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    Real World Video Compression
    by Andy Beach
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Entries in seawell networks (2)


Bound for Europe

September for me has meant (at least for the past several years) a trip to Amsterdam to take part in IBC.  This year is no different, though i'm heading out a little early to speak at a workshop the European Broadcaster's Union has put together at their headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.  They describe this program (called OCEAN) as:

OCEAN stands for “Open ContEnt Aware Networks”. It is a 3 year European Commission funded project (STREP) which started on 1st February 2010. Its mission is to design and develop a second-generation open content delivery system (CDN). The OCEAN system performs content caching in the broadband cabinets and exchanges, thus bringing the media files much closer to the end user than traditional CDNs. This additional caching layer is complementary to the traditional CDNs (such as Akamai, Limelight, Level3) and is interoperable with them. OCEAN deploys a network-controlled, content-aware, highly scalable and adaptive content delivery techniques. To this end, OCEAN may significantly improve the efficiency of the overall internet distribution mechanism.

For my part, I'll be there representing SeaWell (remember, my day time job?) and discussing using technologies like H.264 SVC as a way to reduce the number of encodes needed to deliver content to all the screens and resolutions they hope to reach.  It should be an interesting day and having never been to Geneva, I'm hoping to fit in a little tourist time before or after the event.

Then its off to Amsterdam and the International Broadcaster's Conference (or European NAB as I often think of it).  IBC is always a fun, and tiring event - it is a vast show with everything from High-end production equipment, mobile network delivery companies, and even a variety of transmission and radio companies (it's not a show without checking out the latest folding parabolic transmitter i'll never use).  It is also a reunion of sorts, as I'll run into old college friends, former work colleagues, and random people i've met in my time of working in the online video industry.  I'm also hoping to catch up with those attending the show who've read my book or followed my work in compression - its always fun grabbing a beer and chatting about the geekiest of production topics.  If you happen to be attending the show, use the RWVC contact form to drop me a note and we can plan to get together!  If you aren't attending the show, don't worry, i'll be posting a few notes during the show about some of the cooler things i see while i'm there.






I got a daytime job, i'm doin' alright...

As I promised a few posts ago, I am finally passing along the details for the recent dull time job I took.  It's hard to believe i've already been there two months (though those two month included two big shows - NAB and Streaming Media East)!  In mid march I joined a new startup called SeaWell Networks.  They just came out of stealth mode in February of this year with the announcement of their series A funding ($7.5 million if you're curious).  My title there is Chief Evangelist, though if you are familiar with Software startups, rarely do you do just one job.  At SeaWell, I'm responsible for all Marketing aspects, both for the company and the products (our first one was announced at Streaming Media East this month).  In addition to that however, a big part of my job is education people about H.264 Scalable Video Coding (SVC) which is where the evangelism part comes in.  SeaWell is focused on new technologies that improve multi-platform distribution and adaptive streaming and SVC is the first component of that solution.  They are based in Mississauga, Ontario though i'll be based in Portland, OR (which is great, because it gets really cold in Ontario the winter!).

Feel free to check out SeaWell's site to learn more about them and SVC (in fact, there is a white paper on it here if you want more technical details about how it works).  I will doubtless mention them from time to time here (how could I not) but this site and what it covers will remain my opinions, ideas, and direction.  SVC and SeaWell have very cool forward looking ideas for the industry I work in, but there is still of plenty of other things that need answering or covering, so it would be ridiculous to hone in on just them (besides, if i turned this into a shill site for my day time job, i couldn't do as many poop jokes).

The best part is, my job gives me the flexibility to still do the other things i'm interested in, such as the mentoring I'll be doing again this year at Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) in their Producers Institute for New Technologies (look for another post about that this week, as it kicks off this Friday)!  So that's the story. Two months in I can say I really love the job, the company, and the people I'm working with.  They are a really good fit for me and the type of work I like to do.