out a low-cost greenfield studio."
Speaking of portable streaming, just outside the convention center a company called IP Access International showed off a souped-up pickup truck complete with a satellite uplink that allows users to stream from remote locations.
"Many companies are rolling a traditional large satellite truck that uses a full transponder," said Roy Martinez of IP Access International, "at a significant cost—often about $8,000 per day. We can roll our truck for one-tenth that cost for streaming events and get it into more remote locations since we're using a consumer pickup truck chassis."
IP Access International sells IP-based satellite time, with three birds over the continental United States.