Net Insight Continues Asset Disposal To Focus On Media Transport

Sweden’s Net Insight has agreed to sell its resource optimization business, ScheduALL, to Xytech Systems for $6 million, with the transaction expected to be completed within weeks.

This continues the company’s divestment of assets to focus on its core media transport and delivery products, following the sale of its Sye OTT unit to Amazon in 2019.

Net Insight has been returning to its roots in media transport after an adventure in OTT and resource optimization that reached its peak in November 2015 with the launch of its Sye package, dubbed “True Live” at the time because it was designed to synchronize online streams with broadcast transmissions of the same event at low latency. This proved a technical success and was adopted by Amazon within its cloud streaming platform to help solve latency and quality issues for its emerging live OTT services, especially sports.

However, Net Insight itself struggled to recoup its investment in Sye, which although ahead of its time when launched faced increasing competition from standards based rivals. These included SRT (Secure Reliable Transport), the open source protocol developed by Haivision, and the RIST (Reliable Internet Stream Transport) protocol proposed by the Video Services Forum. These both address latency by reducing the delay associated with the TCP protocol retransmitting lost IP packets to maintain video quality, but only provided a skeleton of what was needed at the time for a complete implementation. Amazon selected Sye because it had been shown to work efficiently, having been built around Microsoft’s Azure platform but already being migrated onto its own AWS (Amazon Web Services).

Meanwhile, Net Insight was finding the venture in OTT was weakening its focus on media transport where it had established major clients and so elected to divest itself of this area. The fact Amazon stepped in to acquire the Sye unit for $37.2 million confirmed efficacy of the technology, even if it did not fit with Net Insight’s business model. This has now been followed by the smaller sale of ScheduALL, comprising based resource optimization software which has been part of the Net Insight stable since 2015. It acquired US software house VizuAll, trading as ScheduALL, at that time, aiming to reinforce its position in media service and workflow orchestration, but that too has come to be seen as peripheral to its principal media transport business.

“The divestiture of ScheduALL reflects Net Insight’s strategy to focus on its core Media Networks business, where substantial progress has been made to capture growth opportunities across cloud, IP and remote production applications,” said Crister Fritzson, CEO of Net Insight.

“With this transaction, we reach an important milestone in our journey towards a more focused and stronger Net Insight where we accelerate growth in our core Media Network’s business,” Fritzson added.

In that core business, Net Insight has been adding components that help customers move towards the cloud from their existing infrastructure organically without having to discard legacy systems, according to Fritzson. In an interview for IBC, he outlined how the latest version of its Nimbra Edge facilities integration with Net Insight’s “existing platforms so that our customers get a unified media delivery and processing platform over any blend of public and private infrastructure. Crucially, they can also build on their existing Nimbra hardware as they move towards the cloud, so they can avoid discarding previous investments.”

The ability to deploy the platform in different or hybrid environments will also be crucial for a long time to come as broadcasters move towards IP and cloud-based workflows at variable rates, Fritzson added. A key point here is that Nimbra Edge can be deployed for contribution, primary distribution and live cloud production in a single package. “Cloud production can then either complement existing production workflows or be used in parallel for the OTT and social media production and delivery workflows for the broadcasters and content owners,” Fritzson concluded. 

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