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Zen is the art of transcoding for Brightcove

Online video cloud content services provider Brightcove has announced the availability of its Zencoder Live Cloud Transcoding service designed to remove the barriers to multiscreen live streaming.

The service is delivered in the form of an open API designed to allow content providers to scale live encoding resources and produce adaptive bitrate streams without significant investments in on-premise hardware.

Such business benefits are seen by Brightcove as especially appealing to content providers which it regards as facing a number of challenges when transcoding for live events. These could include the necessity to buy, manage and configure expensive transcoding hardware for live events and, when the event is complete, have such equipment sitting idle until the next job at some unspecified time. Moreover, Brightcove points to uplink bandwidth at event sites being a potential bottleneck, limiting the ability to publish adaptive bitrate streams, or dramatically increasing the cost of an event to secure outbound bandwidth.

Brightcove adds that the expense and operational difficulty inherent in scaling and operating these solutions is multiplied as the number of output streams and formats increase and as the number of simultaneous events increase.

By way of contrast, the Zencoder Live Cloud Transcoding API is claimed to greatly reduce the complexity and upfront costs of live stream transcoding, giving content providers on-demand access to encoding resources, and allowing them to pay on a metered basis only for the transcoding resources they use. In addition it allows content providers to send a single RTMP stream to the service, and create adaptive bitrate HLS and RTMP signals to provide multiscreen viewing.

“Live Cloud Transcoding is changing how organisations approach live video, from start-ups to major broadcasters,” commented Jon Dahl, vice president of encoding services at Brightcove. “By offering live transcoding as a simple, scalable API, we are able to change the economics of live events. This will help bring all sorts of new content online, and content providers of all types will benefit from drastically lower capital expenditures and operational requirements for live programming.”

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