Cloud TV: here, now!
Imagine this. You’ve been waiting to watch the finals of the Indian Premier League cricket tournaments all along. You’ve set the room, fixed your food and drinks, invited your friends over—everything is set, when your boss calls and asks you to drive out for a client meeting that cannot be avoided. Without missing a beat, you pick up your smart phone and get into the car, and as your driver navigates the nearly empty roads, you continue to watch the match on your phone—ball by ball.
IPTV, or Internet Protocol television delivered on the Cloud, makes this possible and brings a new dimension to how people consume, collaborate, and interact with content. IP technology means that your TV, computers, cell phones and wireless devices can be integrated to all work together, giving you unmatched features, more control and more personalization.
Think of Internet Protocol as a “language” that devices use to communicate over a network. IP is not the same thing as the Internet. Rather, it’s the same language used by the Internet. IP technology allows information to be sent and received over any broadband or network connection.
When all of your devices and services—now including your TV—speak the same language, they are able to easily work together in new ways.
Great stuff, you think. And all this is probably available only in the US or elsewhere, you conclude. “CloudTV is here, now,” says Karthik Subramanian, Founder and CEO at PurpleStream Convergence, a Singapore-based company (and operations in Chennai, India) that is making rapid inroads in this nascent market to enable content channels and broadcasters bring their content to IP network-based distribution. “We are making it easy for content providers to distribute their content over any network, across any bandwidth, into any smart device, with compelling user controls.”
Over the last few years, Karthik and his team have collaborated with channels and network labels across the Asia Pacific region to bring news, sports, video-on-demand, and real-time content to the mobile screen. “Television used to be a one-way street—the consumer simply watched what was screened. All that is changing. With Television delivered on the Internet Cloud, the consumer is at the center of the experience—watching, sharing, commenting, rating, and even paying for services all on their smart devices.”
PurpleStream is shifting the paradigm in content delivery, bringing CloudTV-as-a-Service to the market. “Networks and broadcasters want to focus on content, not on the massive roadblocks like new devices, new standards, and ever-changing regulations that crop up. PurpleStream’s CloudTV-as-a-Service is designed to overcome all these roadblocks—clients sign up for our service, and we take it over from there,” says Akil Ahmed, Director of Products and Services at PurpleStream. “We ensure that content is prepped for delivery across any device and bandwidth, and our clients pay one flat fee for this service.”
Not stopping there, PurpleStream is now expanding into the enterprise market—global enterprises with distributed offices that want to remain in contact in real-time over video. “Imagine field operators who want to discuss an issue with their local or anchor office,” says Karthik, “they can now use their phones and cameras to stream videos back-and-forth, and keep in touch in real-time. The company can also stream content to these devices—across time zones and geographies—and everybody is now online.”
“Have you thought about what happens on the seas?” chips in Akil, “This is a completely underserved market, and we are bringing a disruptive TV and Video streaming services for the global Maritime Industry.” Dubbed PurpleWave, the two-way Internet video service maximizes scarce bandwidth and combines mission critical security communications for fleet operators with infotainment content for crew. PurpleWave dramatically reduces the cost of TV and Video content delivery to ships in the high seas.
The PurpleStream promise of superior performance is powered by its unique Single Source Multi-Device (SSMD) technology and integrated video delivery platform that enables webcast in broadcast quality. “Our entire technology sits on the PurpleStream Cloud,” observes Karthik, “driven by an Adaptive Bit Rate technology that is capable of delivering live video streams with zero buffering. Our transcoding blueprint is changing the Live Internet Protocol Television (IOTV) Delivery paradigm for bandwidth-scarce markets like India.”
PurpleStream delivers high quality output even at low bandwidths such as 96 Kbps at a resolution of QCIF. The technology can rapidly ramp up resolution up to HD streaming at bandwidths of 2Mbps and more. At the heart of PurpleStream Cloud technology blueprint is its robust transcoding offering.
Early implementations of streaming media systems coded the same content at a few strategic media rates targeted for common connection speeds (e.g. one for dialup modern and one for DSL/cable) and allowed the client to choose the appropriate media rate at the beginning of the session. However, these early systems allowed the media rate to be chosen only once at the beginning of each session.
In contrast, PurpleStream enables dynamic switching between different media rates within a single streaming media session, allowing multi-rate switching. This mid-session switching between different media rates enables better adaptation to longer-term fluctuations in available bandwidth than can be achieved by the use of the client buffer alone. Rate control at end-hosts avoids congestion by dynamically adapting the transmission rate. “Nobody is a fan of the loading circle icon on their devices,” laughs Karthik. “And everybody wants to be in control of what they want to watch, when, where, and how. PurpleStream delivers exactly that.”