Ever wonder why that video looks so good and appears so fast on the iPad? Elemental Technologies might have something to do with that.
The Portland, Ore.-based company, which provides video processing solutions for multi-screen content delivery, has seen its sales rise right along with Apple’s tablet sales. To hear CEO Sam Blackman explain it, Elemental not only improves the delivery of video, but it does so economically for service providers and content companies that use its technology. Elemental’s boxes take up very little space as well, playing into the “green” theme and reducing HVAC requirements.
Today, Elemental and thePlatform announced a joint solution for processing and managing large, dynamic video content libraries for IP-connected devices. Comcast is the first company to announce it’s using the combined offering in its online and mobile initiatives. ThePlatform is a Seattle-based independent subsidiary of Comcast. In June, Alcatel-Lucent announced a strategic alliance with thePlatform to help cable and IPTV providers deliver video services to mobile phones, tablets, TVs, PCs and more.
Elemental Server’s integration with thePlatform’s mpx allows Comcast to deliver On Demand video to XfinityTV.com and to the Xfinity TV app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. The Elemental Server also provides the capability to support other IP-devices.
Elemental has not announced any wireless carrier customers, but it is seeing growing interest, especially in international markets, according to Blackman. In the U.S., Verizon Communications is one example of a company that wants to leverage its fiber to the home so customers can rent or buy movies via FiOS, download to a PC and enable that to be seen on multiple mobile devices. (Verizon is not a customer of Elemental’s.)
Elemental’s growth follows the trajectory of the iPad. Business is going so well for the company that Blackman says office space continues to be a challenge. The company hired 10 new people the first half of this year and has its sights on hiring 10 more to keep up with demand. The CEO says it’s critical that job candidates not only possess the requisite technical competencies but also are a cultural fit with the company, which, by the way, doesn’t offer any parking spots for employees commuting to the downtown office. Instead, they’re encouraged to use mass transit or bike to work.
Even though he’s the CEO, Blackman isn’t giving himself special treatment. With the company’s limited office space and terrific growth, they ended up replacing eight desks with units that are half the size – and Blackman was one of those who ended up with a smaller desk.
In a white paper on its website, Elemental explains how it worked with ABC News to get to market with timely content for the iPad when it was first launched. ABC deployed the Elemental Server into its production workflow to customize video content for its ABC News application for the iPad. The Elemental Server expedites the transcode portion of the overall workflow and directly addresses the lag time between the availability of content on abc.com and the availability of the same content via the iPad.
Elemental Technologies counts more than 75 of the world’s top media and entertainment companies as customers, including CBS, Disney and PBS.