ThePlatform Steps Up Live Streaming Support
ThePlatform, a Comcast subsidiary that specializes in online and digital video publishing for clients that include NBC Sports, Fox Sports, and Fox Sports Regional Networks, is enhancing its support of live events with enhanced integration with its mpx platform.
“Managing the end-to-end workflow between the encoders and the players is a little difficult today and something we thought we could clean up,” says Marty Roberts, thePlatform, VP of sales and marketing.
For years, thePlatform has supported live video for major TV sports networks by embedding URLs to specific video streams that were scheduled and managed via third-party systems. But the mpx integration allows clients to manage live events in real-time, from a single Web console, and use thePlatform player service to deliver live events to computers, tablets, smartphones, and other devices.
Elemental encoder technologies will be a big part of thePlatform’s initial foray into live streaming as the Elemental encoders and thePlatform’s MPX management console, which allows events and ad inventory related to an event to be managed at the click of a button, will be integrated via a software plug in. An editor or producer will be able to add relevant metadata, control geographical blocking features, and much more.
“They can insert cue points into a stream for ads to be pulled out of the ad system and when the clip is over it switches back to the live stream,” says Roberts. “And the player can act off of metadata so that, for example, if the viewer has seeing a Toyota truck commercial five times it can show something different or target ads.”
Cue points can also be used for other events like on-screen graphics related to events like a goal or penalty. And even real-time stats can be driven by the cue points.
“For an awards show a producer can build up cue points for actors and directors and then when they appear on screen a factoid can be published,” adds Roberts. “The goal is to enhance the online live playback experience.”
It will also enhance the VOD experience. While the live event is airing, the media file and its associated cue points for ads, chapter breaks, and associated metadata are automatically saved and archived within mpx for VOD. This added functionality enables programmers and broadcasters to rapidly publish or syndicate the video to third-party sites or their own websites, and make the footage easily discoverable for search and recommendations.
Roberts says those already using the mpx media publishing system and looking to add live streaming capabilities can expect to pay an additional three or five percent above their current