Home » Cloud Computing strategy » Enhanced cloud-based content delivery services to anyone, on any device – from Microsoft (Microsoft Azure Media Services) and its solution partners

Enhanced cloud-based content delivery services to anyone, on any device – from Microsoft (Microsoft Azure Media Services) and its solution partners

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Core information:


Microsoft Azure Media Services – MAMS
(pre April 2, 2014: Windows Azure Media Services – WAMS)

A general introduction (when it was still called WAMS, corrected below):
TV Connect 2014: Martin Wahl, Principal Program Manager, Windows Microsoft Azure Media Services [IPTVWorldSeries YouTube channel, March 26, 2014]

Microsoft’s Martin Wahl discusses the intersection between broadcasting and the cloud at TV Connect 2014.

Microsoft Azure Media Services Announces Enhanced Capabilities & New Partnerships at 2014 NAB [by Vibhor_Kapoor on Windows Azure MSDN Blog, April 7, 2014]

Our customers and partners have been building solutions with Microsoft Azure Media Services since its general availability in January 2013, leveraging cloud capabilities in media processing and delivery. Today, we are pleased to announce exciting new partnerships, customers, and capabilities at the 2014 NAB Show in Las Vegas that further support our vision to deliver any media on virtually any device, anywhere.

New Capabilities:   We are excited to announce the following capabilities in a limited public preview that will further enrich the end-to-end, ready-to-use video workflow for encoding, packaging and distribution of live and on-demand content.

  • Live Streaming:  Building on the success of live streaming the 2014 Winter Olympics to millions of customers in 22 countries, we will soon be opening up the underlying technology that made this possible in preview to our customers. Media Services customers will have access to the tools and services needed to handle everything from ingest to processing, and distribution of on-demand video content or streaming live events at Olympic scale, to nearly any device. 
  • Secure Delivery Service: Media Services is also pleased to announce the preview of a secure delivery service that enables customers to protect their content during upload, while at rest in storage, and during playback, using either Microsoft PlayReady Digital Rights Management (DRM) or AES encryption.
  • Office 365 Video Portal: We’re also very excited about a new Office 365 video experience for enterprise customers that we announced at the SharePoint Conference 2014. The Office 365 Video experience offers secure, cloud-based video upload, storage and optimized playback for businesses, all powered by Azure Media Services. To learn more about it, clickhere.

New Customer & Partner Wins:  The integration of third party technologies, breadth of Microsoft’s partner ecosystem and customer momentum makes Media Services a strong choice for organizations looking to move to the cloud for processing anddistribution of media content. We are pleased to announce the following partnerships and customers: 

  • Ooyala Partnership: We’re very excited about our recently announced strategic relationship with Ooyala, a leading online video platform.  Combining Microsoft’s strengths in video infrastructure, encoding, packaging and streaming with Ooyala’s SaaS-based content management, analytics and monetization gives customers the ability to  solve for the challenges of multi-screen services efficiently and reliably. Learn more about the partnership in Ooyala’s press release.
  • iStreamPlanet Partnership:  We’re proud to offer the same live streaming platform that delivered the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi by introducing live video services from iStreamPlanet, powered by Aventus, in the Azure Store.  Customers will be able to choose from packages tailored for recurring live events, ad hoc live events, and live linear streaming channels with fast, high quality, and reliable live ingest and transcoding.  The offering will be available in  Q2 2014.
  • blinkbox Customer Win: blinkbox, a leading UK movie and TV Streaming Service, is taking advantage of Microsoft Azure to expand its business and deliver more content to more customers, with outstanding reliability and quality.  Learn more about it here.
  • FansChoice.tv Customer Win: Fans Choice.tv, a video content site from the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Pro, International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Pro and NASCAR gives race fans anywhere access to premium race video content via the web, tablets, smartphones and PCs.  Using Microsoft Azure Media Services, the website live streams various events across several different racing series not covered by broadcast television. Learn more about it here.

To learn more about these announcements and for additional details on several other exciting updates, please visit John Deutscher’s blog.

To learn how you can leverage Media Services for your video-on-demand, live streaming, and enterprise video projects, please contact us at mediaservicespreview@microsoft.com and visit www.azure.com/media

I would briefly characterize here the new Ooyala relationship as it is quite exemplary:

Ooyala today announced a strategic relationship with Microsoft Corp. to help develop, promote and accelerate the deployment of next-generation IP video services utilizing Microsoft Azure Media Services (Media Services) in conjunction with Ooyala’s SaaS-based video distribution, analytics and monetization technology. Ooyala also formed a global sales and marketing alliance with Microsoft, which is designed to drive standardization of new personalized TV services for broadcasters and operators around the world.

Through this partnership, Ooyala becomes a preferred online video provider for Microsoft and Microsoft becomes Ooyala’s preferred public cloud provider.

From Ooyala and Microsoft Announce Partnership for IP Video Services [Streaming Media Magazine, March 31, 2014]

especially because its long-time Ooyala on AWS – Customer Success Story [Amazon Web Services YouTube channel, Aug 15, 2013]

Find out how Ooyala scales up to 5 times its normal size to power online content for ESPN, Bloomberg and other customers using AWS.

as well as its value proposition as presented in Ooyala Brand Essence Video [Magnet Media, Inc. YouTube channel, Dec 17, 2013]

Ooyala wanted an animated video that shows how its platform can help brands see increased audience engagement with their online videos thanks to Ooyala’s superior speed, compatibility with multiple devices, and data analysis. Additionally, Ooyala wanted the video to introduce a new look that would define the company’s brand and stand out as unique. To reach these goals, Magnet started from scratch to create something totally different from other videos. Several of Magnet’s designers used Ooyala’s colors and fonts to draft concepts, and worked closely with Ooyala to select a design that best fit the brand. Everything else was an original creation by Magnet Media, including the music and animation. The video focuses on the key features of Ooyala’s platform, and how it is a superior video service for driving viewers and engagement. The client was thrilled with the final product, and has expressed interest in working with Magnet again on future video projects.

also as a year ago Ooyala already explained why live video is killing online (also need to know: 25% of the world’s online video traffic is analyzed by Ooyala) Sean Knapp Interview, NAB 2013, StreamingMedia.com [Streaming Media YouTube channel, May 6, 2013]

While short-form video once defined the world of online video, that world is changing. During the recent NAB conference, we spoke to Sean Knapp, Ooyala’s executive vice president and chief product officer, about why live video is taking off online

plus they were one of leading companies discussing on a UK panel what distribution models exist for professional content creators, and how best to leverage them:
Reinventing Distribution: Ooyala, Viki & Base79 – MIPCube 2013 [mipmarkets YouTube channel, April 10, 2013]

Distribution today can happen anywhere — and often spontaneously. The trick isn’t to let the winds blow your content where they will, but to approach distribution paths strategically. Join us to discuss what distribution models exist for professional content creators, and how best to leverage them. Moderator: Mike Dicks, Descience, UK, @mikedicks Speakers Neil Berry, Vice President, EMEA, Ooyala, USA Razmig Hovaghimian, CEO and Co-Founder, Viki, USA @Razmig7 Ashley MacKenzie, Founder & CEO, Base79, UK

there is an introduction of their companies by each of the panelists in the following order:
1. Ooyala, USA (… was started by some “refugees” from Google:
watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SF7XibwA1Z4)
2. Base79, UK (distribute content primarily on YouTube platform:
read http://www.base79.com/about-us/ or watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8Tra5nBbms)
3. Viki, USA (distributing video shows worldwide by bringing down language barriers, for 156 different languages: read http://www.viki.com/about or watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVH–bLiVZ8)
till [13:30], and then comes the discussion part.

Details of the Microsoft NAB 2014 announcement

NAB 2014 Announcements from Media Services [‘The (unofficial) Guide to Azure Media’, April 7, 2014]

By John Deutscher, Principal Program Manager Lead, @johndeu

We are unveiling several exciting updates to Microsoft Azure Media Services at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention today, all consistent with Media Service’s broader vision of helping media developers build end-to-end media workflows and reduce the costs associated with integrating multiple products and providers. This includes key new services like Live, Content Protection and Key Delivery, and enhancements to our encoder’s capabilities and support for popular streaming formats. We are also working on improving the integration of CMS’s with Media Services by offering low-cost open source solutions along with more complex integrations with industry leading OTT providers.

Here are some of the highlights of what our team has been working on for NAB this year:

Live Streaming Preview

Building on the success of live streaming the 2014 Winter Olympics to millions of customers in 22 countries, we will soon be opening up the underlying technology that made this possible in preview to our customers.

All Media Services customers will have access to the tools and services needed to handle everything from ingest to processing, and distribution of on-demand video content or streaming live events at Olympic scale, to nearly any device.

If you’re interested in previewing our live services contact us at: mediaservicespreview@microsoft.com.

On-Demand Encoding and Streaming


Secure Delivery Service Preview

We are introducing a new secure delivery service that enables customers to protect their content during upload, while at rest in storage, and during playback, using either Microsoft PlayReady Digital Rights Management (DRM) or AES 128 encryption. This feature allows you to serve both encrypted HLS and Smooth Streaming to your client devices. In addition, we are announcing the preview release of our PlayReady License delivery service. Using this new service you can configure and deliver PlayReady licenses to your client applications directly from a Microsoft Azure platform service.


For more details on the new PlayReady service and AES dynamic encryption with Azure Media Services, please read Mingfei Yan’s latest blog post here.

If you’re interested in previewing our secure delivery services contact us at: mediaservicespreview@microsoft.com.

Office 365 Video Portal

Just a few weeks back at the SharePoint conference we introduced a new Office 365 video experience for enterprise customers – offering secure, cloud-based video upload, storage and optimized playback all powered by Media Services. This new service leverages the power of Azure Media Services encoding, streaming, and security services to provide an enterprise grade solution with the power of Office 365 in the cloud and on client devices. Learn more about how this awesome new solution can work for your organization here.

From that:

  • Office 365 Video Portal. Today, Microsoft previewed the new Office 365 Video Portal to support upload, storage and discovery of videos in a secure manner. Businesses will be able to categorize videos into channels for specific business needs and stream them on mobile devices, with all of the video compression, optimization and rendering work done by Office 365.

Two New Data Centers in Japan

Our platform team opened two new data centers for Media Services last month for our Japanese customers: Japan-West and Japan-East. We are all very excited about this new region and are looking forward to working with our new customers in Japan.

MPEG-DASH for On-Demand Streaming is now GA

Our streaming server team continues to invest in MPEG-DASH across both On-Demand and Live scenarios. Last year we launched our On-Demand DASH preview and contributed reference streams to the DASH-IF site — these enable player development across the ecosystem. We are actively working with contributors (including Microsoft Open Technologies) to the DASH-IF JavaScript player to ensure interoperability of Live streams produced in Media Services with the DASH.js player framework.

We are happy to announce that our MPEG-DASH support for on-demand streaming through our streaming origin services is now GA. It is included in the cost of an Origin reserved unit. Live streaming with MPEG-DASH is still in private preview and available only to Live preview customers at this time.

Contact us if you are interested in testing MPEG-DASH live streaming at: mediaservicespreview@microsoft.com.

Grass Valley® HQ/HQX Digital Intermediate File Support

The encoder team added built-in support for sourcing from Grass Valley’s HQ Codec/HQX Codec. This opens up a new door for high-quality digital intermediate ingest into Media Services. The higher quality source files from Grass Valley’s HQ and HQX codecs provides the ability to encode without significant quality loss at high-speed and with low CPU usage.

The HQX format supports compression ranges from 25:1 to 2:1 and bitrates from 45 Mb/s down to 7.8Mb/s. In addition, the codec supports 10 bit color depth and 4:2:2 YCbCr chroma. Grass Valley Edius users can now upload and encode AVI files with the codec for encoding  and stream them for multi-device distribution via HLS, MPEG-DASH, and Smooth Streaming.

To read more details about the benefits of the Grass Valley HQ/HQX digital intermediate format download the application note here.

Apple HLS version 3 Support for Improved Backwards Compatibility

Responding to customer demand, our streaming server team added support for the older HLS version 3 draft specification to our Dynamic Packaging feature. Previously we only supported the newer un-muxed HLS version 4 specification. Multi-language support was the primary motivation behind choosing HLS v4 two years ago for our service. At that time, Android was seeing a lot of active development and with its largely international customer base, it was assumed that Android would adopt HLS v4 for these multi-lingual markets. Unfortunately that is not what happened.

We listened to customer feedback that a lot of older devices had not moved to the newer Apple drafts including some Smart TV’s, JWPlayer, and Android.  This feature of the streaming origin server now provides backward compatibility to older Android devices, version 4.2.2 to present, as well as the ability to reach older connected TVs and set-top boxes. In addition, we have added the ability to select audio languages when streaming HLS v3 using Azure Media Services — despite limitations in the original specification. To use HLS v3 in production today, simply modify and add a “–v3″ to the end of your streaming manifest URL for HLS:


This will mux the default audio language into the video. For more details on how to handle multi-language muxing with HLSv3, read the MSDN forum post with details from Nick Drouin here.

New Content Management Integration with Orchard CMS

Microsoft Open Technologies is announcing a new module for the open source Orchard content management system (CMS) which provides a convenient user interface for managing Azure Media Services content. Now users can store, encode, manage and view videos using Media Services natively in Orchard.  Multiple input and output formats are supported including adaptive bitrate streams. The included custom video player framework, can automatically select the ideal playback option including Flash, DASH.js and Silverlight, allowing users to preview their content. The integration of Azure Media Services and Orchard makes it easy to build powerful and scalable video content management solution on Microsoft Azure. Features of the new module include:

  • Uploading a single video and automatically encoding in multiple formats
  • Support for dynamic bitrate output formats (Apple HLS and MPEG-DASH)
  • Comprehensive access policies
  • Scheduled publication of video assets
  • Built-in player that automatically selects the optimal playback client


Getting Started with Orchard and Media Services

There are several ways to set up a site based off of Orchard CMS ranging from the very simple (Azure Web Sites Gallery) to the more complex, but very flexible, building from source code. The modules user guide describes five different ways of enabling these features. The user guide also clearly documents how to configure the module to use your Media Services subscription (if you don’t have a subscription yet you can try things out with a free $200 credit trial subscription) This module is part of the official Orchard project, if you have feature requests, bug reports or better yet documentation and/or code contributions please head on over to the Orchard project.

To get more details on the new module for Media Services, check out the Open Tech project here.

Dolby® Digital Plus Encoding Now Available

Our encoder team is also excited to announce that the Azure Media Encoder is now certified for Dolby® Digital Plus encoding. With the proliferation of devices that consume media, there is an increasing need for customers to offer superior audio quality to their users and deliver premium content with 5.1 surround sound. Using Media Services, HD programming with high quality multi-channel surround sound is now possible across different platforms, including Windows 8, Xbox, mobile devices and more.

Dolby® Digital Plus, or Enhanced AC-3 (E-AC-3), is an advanced surround sound audio codec designed for high quality audio. Dolby Digital Plus is based on core Dolby Digital technologies, an established standard for cinema, broadcast, and home theater surround sound. Start delivering a first-class media experience to your users today.

For more details on using Dolby Digital Plus encoding with Microsoft Azure Media Services, check out this article.

Dolby® Professional Loudness Metering Support

The Azure Media Encoder team is also announcing support for Dolby® Professional Loudness Metering. Viewers adjust the volume control based on the loudness of dialogue, and do not adjust again for typical variations in programs, such as quiet sections without dialogue or brief high-loudness scenes like explosions. Their biggest complaint is when the dialogue level changes drastically from one video to another. Broadcasters and content producers use Dolby® Professional Loudness solutions to help ensure consistent audio loudness levels.

The Dolby® Professional Loudness Metering solution combines the use of standards-based loudness estimation algorithms with Dolby® Dialogue Intelligence™ technology. Supported algorithms are those most prominently in use worldwide: Leq(A), ITU-R BS.1770-1, ITU-R BS.1770-2, and EBU R 128.

With the integration of this technology in Azure Media Encoder, you can now ensure that your Dolby® Digital Plus encodes have the correct setting for Dialog Normalization, and ensure a consistent playback experience for your customers. Start delivering a first-class media experience to your users today. For more details on using Dolby® Professional Loudness Metering with Azure Media Services, check out this article.


OSMF Player Beta with MPEG-DASH Support

The Media Services client team is  announcing a beta version of a Flash based OSMF plugin with MPEG-DASH support. Using the OSMF plugin, you can add both Smooth Streaming and on-demand MPEG-DASH (beta) content playback capabilities to existing OSMF and Strobe Media Playback players and furthermore build rich media experiences for Adobe Flash Player endpoints using Media Services. The player does not yet support live streaming of DASH content, but we are working on that too. Download the new player plugin here.


Smooth Streaming Client SDK for Windows Phone 8.1

Our client team also updated the Smooth Streaming Client SDK for Windows Phone 8.1 to align with the announcement of Windows Phone 8.1 at the //Build/ conference. This release includes the same feature set as the Smooth Streaming Client SDK for Windows 8/8.1 and also uses the same API which will help unifying development efforts across Windows, Windows Phone and XBOX ONE applications For more details check out Cenk Dingiloglu’s blog post here.

Microsoft Smooth Streaming Client SDK 2.5 with MPEG-DASH Support

The PlayReady team, working in conjunction with the Media Services team announced the availability of the Microsoft Smooth Streaming Client 2.5 with MPEG DASH support. This release adds the ability to parse and play MPEG DASH manifests in the Smooth Streaming Media Engine (SSME) to provide a Windows7/Windows8 and MacOS solution using MPEG DASH for on-demand streaming scenarios. Developers that wish to move content libraries to MPEG-DASH now have the option of using DASH in places where Silverlight is supported.

The existing SSME object model forms the basis of DASH support in the SSME. For example, DASH concepts like Adaptation Sets and Representations have been mapped to their logical counterpart in the SSME. Also, Adaptation Sets are exposed as Smooth Streams and Representations are exposed as Smooth Tracks. Existing Track selection and restriction APIs can be expected to function identically for Smooth and DASH content. In most other respects, DASH support is transparent to the user and a programmer who has worked with the SSME APIs can expect the same developer experience when working with DASH content. Download the new player SDK here. For more details check out Cenk Dingiloglu’s blog posthere.

That’s all of the updates from the engineering team for NAB. The business team also has a lot of exciting partnership announcements and customer case studies to talk about as well. I’ll be updating the blog after NAB with announcements and links to more details.

Announcing PlayReady as a service and AES dynamic encryption with Azure Media Services [Mingfei Yan site, April 6, 2014]

Azure Media Services is getting a big update this week in NABShow 2014. Now you have more options to secure your media delivery – by using AES clear key dynamic encryption or Microsoft PlayReady Digital Rights Management (DRM). This feature allows you to serve both encrypted HLS and Smooth Streaming to your client devices.

AES Clear Key Dynamic Encryption Feature explained

Now Azure Media Services allow you to deliver Http-Live-Streaming (HLS) and Smooth Streams encrypted with Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) (using 128-bit encryption keys). Media Services also provides the key delivery service that delivers encryption keys to authorized users. The diagram below demonstrate how this feature works.


Firstly of all, similar to dynamic packaging, you bring in multi-bitrate Mp4 or Smooth Streaming video file. If you want for Media Services to encrypt an asset, you need to associate an encryption key with an asset and also configure authorization policies for the key, After that, Media Services origin server will dynamically encrypt HLS or Smooth Streaming stream with AES encryption algorithm. When a stream is requested by a “player”, Media Services uses the specified key to dynamically encrypt your content using AES encryption. To decrypt the stream, the “player” will request the key from the key delivery service. To decide whether or not the user is authorized to get the key, the service evaluates the authorization policies that you specified for the key. We provides three options: Token-based authentication, IP-based authentication and open. If you choose Token-based authentication, usually you will integrate the token issue progress into your own authentication system. Therefore, only authorized player could obtain a valid token from your Authentication system, and our key service will validate the token and issue AES key for the player to decrypt the stream.

Which client platform and devices support AES decryption?

AES decryption is a open algorithm that everyone could implement after downloading the stream. We have implement AES decryptor as plugin into the following Platform:

  • Flash OSMF plugin to decrypt AES encrypted smooth streaming
  • Windows 8 cache plugin to decrypt AES encrypted smooth streaming

For iOS, it natively supports AES encrypted HLS stream decryption. We will provide sample code for handling the Key request.

Who should use AES dynamic encryption?

AES dynamic encrypts on-the-wire communication using the widely-known symmetric AES encryption algorithm. Therefore, this would prevent man-in-the-middle attack, if someone eavesdrops the communication, he won’t get any useful information. However, the AES key considers in the “clear” on client devices. Therefore, it requires you to trust your client. For instance, enterprise videos could be a good use case. Usually employees are bounded by employee agreement of not to distribute their training videos. Hence, enterprise just needs to prevent outsider grabbing the video through traffic. Last month, Office 365 launched a video portal based on SharePoint for enterprise to share knowledge. All videos are using AES dynamic encryption and streamed out through Azure Media Services.

PlayReady as a Service feature explained

Azure Media Services provides a Microsoft PlayReady license delivery service. PlayReady is a full-featured content access protection technology developed my Microsoft that uses Digital Rights Management (DRM). It protects a content media stream during playback by using a license server that provides the decryption key needed to decrypt the media stream. For more information, see Microsoft PlayReady. This diagram below shows how this works in details:


Firstly, you need to pre-encrypt Smooth Streaming file with PlayReady License, by providing us License Acquisition URL, Key ID and Content Key. You could follow this MSDN article to use Azure Media Encryptor to encrypt the Smooth Streaming file. As a output, you could further package the encrypted Smooth Streaming into HLS and DASH (See how here). You could also define how the license could be authorized to your user. Similar to AES dynamic encryption, we enable Token/IP/Open authentication service.

When a user tries to watch PlayReady protected content, the client player application requests the content from Azure Media Services. Azure Media Services then redirects the client to an Azure Media Services PlayReady licensing server that authenticates and authorizes the user’s access to the content. The client can then download and decrypt the content. Azure Media Services enables content providers to configure license delivery policy for each client.

Which platform/devices that PlayReady SDK covers?

Azure Media Services can be used to encode, download, or stream Smooth Streaming or MPEG DASH content encrypted with PlayReady. For consuming PlayReady encrypted content, client SDKs and the PlayReady Porting Kit are available under commercial licensing terms. (PlayReady clients for Windows 8.1 Store Apps can be built using the free SDK located HERE). These client-side SDKs are not part of this preview.

Who should use PlayReady content protection? 

Both PlayReady and AES encrypts the stream over the wire, so it prevents man-in-the-middle attack. However, on the device side, when you use PlayReady, the decryption of the stream happens in a secure DRM environment, which is in a lower stack of the operating system. Therefore, neither the key nor the content would be exposed in clear. If you have primium content and you need to prevent piracy, Digital Right Management(DRM) such as PlayReady is definitely the way to go. Plus, PlayReady allows you to define a comprehensive licensing agreement, such as how many times user get to watch the content, how long the content is available to the user and etc.

How do I get access to these services?

Currently, we are running both AES dynamic encryption and PlayReady service as private preview. We are working on get the services out of the door for preview soon. If you are interested in trying the service out, please email mediaservicespreview@microsoft.com and copy me yanmf@microsoft.com.

FansChoice.tv and Ooyala choose Microsoft to help them deliver content to anyone, on any device [The Official Microsoft Blog, April 7, 2014]

The following post is from Susan Hauser, Corporate Vice President, Enterprise and Partner Group, Microsoft.

On Monday at the 2014 NAB Show exhibition, Microsoft is showing the latest technology innovations for the broadcast media industry. We are also sharing how customers and partners like FansChoice.tvand Ooyala are reaching thousands of viewers with Microsoft technology. Monday’s announcements are part of our ongoing commitment to enable a wide variety of broadcasters to reach more customers using technologies that are secure, easy to use and cost-effective. You will also see us announce the new Microsoft Azure Media Services capabilities and Skype’s new integrated solution for broadcasters “Skype TX”.

Microsoft Azure Media Services

With Microsoft Azure Media Services, broadcasters can focus on content and leave the delivery to us.

FansChoice.tv, a collaboration between American Motorcyclist Association Pro, International Motor Sports Association and NASCAR, turned to Microsoft Azure to quickly build and launch a new live stream-capable website featuring the ability to stream live races and offer access to a library of exciting on-demand racing content. This provided fans at home access to an array of content not covered by broadcast television, via the Web, tablets, smartphones and PCs.

Ooyala also announced a new strategic relationship with Microsoft to develop, promote and accelerate the deployment of next-generation IP video services utilizing Media Services in conjunction with Ooyala’s Web-based video distribution, analytics and monetization technology. Combining Microsoft’s investments in video infrastructure, encoding, packaging and streaming with Ooyala’s strengths in content management, analytics and monetization provides customers with all the elements they need for online video development.

As broadcasters look to the cloud to accelerate the delivery of premium content, security is a key consideration. Microsoft is deeply committed to security and, in support of those efforts, is offering a new license delivery service that allows customers to apply Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) or PlayReady encryption to help protect and secure their video content.

Media Services was built to meet the demands of every broadcaster, so organizations of any size, from NBC Sports to United Kingdom-based blinkbox, have access to a powerful and scalable cloud platform that grows with their business. A recent example is the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, which were delivered to audiences in 22 countries across four continents by broadcasters using Media Services to provide high definition live coverage of every event.


On Monday, we are announcing a new solution available in the coming year for broadcasters, Skype TX, which can make any location in the world a professional studio. Skype TX is studio-grade software that delivers high-quality audio and video output to improve broadcast and media programming to people around the world. Skype TX includes call handling management for multiple, simultaneous Skype calls on one management interface, is free of audio and visual distractions such as call notifications and ads, and maintains HD-SDI Video output and input essential for broadcasters. This improved offering is a result of the recent Skype acquisition of long-time broadcast partner Cat and Mouse. We encourage you to visit www.skypeinmedia.com for more information on how Skype TX can enrich your broadcast and media programming.

My insert here: StudioTech NAB 2014 – 9: Skype TX (the first interview given at NAB!) [StudioTech TV YouTube channel, April 7, 2014]

Videos from the NAB Show 2014 in Las Vegas. Skype TX solution for broadcasters – a hardware and software solution with HD and SDI support.

End of the insert

Providing the Platform for the New Media Model

Over the past decade, cloud computing changed the media landscape immeasurably, offering nearly any media company new delivery options to extend their content to more people.

Consumers’ options have multiplied as well; the convergence of online, digital content and the myriad of new form factors have created new expectations. Customers can watch what they want, when they want, where they want on screen sizes from 3 inches to 80 inches and everywhere in between. Broadcasters need a solution that delivers on all fronts.

With Microsoft’s cloud-based offerings, media companies can grow advertising and paid subscription revenues by extending the reach of their digital distribution capabilities and their brand, as well as launching new channels and services more quickly. They also have control over broadcast quality and the customer experience to create an offering that is consistent with their brand.

With products like Skype TX, Microsoft also empowers content development collaboration between journalists and creative staff. In short, Microsoft is providing the tools that help broadcasters achieve their multi-screen broadcasting goals in a profitable, efficient and timely way. We’re grateful for the opportunity to partner with these organizations to help them reimagine their business and to be a part of this year’s event.

Microsoft and media companies bring content to the masses at the National Association of Broadcasters Show [press alert, April 7, 2014]

Microsoft will showcase its latest broadcast technology solutions that help deliver a connected experience that is secured, seamless and differentiated at industry-leading event.

Where: National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show

Las Vegas Convention Center

3150 Paradise Road

Las Vegas, NV 89109

When: April 7–10, 2014

What: Microsoft Corp. will showcase the latest devices and services that help media companies bring their content and business into the cloud with robust security and deliver quality content to their customers from virtually anywhere. Microsoft Azure will announce new customer wins and Media Services’ capabilities, while Skype will introduce a new studio-grade hardware and software solution for broadcasters, expected to be available early next year. At the Microsoft booth, #SL 5110, attendants will demonstrate how the Microsoft platform, along with its partner ecosystem, is serving media customers through the cloud, tools and devices. Some of the many partners that will be in the booth include:

  • Axinom – Cross-platform media solutions. Axinom is a leading digital solutions provider serving the world’s major brands in the media and entertainment industry. Axinom’s OTT portfolio features content management (CMS), digital rights management (DRM) and pre-built reference applications for on-demand, live event and live linear content. The company provides customers with an out-of-the-box solution for the entire workflow, from video acquisition right down to delivery to various devices. Axinom OTT is tightly interoperable with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Azure Media Services, offering the flexibility, scalability and reliability of a cloud-based solution. It utilizes Microsoft PlayReady DRM, HTML5 and native technologies, and supports HLS, Smooth Streaming and MPEG-DASH streaming. At the NAB Show, the Axinom team will be presenting a new video streaming showcase running on HTML5, iOS, Android, Windows 8, Windows Phone, Xbox One, set-top box (STB) and smart TV. While demonstrating the whole end-to-end video workflow in real time, Axinom will give an insight into the next generation of OTT video, ensuring impressive results and short time to market.

  • Decentrix Inc. – BIAnalytix™ Media Business Intelligence (MBI™), maximizing ad sales revenue. Decentrix helps media, entertainment, telecommunications and ad agencies aggregate key audience, inventory and revenue information to support, secure and enhance new evolving advertising sales models. Decentrix provides powerful analytics to allow business users to become data-driven decision-makers. Attendees are encouraged to visit the Decentrix kiosk at the Microsoft booth to see demos of Decentrix’s core BIAnalytix and MobileMBI solutions that allow clients the ability to fast track their enterprise data strategies.

  • deltatre – Diva, the world’s greatest player. Diva is the ultimate live and on-demand sports video player that creates a unique and immersive viewing experience for fans — while it also helps content owners monetize their properties across platforms. Diva combines live video with sports data, social and editorial content in a single graphic interface, giving end users the best of engagement and transforming them into active viewers. Content owners can maximize the value of their digital rights with a concrete return on investment. At the Microsoft booth, deltatre will re-create the drama that captivated the audiences during Sochi 2014 with Diva and live demos from the Winter Games.

  • KORE Software – KORE MediaPitch™, extending Microsoft Dynamics CRM for media and entertainment. KORE is the market leader in business management software for the media, entertainment and sports industries. KORE MediaPitch is an additive to Microsoft Dynamics CRM and transforms it into a CRM-based media and sponsorship sales, analysis and proposal tool, which consolidates all existing inventory into one view (traditional media, digital, sponsorship, hospitality, etc.) across multiple sales divisions to drive sales, streamline operations and increase profits. Benefits for media companies include margin optimization, inventory visibility and management, proposal generation, forecasting, dynamic rate cards, and increased productivity. Leading global media, entertainment and sports organizations utilize KORE. A presentation and demo of KORE MediaPitch will be available in the Microsoft booth.

Other News:


(Available for interviews)

  • Bob De Haven, General Manager, Worldwide Communications & Media at Microsoft

  • Tony Emerson, Managing Director, Worldwide Media & Cable at Microsoft

More Details: More information is available athttp://www.microsoft.com/enterprise/industry/communications-and-media/media-and-cable/events/nabshow/default.aspx#fbid=95r9qrqPb9F.

For the latest NAB news, links and photos, follow @MSFTenterprise, @MSFT4Work, @Azure and@Skype on Twitter.


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