Imagine acquires Digital Rapids; demos cloud solution


ImagineAt NAB 2014, Imagine Communications announced the acquisition of Digital Rapids, an award-winning innovator in IP and file-based media processing solutions and software-defined workflow management technologies. The company also announced that for the first time in broadcast history, Imagine Communications will demonstrate playout in the cloud at NAB – showcasing breakthroughs that redefine how video content will be originated, managed, and delivered via IP and the cloud.

“Imagine Communications is laser-focused on leading the industry to a future defined by IP, software, the cloud and TV Everywhere, with an architecture vision for delivering and monetizing multiscreen content,” said Charlie Vogt, CEO of Imagine. “We have made major investments in developing our TV Everywhere portfolio, MediaCentral platform, and MultiService SDN frameworks to deliver service-oriented, software-based architectures for our customers. The addition of Digital Rapids’ advancements in software-based workflow management and transcoding strategically complements our pillars of innovation and rounds out our capabilities. Additionally, their expert team, which is based just miles from our Development Center in Toronto, brings a rich history in pioneering software solutions for high-end media processing applications that strengthens our TV Everywhere business and company.”

Digital Rapids software framework accelerates workflow adaptation to changing market dynamics and quickly integrates new technologies as they emerge and evolve, providing advanced service velocity by enabling customers to bring new services and applications to market faster and more efficiently. Building on this powerful software foundation, Digital Rapids’ scalable, enterprise-class solutions combine breakthroughs in quality, intelligent automation and exceptional workflow agility to efficiently automate video processing operations and lower costs while expanding output capabilities to capitalize on rapid growth of mobile video consumption and IP-delivered television services.

This acquisition will also create the world’s most comprehensive portfolio of processing and compression solutions for TV Everywhere. Digital Rapids’ software-based workflow management, transcoding and encoding solutions will integrate with Imagine Communications’ existing mezzanine quality origination encoding, adaptive bit rate (ABR) transcoding technology and content delivery network software to create an end-to-end, TV Everywhere solution for optimized file-based and live video stream distribution across a variety of platforms.

Imagine also announced plans to provide broadcast, TV network and service provider markets with the most comprehensive suite of cloud-based workflow solutions, encompassing its media, playout and TV Everywhere portfolio.

The solution combines Imagine Communications’ cloud-based SelenioNext  ABR, a transcoding technology that provides optimized live video streams across multiscreen platforms such as smart phones, tablets, internet connected TVs and laptops, with SoftLayer’s global data centers. This collaboration will offer broadcasters with innovative cloud-based, end-to-end ad sales, traffic, scheduling, automation, playout, and media distribution solutions. By cloud-enabling SelenioNext and the entire end-to-end portfolio, media companies will have the opportunity to deploy a wider range of services, achieving significant operational efficiencies and new revenue-generating capabilities.

Imagine will demo a cloud-based solution that redefines the technology required to originate, store, and deliver video content. Imagine’s solution enables playout in the cloud, coupled with IP transcoding of contribution sources including baseband.

“Playout and networking of video from the public or private cloud, or under control of cloud-based management systems, is our collective future, and it will forever change the way we manage, deliver and monetize set top and multiscreen video content” said Tim Mendoza, VP of Product Development for Imagine. “This innovation will enable broadcasters to run video channel operations virtually, creating a paradigm shift in the industry that will enable a new realm of flexibility, scalability and control. Without requiring forklift upgrades, our solution provides an evolutionary path to this new future that leverages existing investments and provides significantly improved economics over current operations.”

Visitors to Imagine Communications’ booth will see a demo of uncompressed and compressed video converted to IP and managed by a comprehensive suite of integrated playout capabilities via both public and private clouds. Network programming will originate from the cloud where it will be regionalized within Imagine Communications’ NAB private cloud with local content, including live uncompressed IP sources. The resulting regional feeds will be distributed in compressed, ABR, and uncompressed IP and SDI baseband formats for traditional and TV Everywhere viewing. Imagine Communications is at booth N2503.