New Adaptive Bitrate Linear Packager From Appear TV

At the 2018 IBC Show, Appear TV will spotlight its new Adaptive Bitrate Linear Packager (ABR), which is part of the company’s OTT software platform for content distributors. The ABR Packager is designed to improve the experience for viewers watching content across a myriad of devices, from traditional TV to smartphones, tablets and laptops.

The ABR Packager adapts video quality to changing network conditions dynamically, providing optimal user experience according to bandwidth. It can provide different resolutions and video streams depending on the type of device being used, while always maintaining quality video.

However, the company said ABR is more than a packager. It is a video segmentation engine that provides high-performance storage with internal and external options, just-in-time packager/DRM engine, origin server and optional offline encoding/transcoding. The software also complements an encoder to produce streamable content and can adapt to varying workflows without affecting the end user, which contributes to overall user improvement.

Geir Ertzaas, R&D manager at Appear TV, said the packager is ideally suited for large-scale broadcast networks and channels, and cable operators that require the ability to adapt to different workflows.

“Appear’s ABR Packager provides the right kind of video for a particular device through alternating or differing bandwidth constraints,” he said. “This device saves on storage since the content itself is saved in an agnostic mezzanine format, therefore all reformatting and packaging is done on the fly and can thus easily target multiple specific device requirements with no storage overhead.”

In a typical workflow, the ABR Packager is connected to a Digital Rights Management (DRM) system to support security of the content, while working with content management systems and middleware systems for efficient delivery to the end user. With a massive storage capacity, the ABR Packager offers an unlimited ability to store recordings ranging in length from seven days to 100 days and more. Completely scalable to the user’s specific requirements, the ABR Packager can fit into small installations while also managing upwards of 1,000+ channels.

In addition to programmatic television and VOD, the ABR Packager can also act as an efficient Web publishing system for highlights and clips of live TV news, weather and sports. For example, it was recently used during the World Cup to produce highlight clips from the matches and directly post this content to Web pages in the region.

When using Appear’s ABR, content providers can make on-demand content viewable immediately, with no lag from when a program is broadcasted on traditional TV to its availability as a VOD. The software also has blackout functionality that allows users to filter out programs that are not ready for VOD or Web publishing. This ensures that only approved content is available and viewable to the end user.

The packager is easy to integrate into an overall service infrastructure with a complete set of REST-based APIs that allow full control over functionality. The goal of ABR is to simplify operational environments through great redundancy features and it has been field-proven with international broadcasters for several years now. 

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