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Haivision and KulaByte Make Cloud Encoding Easy and Effective

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[Note: This sponsored interview was recorded at Streaming Media East, 2012.]

Cloud-encoding is a booming areas for online video, as companies realize it's more efficient and economical to upload their clips and let a specialist handle the chore of making multiple encodes. Montreal-based Haivision has been generating a lot of buzz in that area since it acquired KulaByte in July, 2011. During the recent Streaming Media East conference in New York City, Peter Maag, chief marketing officer for Haivision, sat down for a red carpet interview to discuss why Haivision's solution is more efficient.

"Cloud transcoding certainly, it's a great move in the market. Because with cloud transcoding, previously to get adaptive bitrate into the cloud and across CDNs, the encoder would have to create all of the different renditions, all of the different bitrates, and send those over the uplink to the CDN," said Maag. "That takes a lot of bandwidth from the source encoder on the uplink to get to the internet."

People think of the upload required for cloud encoding as being time-intensive, but Maag notes that that's actually one of its efficiencies.

"With cloud transcoding, you only need to send a single high-quality stream. And the transcoder, where network resources and where computing power is abundant, will create the different renditions in the cloud. So it creates a lot of efficiency for the clients who want to deliver the highest qualities," added Maag.

To view the entire red carpet interview, scroll down.

Troy Dreier: Hi. This is Troy Dreier, the senior associate editor for StreamingMedia.com. I'm here on the red carpet at the Streaming Media East conference in New York City, joined by Peter Maag, chief marketing officer of Haivision. Thank you for joining me today.

Peter Maag: Yeah, thank you very much, Troy.

Troy Dreier: One of the big topics of the show has been cloud transcoding. I know that's a big area for Haivision.

Peter Maag: Right.

Troy Dreier: You've got something called HyperStream. Tell us all what HyperStream is.

Peter Maag: Yeah. Well, HyperStream comes from actually Haivision's acquisition of KulaByte last year and KulaByte has been very important for Haivision because it brings a lot of internet streaming, over-the-top streaming capabilities to our product set and our customer base. And what HyperStream is, KulaByte is a software-based encoder and transcoder, making it very easy to deploy in the cloud. And what HyperStream is is an encapsulation of cloud transcoding on EC2 and CDN delivery over Akamai HD. And with HyperStream as a software-as-a-service, as a user-managed service, users can very easily go in on their own, provision cloud transcoding, grab their sources, create the ABR or adaptive bitrate, multiple renditions in the cloud for delivery to users anywhere around the planet. So, it's really a simplification of some of the issues in the market, especially for Haivision's clients and institutional markets that dramatically simplifies the capabilities of streaming to global audiences.

Troy Dreier: Now, we're talking so much about cloud transcoding, but why would someone need cloud transcoding?

Peter Maag: Cloud transcoding certainly, it's a great move in the market. Because with cloud transcoding, previously to get adaptive bitrate into the cloud and across CDNs, the encoder would have to create all of the different renditions, all of the different bitrates, and send those over the uplink to the CDN. And that takes a lot of bandwidth from the source encoder on the uplink to get to the internet. With cloud transcoding, you only need to send a single high-quality stream. And the transcoder, where network resources and where computing power is abundant, will create the different renditions in the cloud. So it creates a lot of efficiency for the clients who want to deliver the highest qualities.

Troy Dreier: Okay. So we're sold on cloud transcoding. Now, why do we choose HyperStream?

Peter Maag: Well, HyperStream, it really simplifies things. So, you can go in and the streaming administrator will set up the streaming parameters. They can use presets, they set them up, they can tune the ABR, adaptive bitrate, a bundle of five for Flash, another bundle of five for the Apple devices, high profile, main profile, and really tune things so that you can get the best quality through the cloud. Now, once all that's set up, what the user only has to do is hit a single button on any of our contribution devices and connect up through the cloud. So it really, really simplifies things for anybody who wants to do a global streaming event.

Troy Dreier: So who's the target audience for HyperStream?

Peter Maag: Yeah, certainly. The target audience for HyperStream is really any company. Anybody who wants to do large video on the website, so it's large transcoding. A typical company could be Haivision. We're 165-person company and we have a global channel to train and we have to do events all of the time. We have all-hands meeting and training for our customers. So, to have a source device that very simply can execute streaming on any scale really is very attractive, really for any organization. Haivision focuses on medical and education markets, enterprise markets, even the military. And all of these markets are looking for ways to simply get the video out to very large audiences.

Troy Dreier: How does someone get started with it? What are the basic steps for getting started with HyperStream?

Peter Maag: Oh, that's another good question. Internet streaming isn't very simple for the masses, right? So although that HyperStream Live, as a user-managed service, automates all of this, we really recommend that people use our HyperStream team based in Austin, the Kula Kids as I call them, to really help the clients through their first streaming event. Provision of the source encoder, get the streams going, provision of players. And then after that, users can actually just go in and manage the service themselves at a very low cost.

Troy Dreier: This is clearly a completely new game for Haivision. What is your company's overall strategy and how does HyperStream fit into it?

Peter Maag: That's good. For Haivision, before we ran into the KulaByte crowd, we knew it was critical that we get our video information out to the masses. So HyperStream, KulaByte, all of this technology, is actually now a fundamental of our company. And we're building in internet streaming capabilities to all of our Makito encoders, all of our Furnace IP Video systems, into markets that are massively thirsty for these capabilities. So for Haivision, it's really a whole new frontier for us where we can -- previously we had focused on providing end-to-end solutions within the firewall over hot LANs or satellite networks or very hot networks. Now, with HyperStream and KulaByte, we're focused on end-to-end solutions over the public internet to as many users as you want, to any device.

Troy Dreier: So does this impact any of Haivision's current products or customers?

Peter Maag: Oh, it impacts everybody. Everybody across the board. Like I said, everybody's looking for these capabilities. Everybody wants a very simple approach to internet streaming. They might have one event, they might have a repetitive monthly event, they might have events every week, but this is fundamental technologies that they're looking for. We have encoders in operating rooms, in classrooms, on military bases, in every institutional market throughout the world, and all of these people are thirsty to get the video information live across the internet to mobile devices, to anyone. So this is really fundamental to all of our products and all of our customers. It's a really, really interesting move in the market.

Troy Dreier: Interesting. Well, thank you so much for joining me.

Peter Maag: Yeah, Troy, thank you very much.

Troy Dreier: Coming to you from Streaming Media East, this is Troy Dreier on the red carpet.

Peter Maag: Thanks, Troy.

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