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Australian OTT provider Access taps Elemental technology, plans European launches

Access Digital EntertainmentVideo compression specialist Elemental has introduced its first cloud-based video processing deployment with Australia-based OTT video provider Access Digital Entertainment, which has said it plans to launch its services in UK and Ireland, the Nordic territories, France and Germany later this year. 

Craig White, CEO of Access Digital Entertainment, speaking via a pre-prepared video broadcast at a press event at IBC, that this was the beginning of a major IPTV rollout for multiple devices, initially in Australia and New Zealand. The company operates EzyFlix.TV, an over-the-top video store that delivers transactional video-on-demand as well as electronic sell-through services. Access plans to launch a further service, WowHD.TV, which will also offer movies to rent or buy to connected devices. Access does not currently offer a subscription service, however.

Access uses Amazon Webb Services and Elemental has provided cloud based video processing to enable the company to continue to provide its services without the need to build its own facility.

“We were the first to offer retail UltraViolet in Australia nd New Zealand,” said White. “We work with all the major Hollywood studos but they don’t all deliver all their files to use in the same format.”

White said Elemental had helped convert video for distribution to multiple devices.

“The Elemental cloud piece is critical for us,” he said. “A number of Hollywood studios pointed us towards [Elemental].”

White said Access is looking towards other player devices in the market and would need to look at the file formats in each case.

Elemental’s VP of marketing Keith Wymbs said that Access and White were “essentially trying to create the Netflix of Australia” and had developed a pure cloud-based platform to deliver its services.

Elemental is also providing technology for Telefonica’s global video platform.

Javier Lozano, head of video core technologies at Telefonica said that his company is working to create a global platform for delivery of video to multiple devices for its O2, Movistar and Telefonica brands around the world.

Telefonica has built a single platform to deliver all OTT and IPTV services over Telefonica’s own CDN globally. Elemental is providing transcoding to deliver video to service providers globally as part of Telefonica’s global transcoding and workflow management feature.

“We have already launched the service in Spain with Movistar and this year we are working with several countries in Latin America,” said Lozano.

Wymbs said that this win had shown without doubt that Elemental can win large international pay TV deals.

Elemental has also struck a deal to provide a linear global TV channel solution for Swiss-based OTT provider Wilmaa. Elemental has worked with Ad Insertion Platform S.a.r.l. to deliver 82 live channels to multiple devices with time shift functionality including eight HD channels.

Other partners for the implemntation include Verimatrix, which is providng content securithy for Anvia.

Earlier this year Elemental announced that it was providing the video processing technology for the Teleste Optimo transcoding platform, with Finland’s Anvia recently announced as the first customer for the platform. Speaking at Elemental’s IBC press event, Harri Pietila, VP of video service platforms at Teleste said that Elemental had built an all IP delivery system that could deliver video over any network architecture. Its most ecent innovation in this space is the echoBox, which provides IP video distributon over MoCA networks.

Elemental’s Wymbs said that Elemental is continuing to increase the density of its platform. He said that at IBC it would demonstrate 4K in HEVC on an 84-inch TV set, as well as 10-bit pipelines. The company will also show three HEVC 1080p streams simutaneously in a 1RU unit includeing the delivery of HEVC in MPEG DASH to a Qualcomm tablet. “This is fully compliant with the standard,” said Wymbs.

Elemental has introduced DTS support at IBC. It has also announced it is providing its technology to Viacom in partnership with Grass Valley, and has also integrated with Miranda’s iTX playout server ahead of IBC.

Sam Blackman, CEO and co-founder, Elemental, said that video processing had moved away from the use of dedicated hardware chips. He said that HEVC would see software based solutions lead the transition. Video processing is also moving to the cloud, said Blackman.

“All video processing on premises is soon going to be a thing of the past,” he said.

Distribution is also rapidly transitioning to IP, added Blackman.

Blackman said that the key trends of the moment are software based encoding, cloud based video processing and IP-based delivery. Video workflows had to be more flexible to cope with the “bring your own device” era, he said.

“Young consumers especially are consuming video on multiscreen devices and IP is the only way to get to those devices,” said Blackman.

Elemental has recently added 10-bit support to its platform, in the 4:2:0 format. Blackman said the flexibility of a software based approach means that adding new features such as 4K resolution or 10-bit video processing or HbbTV 1.5 support – another recent addition to the platform – were now easy to implement.

Blackman said Elemental’s processing platform could be run in a cloud model, in an appliance on premises or a combination of both. “Customers are not locked into an on premises solution or a cloud solution,” he said. “The key takeaway is that only Elemental is focused on these three key trends – software, the cloud and IP distribution.”

One key differentiator for Elemental is that it builds its own codecs from scratch, said Blackman.

Blackman said that Elemental had delivered over one billion video streams over the past year, that the company had over 300 customers in 45 countires and that it was delivering to over 25 pay TV operators.