Anystream: What Will Telestream Do With It?

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AMSTERDAM—"The Anystream acquisition deal closed late last night, or early this morning, depending on your time zone" said Barbara DeHart, Telestream's VP of Marketing told a press conference audience at the opening of today's IBC tradeshow in Amsterdam.

DeHart went on to explain Telestream's strategy in the acquisition, comparing and contrasting the two companies.

"Telestream has expertise in transcoding, workflow design, and automation," said DeHart, "while Anystream's expertise is in deploying and managing large-scale enterprise production systems. We have a shared customer base, although customers used our respective products in different ways, so going forward, customers will benefit from "best of breed" strategy and combination of features/functions of the combined products.

DeHart emphasized that both product sets will be sold and supported, and that many employees are being brought into the Telestream fold, establishing an East Coast engineering presence.

"Many employees-from engineering and support to global key account sales teams-will be part of Telestream," said DeHart. "They know what we do, are familiar with the transcoding space, and also can assist in the integration process of how our products might merge with theirs. The acquisition gives us the largest collection of transcoding and workflow expertise in the world."

Telestream management is also growing, with Kevin McCartney of Anystream taking on a role within Telestream as VP of Agility Business. In addition, Anna Greco and John Pallett are moving into different roles.

Greco moves from product marketing into the VP of Client Services for enterprise products, while Pallett moves to director of product marketing for enterprise products.

"We've consolidated enterprise into a single unit, with organic executive growth," said DeHart. "We're getting bigger, getting better, but staying profitable."

The advantage of the Anystream acquisition lies with Telestream's strategy around Vantage.

"We will continue to support Agility and Avalon," DeHart said, speaking of the two main Anystream product lines. "Key features of Agility will be merged into the Vantage architecture, just like FlipFactory features are merging into Vantage. The acquisition accelerates Vantage product development and strategy."

With Vantage, Telestream has a modular transcoding workflow solution, but DeHart says the company also has a strong interest in live encoding and live content ingestion, using both the Pipeline product as well as some of the features from Anystream products.

"Vantage is a modular solution to handle capture, transcoding, analysis, metadata processing, and graphics assembly," said DeHart. "It has the ability to make decisions as content moves through the workflow, for "smart transcoding" that removes labor at points that need to be automated."

With Vantage 2.0, the company will offer the concept of portals, or points at which human interaction is needed.

"There are still points where user interaction is desired or required," said DeHart. "At the points where we may actually have to have eyeballs in the process Vantage 2.0 will offer the ability to create customizable user interfaces for particular end users. No need for outside programming to modify the workflow interface; it can all be done from within Vantage."

The company also announced Vantage SDK, an open software development toolkits, in beta, designed to give programmers access to metadata translation, decision making and analysis data (on such things as the existence of curtains, letterboxing, black detection within interstitials, among other things.

"Vantage Analysis was introduced in version 1 at NAB," said DeHart, "but version 2.0 will round out the list of analysis features, including the ability to detect additional information on which decisions can be made. Version 2.0 includes the ability to analyze level and gamut checking, blockiness measurement and interstitial black detection for removal later in the workflow."

Finally, the company announced the availability of Episode 6, which is shipping on September 23, 2010. Episode is a cross-platform desktop-to-workgroup solution, allowing one-click clustering to share software across multiple servers.

Episode, the basic version for desktops and laptops allows 1 job at a time, Episode Pro allows 2 parallel jobs and server-based Episode Engine offers unlimited parallel jobs plus multiple jobs across multiple cores - which the company refers to as split-and-stitch.  In addition, Episode 6 offers the ability to directly upload output files to a YouTube account.

IBC continues through September 14 at the RAI Amsterdam.

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