Issue 24 Articles

Nextscape logoMultimedia Services Made Easy and Cost-Effective

InterComms talks to Akihiko Hamano, Marketing Manager, Nextscape Inc.

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Akihiko Hamano, Marketing Manager, Nextscape Inc.
Akihiko Hamano
Marketing Manager, Nextscape Inc.

Nextscape has compiled and structured all the experience and knowledge gained in the NTT Docomo dVideo platform development, and developed the Nextscape MDS solution. MDS has been introduced to the Japanese market in July, 2014, and has already been implemented for four clients, including telecommunications, entertainment and educational firms.

MDS is a solution based on Microsoft Azure, covering all steps, from contents upload through encoding, copyright management, delivery, to replay, all within one solution. Multimedia delivery solutions usually include a mixture of various technologies and solutions, which are put together resembling a complicated puzzle. Several integrations have to be customized and adjusted, just to make the selected technologies work together, leading to a longer implementation time, higher risk and hardships in the maintenance phase. MDS enables Nextscape’s customers to have an already integrated bundle of relevant and reliable technologies implemented, reducing time and costs required initially, and also reducing the risks and the support required for the maintenance phase.

Because of this, Nextscape is able to focus more on optimizing the solution’s resources to better meet the needs of our clients, instead of having to work mainly on stabilizing the integrations of an ad-hoc solution.

Although MDS is a complete solution, including all features needed, from contents upload to replay on the end-user devices, it is also possible to go with a step-by-step approach. Nextscape developed MDS to be a modular solution. Modules can be skipped, or added one by one, depending on customer side scheduling or budget limitations. For example, it is possible to have only the encoder or only the DRM feature implemented into an already existing solution, or to only have the replay part covered. This enables customers to have their already existing systems upgraded, without the need for a complete replacement project.

Furthermore, Nextscape’s MDS solution already supports the highest quality in commercial use, enabling the use of 4K contents. The H.265 (HEVC) encoder of the solution enables to deliver 4K contents at half the size of H.264 contents. This leads to a significant reduction of storage costs, one of the heaviest expenses for multimedia delivery solutions. The reduced size means also less network traffic, reducing pressure on the network and ensuring better streaming/download speeds.

PlayReady being also a part of the MDS solution means, that even the strictest content owners approve the use of Nextscape’s Multimedia Delivery Suite. PlayReady is Microsoft’s globally acknowledged, market-leading copyright management solution, meeting the requirements of every content owner.

Technologies are but one of the foundations of MDS. Another important ingredient is the know-how and the experience of the Nextscape team. To avoid the delivery of a too much simplified, out of the box solution, adjustments to meet the customer needs are required. Having an already integrated package, enables our team to focus exactly on this. Optimize the solution to be a perfect match for our client. Nextscape has professional teams covering both the Azure cloud platform and multimedia technologies. Nextscape has been awarded as the Microsoft Japan Azure Partner of the year 2012, 2013 and 2014, proving that the knowledge of our team is also reflected in the solutions we provide.

When delivering contents over the internet, one has to be aware of the fact, that the users will replay the contents on every possible device, including PCs, tablets, smartphones and smart TVs for example. On all of these devices, the quality of the both the delivery and the contents delivered, has to be top-notch. Nowadays, when a user is not satisfied with one multimedia source, they find another source in the blink of an eye, and soon after, voice their (in this case, negative) opinion on social media, starting a negative marketing wave. Delivery has to be swift and reliable and quality has to be excellent. Then the users will spread the news of a convenient, fast and entertaining service.

MDS is cloud based, with dynamic resources, enabling to meet demand even at peak times. It also supports HEVC, enabling 4K content support without significant impact on storage size and network traffic. A powerful combination, that results in exactly what is needed: high quality entertainment delivered in a swift and reliable manner.

Media Delivery Suite (MDS) enables the replay of contents on smart devices, including smartphones, tablets and smart TVs, helping Nextscape’s clients to keep up with the latest market trends and reaching their users whatever device they might be using.

Encoding of existing video contents. In case of large content data (for example 80,000 files with a total size of over 40TB), the encoding process can take several months, and requires an enormous infrastructure to process it. MDS, being a cloud based solution, can be scaled to use resources in parallel and only for a given period of time. Utilizing the resources and scalability of Microsoft Azure, MDS has encoded 10TBs of data within only two weeks. This was possible by using up to 300 virtual units to work on the encoding processes. This freed up time and costs and also decreased time to market, thus optimizing the customer’s business processes and efficiency.

One of our clients faced the issue of having to communicate with multiple solution providers and vendors for basically any change in their system, or any large scale task at hand. When switching over to MDS, they had one single partner to communicate with, one single partner who is able to cover all their requirements and provide all the technology needed to empower the services they provide to their users.

Reducing the time required for each implementation or system change, update, is a significant merit for any business, improving cost efficiency, and it is our pleasure to provide the appropriate solutions to enable our customer to achieve exactly this level of improvement.

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