Adobe Partners are Ready for Adobe Primetime

When you start something new in life be it a company, a project or something personal – it is exciting.

Today, we announced Adobe Primetime – a complete multi-screen video solution that enables broadcast programmers and pay TV service providers to capitalize broadcast video across every connected screen.

Many times, you find yourself dreaming about success and how you might change the world – and if you’re smart, you will build on strong and solid foundations from your history that accelerate your success – and that is just what we did with Adobe Primetime.

Adobe has developed very strong and trusted technology partnerships in the video delivery ecosystem that drive many of the videos watched online today. It is these partnerships and technologies that make up the ecosystem that enables the future of multi-screen video with Adobe Primetime.

While our name is new, Adobe Primetime is built on a strong foundation of encoding, delivery, playback and protection ecosystem.  Adobe Innovations such as RTMP, H.264, and Adaptive bitrate have enabled the world to engage with video in new ways developed by our customers that challenged how we consumed video.

Look around in your home, at your kids in your office and notice – the world consumes video differently today than five years ago and behind the scenes, Adobe innovation is there and that is the basis of Adobe Primetime.

Over the past 10+ years of video innovation, Adobe has partnered with the early visionaries and innovators in video preparation and delivery. As a result, Exabyte’s of video is delivered or prepared every month and consumed using Adobe technologies that are integrated into network, hardware, software and cloud solutions.

From video ingest and encoding using RTMP, to HTTP output and H.264 across every device – Adobe technologies are integrated into the very core of virtually every component in the video workflow.

Adobe Primetime was built from the ground up combining many different technologies into one and leverage existing partner solutions so that broadcasters can deliver a robust, rich live streaming or HD video on-demand experience to global audiences. The video industry is undergoing a shift towards standardization and interoperability, and it is that interoperability that will catapult the volume of video available to consumers.

This week in Las Vegas, the NAB Show is a perfect example of the evolution of video. In nearly every booth, video innovations are demonstrated on devices of many shapes, sizes and connectedness.

Okay – let’s look at the ecosystem (from our eyes), and how Adobe Primetime customers can leverage their existing hardware and services contracts to quickly address the screens of now and the future.

ENCODERS: There are two classes of encoders – those that enable live streaming and those that enable VOD streaming. Encoders can live at a broadcaster data center or in the cloud. Encoders are where video starts its journey to the device. These powerful workhorses consume one video stream or file and in real-time output 20-40 different versions at various shapes and sizes optimized for devices. Encoders also convert embedded video signals for advertising, closed captioning and entitlement then transport it to Adobe Primetime-enabled players. Encoders also package content into HDS or HLS format (both supported by Adobe Primetime) and also apply DRM and Protected Streaming using Adobe Primetime DRM (formally Adobe Access). Many encoding companies are also innovating smart origin and packaging services to provide additional scale to meet the coming demand.

Cisco_ElementalVisionary companies like Cisco and Elemental have led the way with innovative live streaming technologies that are quickly leveraging cloud infrastructure to meet the scale and capacity required to quickly produce the quality and multiple format requirements. These industry-leading companies are present in many broadcasters’ data centers today. Adobe has also partnered with Envivio, Harmonic, and RGB Networks – whose devices and services are ready for Adobe Primetime today. We are working to enable all of our encoder partners with Adobe Primetime technologies.

DRM & PROTECTION SERVICES: DRM protection is extremely complex technology to deploy due to security and robustness requirements. When coupled with the various support across devices, connected TV’s, game consoles and PCs, DRM adds a lot of barriers to multi-screen video streaming. DRM service providers make it easier to implement license delivery, subscription entitlement and event transactional services for rental or pay-per-view services. DRM service providers operate Adobe Primetime DRM license services, and can easily integrate into encoding workflows to encrypt video content. Adobe Primetime Player uses a single DRM across desktops, Android, iOS and connected TVs – with full support for industry standard Ultraviolet Common Encryption.

Irdeto

Companies like Irdeto have gladly taken the responsibility of hosting Adobe Primetime DRM license servers so it doesn’t have to be managed by broadcasters or distributors. They provide an innovative and robust protection service that can reduce the complexity for protecting content streaming to Adobe Primetime-enabled video players. Adobe has also partnered with Vualto, Authentec, CSG and other popular DRM services. Content encryption can be done when video is encoded through encoding partners, or dynamically using cloud service providers such as Level3 or Akamai.

CONTENT DELIVERY NETWORKS (CDN): Think of CDNs as the 21st century’s video antenna. Without them, we literally would not have the ability to deliver HD video across such a wide array of networks, like mobile, WiFi, office or home Internet connections. CDNs provide the transport and caching technologies vital to video delivery. CDNs are expanding what they can do by operating encoders, live ingest, encryption and other services to make video publishing easier.

Akamai_Amazon_Level3

Companies like Akamai, Amazon Web Services and Level3 provide the global scale and reach required to bring video experiences to consumer devices that are uninterrupted by network buffering. Nearly every top broadcaster globally makes use of one or many of our delivery network partners. Adobe Primetime is an HTTP-streaming based solution supported by the HDS and HLS streaming formats which can pass and scale through CDNs easily. These CDNs can also dynamically prepare videos that can be watched within an Adobe Primetime-enabled video player.   Adobe partners with more than 25 CDNs globally, and we are working to certify them all to support Adobe Primetime customers.

LIVE EVENT SERVICES: Today there are more Live events and 24×7 linear streaming being watched than video on-demand. Webcasting is not what it used to be and Adobe’s partners have made perfecting professional live video streaming their business. From satellite, fiber or IP signal acquisition, these professional services companies bring the world’s major events such as the Olympics, Super Bowl, World Cup and more to every screen imaginable. By deploying the world’s most advanced live and linear facilities along with operating encoders, teleports, payment systems and large data centers – consumers now experience full HD live events that do not fail – and are enhanced with live highlight clipping and advanced performance telemetry.

iStream_AEG_Deltatre_Atos_Origin_NeuLion

Companies like iStreamPlanet, AEG Digital Media, Deltatre, ATOS Origin, Origin Digital and NeuLion all partner with Adobe to enable Adobe Primetime customers with integrated signal acquisition, protection and engaging video player experiences that drive extremely high volumes and advertising opportunities. By combining Adobe Primetime ad insertion technology into their workflows, our customers can monetize their content through advertising and authentication. This is hard work, and it requires a masterful hand to make sure events are successful because as a friend of mine often reminds me, “If you are delivering an Internet-only stream, and it fails…you don’t have an event!”

Adobe Primetime may be new, but we have been working to pre-enable an ecosystem of technologies to provide a premier broadcast video experience across screens and more innovation is on the way!

Adobe Primetime and the Single Publishing Workflow

Today there are different video formats to target various platforms, which invariably lead to increased storage and delivery costs, redundant workflows, and reduced scale due to caching inefficiencies. Complex workflows boost operating costs, which can prevent reaching all potential users.

For example, if it’s required to deploy four DRMs, three streaming protocols, three ad insertion technologies to reach all devices and users, and the video playback itself on the devices is not consistent due to fragmentation, it can become too expensive to deploy and maintain. The compromise is to settle on a subset of devices, which will limit your reach.

Adobe Primetime, now generally available, is committed to helping programmers and distributors reach, monetize and activate audiences across screens. This is due to having a single publishing, protocol, DRM, CVAA-compliant closed captioning, and ad workflow to reach all users across all major devices.

To simplify delivery workflows, we are enhancing our protocol support with Adobe Primetime: 

  • Adobe Primetime Player will support HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), in addition to the existing HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS) on the desktop
  • HLS will be available on all Adobe Primetime Player mobile platforms
  • Support of  MPEG-Dash in the future

All platforms and protocols support all Adobe Primetime Player features, including:

  • Seamless Ad Insertion
  • Digital rights management (DRM)
  • Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) compliant closed captioning
  • Enhanced video analytics

Desktops / Android

Desktops and Android devices will both include a full HLS (v4) video stack. It will specifically address the video playback fragmentation challenges on Android with its low-level integration, and provide high-quality video playback on all Android 2.3 and 4.x devices with the Adobe Primetime Player.

iOS

Adobe Primetime uses the native HLS video stack on iOS. Adobe Primetime DRM and Ad Insertion are fully compliant with Apple’s video guidelines.

Other

Future mobile and digital home support will offer all Adobe Primetime features, and can be targeted with a single publishing workflow.

We are very excited to help simplify the publishing workflow with Adobe Primetime, and provide the best possible reach and user experience for the next generation of online video content.

New Primetime Logo

CES: TV Everywhere Becoming a Reality in 2013

As we embark on a new year, we’re excited to see more and more “TV Everywhere” experiences coming online. With Adobe Pass, our Emmy Engineering award-winning authentication service and a key component of Adobe‘s Project Primetime, we are working closely with our partners to make it easier for millions of consumers to access their pay TV content across devices.

Adobe Pass is now supported by more than 150 pay TV operators covering nearly 98 percent of all pay TV households in the U.S. Given the current adoption rate, we anticipate all major TV shows will be available through a TV Everywhere experience in the next two years.

We’re thrilled that A+E Networks just launched its first iPad apps, powered by Adobe Pass, for three of its networks: A&E, HISTORY and Lifetime. These three networks bring to iPad users their broadcast content, including popular TV shows like Storage Wars (A&E), Pawn Stars (HISTORY) and Project Runway (Lifetime). Additionally, Comcast customers can access exclusive content across all three apps. With three new A+E apps now live, more than 55 sites and mobile apps are now powered by Adobe’s authentication service. TV programmers working with Adobe include NBC, Fox, Disney, ESPN, Cartoon Network, MTV, TNT, CNN, Scripps, Pac12, NFL Network, The Hallmark Channel, Univision, and many others.

We’re excited about the pipeline of new TV Everywhere apps coming online in 2013 – bringing consumers a digital living room experience on the go. Stay tuned for some major updates between now and The NAB Show.

Lifetime HISTORY A&E

Adobe Pass Drives Mainstream Adoption of TV Everywhere

Adobe Pass, a key component of Adobe’s Project Primetime, has quickly established itself as the industry leader in TV Everywhere services. Used by NBC Olympics to enable live streams, Adobe Pass is now integrated with more than 150 pay TV providers and supports over 40 sites and mobile apps from 25 major networks including Fox, ESPN, CNN Continue reading

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UK’s largest commercial broadcaster drops Silverlight for Flash

Following the news last week that Microsoft and UK-based retailer Tesco announced a commercial agreement (no details of the financial arrangements were published) it is interesting to see that one media company who previously adopted Microsoft Silverlight for it’s online TV catch-up service has completely replaced the Silverlight-based player for one built using Adobe Flash Player.

ITV Player

ITV, owner of the UK’s largest commercial television channel in terms of audience share and advertising revenue, had been using Silverlight since the launch of the service, but if the ITV forums and other reports are anything to go by, the use of Silverlight had certainly caused frustration for many visitors to the site trying to use ITV Player.

I have no inside knowledge as to what caused ITV to walk away from Microsoft’s technology and instead use Flash Player to stream programmes such as Coronoation Street, Emmerdale and X Factor on the ITV Player; it seems though that a combination of the reported technical problems experienced by end-users and the relatively low distribution of the the runtime, which required most visitors to install Silverlight, proved to be too much of a barrier for end-user adoption, especially when compared with the successful use of Flash for BBC iPlayer, 4 on-demand and Five TV’s Demand 5 service.

Note: it looks as if ITV are still in the process of updating their site so expect some minor issues whilst they finish the process.