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MediaMelon Puts Squeeze on Video Streaming

Adaptive bit rate streaming is used widely to keep the video flowing as bandwidth levels fluctuate, but a new technology from MediaMelon aims to reduce bandwidth requirements further while also boosting the quality of video playback.

MediaMelon claims that its Quality Bit Rate (QBR) technology, a component of its Qubit platform, can reduce bit rate requirements by 30% to 45% while also eliminating video artifacts using techniques such as rapid scene analysis and perceptual quality mapping and advanced buffer management.

According to the company, its QBR system, for example, has the smarts to dial bit rates and resolutions up or down and place bits in a buffer based on the complexity and action of a given video scene, versus traditional ABR, which selects bit-rate and resolution profiles primarily on the available bandwidth.

“MediaMelon’s QBR technology intelligently goes beyond current adaptive bitrate schemes to significantly improve quality and bitrate performance — providing a dramatic advantage that content owners and video service providers can employ to enhance the viewing experience while utilizing streaming infrastructure more effectively,” Subramanian said, in a statement.

Those improvements could make for more bandwidth-efficient HD streams, and pave the way to do the same as more 4K/Ultra HD content becomes available and is delivered over-the-top or via a service provider’s managed IP video service network.

MediaMelon is offering it as a managed service, noting that it can work into video service workflows via APIs and fit inside encoders, video players, online video platforms and content distribution networks.

One of the initial takers is Deluxe OnDemand, which showed QBR in action as part of a demo at the INTX show in Chicago and recently announced deals with Charter Communications and Shaw Communications.

In addition to improving bitrate and storage requirements for on-demand fare, MediaMelon’s QBR technology can also be applied to live video streaming, company CEO Kumar Subramanian said.

MediaMelon said its products are compatible with all major streaming formats including HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), MPEG-DASH, HTTP Smooth Streaming (HSS) and HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS).