Category Archives: Ustream

IBM buys streaming service Ustream to boost its cloud video portfolio

IBM2IBM has announced another cloud video acquisition with the intention to purchase video streaming service provider Ustream. The new acquisition will become part of IBM’s Cloud offering to enterprises. Financial details were not disclosed.

Ustream has developed a cloud model to support live and on-demand video streams. It currently has 80 million viewers per month from customers including NASA, Samsung, Facebook, Nike and The Discovery Channel. It has a San Francisco base and a development office in Budapest, Hungary with data centres in California, Amsterdam and Tokyo.

The newly-formed IBM Cloud Video Services unit is now comprised of IBM’s R&D labs and acquisitions such as Clearleap, Ustream, Aspera and Cleversafe, as well as its own R&D inventions.

In December BCN reported how IBM had bought video service provider Clearleap which aims to create APIs for every type of device on which video can be watched. The unit will offer video services including open API development, digital and visual analytics, management and a promise of consistent delivery across global industries.

In addition IBM’s R&D has led to 1,000 patents of its own in areas such as visual analytics and indexing and searching large collections of videos and digital images.

The foundation of the Ustream portfolio is the open Ustream Development Platform which helps clients to create custom video apps to run video on any device and embed video into any application. IBM will integrate Ustream’s development platform into Bluemix to allow clients to provide distinct video services to developers.

The Ustream portfolio includes Ustream Demand, which lets marketers collect and automate leads into marketing workflows and Ustream Align, for secure internal employee communications. Ustream Pro Broadcasting offers large scale live video streaming.

Unit General Manager Braxton Jarratt said IBM estimates there is a target market for cloud-based video services and software worth a potential $105 billion, because companies now communicate with customers and employees through video, webcasts, conference keynotes, training and customer care. Since video is expensive to manage and provide, Upstream’s understanding of how cloud computing can help rationalise costs is invaluable, according to Upstream CEO Brad Hunstable. “We’ve built a video platform that is easy-to-use, yet incredibly scalable and powerful. It is these qualities that made us an ideal addition to IBM’s portfolio,” said Hunstable.

Ustream Cloud Platform Delivers Global Audiences to Any Broadcaster, Anytime

Ustream today unveiled its next-generation streaming technology. The core of the Ustream Cloud Platform centers around the company’s proprietary Ustream Content Delivery Network (UCDN), Ustream Media Server (UMS) and Ustream TCP Congestion Control Algorithm (UTCP). Together, this technology provides users with redundancy, resiliency, and reliability to broadcast quality live video streams.

Compared to most single-sourced CDN solutions, Ustream’s UCDN architecture aggregates the capacity of all major content delivery networks across the globe into one optimized network to guarantee the best viewer experience, from any location in the world. UMS controls the full lifecycle of live video streams and assures the ability to seamlessly scale to millions of concurrent viewers from any device; further, UTCP ensures smooth, non-buffered playthrough in adverse network conditions. Ustream’s first live video stream in 2007 engaged a small community in the hundreds; today, the most popular live video streams captivate millions concurrently. Earlier this year, Ustream powered two massively-scaled events within one week — NASA’s Russian meteor fly-by and Sony’s PlayStation 4 announcement — each reaching 8 million global viewers, with a peak of 1 million concurrent viewers. The Ustream Cloud Platform is the only global, live video streaming platform that can scale to this level and beyond.

“With the official release of the Ustream Cloud Platform, we are pushing the limits of what’s physically possible on today’s internet architecture,” said Gyula Feher, CTO of Ustream. “Since the founding of the company, our ambition has been to build the world’s most scalable and easiest to use live online video platform. With our APIs, we are inviting web and app developers to take Ustream Cloud to every mobile and web user.”

With Ustream APIs, software and hardware developers can create rich broadcasting and viewing applications that utilize the power of the Ustream Cloud Platform. Partner developers can easily create simple interfaces that connect consumer and professional streaming products to the largest live video streaming network with the click of a button; they can also expand their own network by creating and customizing channels on the fly via the API.  The Ustream HTML5 player API and pre-configured libraries for iOS and Android enable interactive viewing experiences and social chat for desktop, mobile and tablets. Current users of Ustream’s Broadcasting APIs include Panasonic, Samsung, Logitech and Teradek; Sony’s new PlayStation 4 will also utilize Ustream APIs. Users of Ustream’s Viewing APIs include custom mobile apps from Mobile Roadie and and custom event pages from clients such as Sony, Panasonic, Dell and Salesforce.

“We’ve designed and built a platform that will provide our user community with the highest quality streams, and we’re doing everything in our power to deliver this to viewers without buffering. The Ustream Cloud Platform automatically finds the best route to the end-user, avoiding congested paths, and uses an optimized TCP congestion control algorithm to serve content, even on lossy wireless networks, without buffering,” said Arpad Kun, Ustream’s director of network operations. “We hate the ‘spinning wheel’ as well, so we optimized the underlying protocol of RTMP and HTTP to deliver streams on-time, on-time, so users don’t have to wait for the player to fill up it’s buffer again. Our technology is unmatched and wherever we can, we are taking the single point of failure out of the equation.”