ViewCast Expands Products, Adds Asset Management

By Carl Lindemann

ViewCast arrived at the NAB Show aiming high and low at the IP-video delivery market with two new streaming appliances, the entry-level Niagra 2100 and the high-definition Niagra 7500.

In addition, the company comes to the show on the heels of acquiring Ancept Media Server, adding digital asset management capabilities to its portfolio of streaming hardware and software speced to meet broadcast engineering needs.

“While this is for some an off year at NAB, we’ve been seeing enormous interest at the booth,” said Jeff Kopang, ViewCast’s VP of marketing.

A visit to its booth Tuesday confirmed this, with a constant flow of interested individuals checking out the new offerings. According to Kopang, investors, too, have been checking out the publicly traded company. What’s generating such interest?

The Niagra 2100, according to Kopang, is the lowest-cost standalone encoder available, priced at $3,995. Despite the low price tag, it serves up video at multiple bitrate qualities. Ease-of-use through a browser interface allows inexperienced end-users to manage it effectively. The only tradeoff? It operates only with the Windows Media codec.

At the high end, the Niagra 7500 leverages the latest multi-core processing power to make Web-based HD delivery viable. Like the 2100, it simultaneously sends out multiple bit rates, but adds additional formats besides Windows Media including VC-1, Silverlight, Flash, H.264 and 3GPP mobile. The video processing capabilities are such that it can toggle between standard- and high-definition sources without having to re-initialize the system. The downside here is that just an operating production prototype of the Niagra 7500 is on display at NAB. The real deal is expected to ship in the third quarter.

Finally, Viewcast’s acquisition of enterprise content management capabilities through its perchase of Ancept promises to open new horizons, according to Kopang.

“This gives us an end-to-end solution for clients that presents a very attractive value proposition in today’s marketplace by offering saving as well as additional revenue stream opportunities,” he said.

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