Earlier this week I attended the NY Video Meetup group, which was an excellent break from the monotony of work, home, gym, etc. Why not shake things up? The event was sponsored-in-part and hosted by AOL headquarters (770 Broadway (and 9th St), New York, NY 10003).
I must say when I got to the 6th floor lobby I felt homesick. My first company after college was very-much like AOL’s furnishings. It had a start-up feel to it, where everything was white, and glossy, and lots of bright colors. The $10 admission paid for the beer and pizza, which also reminded me of the old days – perhaps again some day. The people present were very cool and laid back; most seemed to be artists, musicians, or small business owners – it was a nice break from working within a large company as mine and getting to know some new people with new ideas. There were in total, according to the Meetup site, about 140 people.
April 2, 2011 Comments Off
Whether you have multimedia content on a remote device like a file server (NAS) or your laptop, the next big question: how do I stream that content wirelessly to my TV? There are a few ways to do so, and if you’re into consumer gadgetry in general then chances are you have a solution already. For instance, I have a Xbox 360 and an Apple TV2. The Xbox 360 natively supports wireless networking to a file server but is limited in its media codec support. Plus its pretty college-bootleg to have to boot up the 360 to watch a movie.
Apple TV 2 on the other hand is very slick and simple, yet missing the essential streaming from a (gasp!) non-Apple machine. That’s right – at this time, Home Sharing is not something you’ll find on a device other than another apple computer. I had no intention of buying another Apple device to serve media content. Thankfully, the kind folks at http://www.appletvhacks.net had just published an article to jailbreak the operating system on the Apple TV so you can inject additional software onto the device. This sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. Just follow the instructions and soon you can be playing high definition movies from your file server running XBMC (formerly Xbox Media Center).
March 22, 2011 Comments Off
The Online Video Platform market is bursting at the seams with choices, with KIT Digital and Brightcove leading the pack. SaaS-based online video publishing, editing, monetization, and analytics are the main ingredients in an OVP, while tools, widgets, and APIs are added bonuses that are quickly becoming required as well if the smaller businesses plan to continue. So, at what point does an OVP become more that just an empty player? Having all these bells and whistles are nice to have, but its easy to recognize that without quality content for the end user, the player quickly becomes useless.
However, not all OVP customers have access to content that will build and support quality presentations to the end user (notice I didn’t say video). The most time consuming part of building a presentation, whether it be video or a slide deck, is the collection and organization of content – data, slides, and media. Therefore, OVP providers need to worry less about features and more about providing their customers with easy access to content, whether they are through partnerships, acquisitions, home-grown solutions. The tools, player, and ultimately the end user experience should be viewed as nothing more than an enabler – the conveyor of content. When you boil down the OVP to a conveyor of content, and perhaps a side-by-side feature comparison with the top platforms in the market, you’ll begin to realize most of them offer the same goods. Its important to stand out in the crowd.
That all being said, I expect the OVP market will flatten over the next year or two. There are just too many OVPs with the same bells and whistles under the hood. Those providers that have the ability to provide and build quality content will survive longer. Popular providers like Brightcove are likely to gain more attractive partnerships as a result of their initial OVP success. Companies recognize them as a leader, thus I’m certain content providers are approaching them for partnerships. Their success will result in unique content for their player, ultimately expanding their portfolio of big names. The smaller providers will become redundant in the market. If the smaller providers really want to survive, they will need to start talking quickly, if they aren’t already, to data providers with a niche market.
January 21, 2011 Comments Off