Comcast Unit Looking to Broaden its Horizons
Las Vegas -- Comcast Technology Solutions, a unit of Comcast that targets multiscreen video distribution and ad-tech services, generally has cut its teeth in the domestic market, but is now looking to take an even bigger bite as it pursues more business around the globe.
That’s one of the priorities being engaged by Bart Spriester, the industry vet who was gamed GM of video platforms at CTS earlier this year.
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“We have a good brand domestically,” Spriester said of CTS, which also handles X1 syndication, during a visit here during this week’s NAB Show. But the opportunity is ripe, he added, to help the content community around the world deliver and monetize their content via OTT and other IP-based distribution systems.
A “critical” part of the mission there is to accelerate CTS’s ability to drive its tech and services to more industries. “I want to bring more of that out,” Spriester said.
Comcast launched Comcast Technology Solutions in the fall of 2016 as a division that combined three of its media and tech businesses – Comcast Wholesale, thePlatform and This Technology.
Another key priority for CTS is live services, including live event broadcasts, alongside with advanced ad insertion capabilities. Spriester said CTS will invest more in this area throughout the year.
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CTS will also invest more in the automation of workflows that gets content ingested, prepared, packaged and distributed to multiple screen types. Part of that work, which aims to take the pain out of traditional manual processes, will mean implementing machine learning and artificial intelligence to those processes. CTS doesn’t necessarily own all of those building blocks, but does see itself helping to orchestrate how all of the pieces and components work together.
Another key focus is CTS’s multi-CDN strategy in a way that selects the right CDN based on components such as business rules and performance. In this arena, CTS recently announced a partnership with DLVR, a company that has real-time CDN switching capabilities that are integrated with Quality of Experience analytics systems.
“Customers should have [CDN] options,” Spriester said. Notably, CTS has its own video-optimized CDN.
Comcast also used NAB to trot out a set of new products and components this week.
In addition to the enhanced live-to-IP offering for efforts such as events, CTS introduced PDK 6, a new web-based video player that aims to bring a fresh turn to a segment of the market that the division believes could use some freshening up.
PDK 6, Spriester noted, is the result of work in which the player was developed from the ground up using HTML 5 to deliver faster start times and improved client- and server-side ad insertion capabilities.
Corporate cousin NBCU is among those that will be moving to the new player, which is part of CTS’s broader mpx video management system.
CTS also introduced AdStor, a new cloud-based ad delivery system that handles both storage and distribution as well as orchestration and management. That product is being targeted to programmers and other content providers, and to advertisers.
Among its claims, CTS said AdStor can whittle processes to minutes compared to what would typically take 24 to 72 hours using manual systems.
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