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|Seattle, Washington's Encoding.com uses "the world's most advanced mass encoding facility" to offer a proprietary Optimized encoding process for converting audio and video into Internet media formats. Founder Martin Tobias indicates the resource requirements that intranet managers have to consider while planning streamed-media applications - and the savings they can expect.|| |
"As long as the technology remains complex and resource intensive the tendancy to outsource will be stronger. I see the process as being complex and resource intensive for some time to come."
- Martin Tobias
Intranet Journal: What role do companies like Activate, Globix and Encoding.com play in the relationship between content providers and streaming media?
Martin Tobias: To do streaming on the net you need four things.
3. Client-server software
4. Encoding capacity.
We focus on the last one. Activate and Globix are on the bandwidth and some live event production side of things. None of this works unless the content owners want to release the rights to do the streaming. The real issue these days is how to make up the incremental cost of streaming if you are a content owner. We have some very unique solutions for that. We also end up making the spreadsheets work out better because our costs to encode and produce are so low in volume.
IJ: Do you agree with RealNetworks' Rob Glaser when he suggests that television is going to migrate to the Web?
MT: I agree that the next major improvement of the Web experience will be audio and video experiences. Those will be of a more interactive nature than the passive nature of the TV today. They are two different devices with two different primary purposes. When you can receive the quality of a TV image over a TCP/IP network, And the screens and interface are as easy to use as a TV today, then I believe there won't be much of a need for two devices. If you have to choose who will eat who, it is the Computer that will eat the TV.
IJ: Do you foresee streaming media becoming de rigeur in the context of corporate operations
IJ: If networks and TV stations will eventually catch up to Globix, Activate, etc., and do their own streaming delivery themselves, then what does that leave you with in terms of business?
MT: With every new technology which comes down the pike, a certain percentage of people will adopt it themselves and a larger percentage will outsource. As long as the technology remains complex and resource intensive the tendancy to outsource will be stronger. I see the process as being complex and resource intensive for some time to come.
IJ: What is your position on G2 technology versus Windows MediaPlayer?
MT: Encoding.com is the Switzerland of the codec wars. We are experts in all formats and let our customers decide which format they would like to use for their particular project.
IJ: Can you give me an example of corporations that have experienced substantial ROI by streaming media in the enterprise? Ira Machefsky [an IT analyst at Norwell, Massachusetts-based Giga Information Group] says because of bandwidth, self-paced training and video-conferencing are the best emergent applications of streaming media in the enterprise. Care to comment?
MT: We have seen our customers save significant money in the training space. We have a significant relationship with the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) which delivers disaster training over the internet at a significantly lower cost than experts in the field can. In addition, we see significant opportunity in the entertainment space with music and movie trailers.
Stay tuned next week for the second part of our series on Streaming Media with industry luminaries.
As Minister of Order and Reason, Encoding.com founder Martin Tobias provides the company's vision, and manages its day-to-day activities.