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thePlatform Taps Harmonic’s Rhozet for Transcoding

Web-video-specialist firm and Comcast subsidiary thePlatform is now using video-transcoding technology from Harmonic’s Rhozet unit, Harmonic announced Monday.

thePlatform -- which provides media-publishing services to companies such as the British Broadcasting Corp., CNBC, CBS College Sports Network, Gannett, Helio, HIT Entertainment, Sony BMG and Verizon Wireless -- is using the Rhozet Carbon Coder to drive its mpsManage Transcoding Service.

Carbon Coder is a universal transcoding application that handles the transfer of media between a variety of platforms including acquisition, editing, playout, archiving, the Internet and mobile devices, and it can run as a stand-alone application or as part of a multinode, fully automated rendering farm.

thePlatform’s mpsManage Transcoding Service is a hosted solution that uses Carbon Coder to deliver two transcoding options -- a shared service for customers that have low to medium volumes and general transcoding requirements, or dedicated servers for customers that have higher volumes or custom transcoding requirements.

"We believe a complete broadband-video-management and publishing solution should combine the best technologies to meet our customers' business needs," said Marty Roberts, vice president of marketing at thePlatform, in a statement. "By providing comprehensive format support, including the latest mobile formats, a cost-effective price and a software-development kit that is easily integrated into our end-to-end solutions model, the Rhozet Carbon Coder technology meets all of the criteria for our new mpsManage Transcoding Service."

Harmonic, traditionally a transmission and compression vendor, bought Rhozet last July for $15.5 million in cash and stock to broaden its reach into the broadband space. So far, the acquisition has worked out well, Harmonic VP of business development David Price said, although the margins on Rhozet’s software-based products are considerably lower than those on Harmonic’s hardware products.

Price added that Rhozet allows Harmonic to offer programming customers a more complete solution, with broadband-delivery solutions on the low-end to complement its broadcast-grade MPEG-2 and MPEG-compression products on the high end of the video food chain.

“We bought Rhozet to gain intimacy with our customers,” Price said. “Now when we go to ESPN [to talk about compression gear], we can also go to the 19-year-olds in the dot-com and talk to them about streaming.”