Picture This: Swarmcast As The New Video Network

New adaptive bitrate streaming touted for video

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[ Technology]

With a fundamental patent in file swarming secured, and a new adaptive bit rate streaming technology opened for work, Swarmcast CEO Justin Chapweske told WebProNews his firm wants to be the next TV infrastructure.

Although Swarmcast has been around for eight years, our chat with Chapweske worked out more like a talk with a newer, nimbler competitor to the world of content delivery. That’s probably due to the relative recency of its core patent award, and the on-the-fly technology promise of adaptive bit rate streaming.

Baseball fans already know Swarmcast’s work, if they are consumers of MLB.com’s online game-video streams. Swarmcast combines and blends streams from multiple content delivery networks to present them to a single viewer, and can do so regardless of the underlying presentation platform, be it Flash or Silverlight.

The faster the connection, the better the video performance. Chapweske said this goes all the way up to high-definition. If the speed goes down for whatever reason, Swarmcast adjusts to maintain the high quality of the video being presented.

Their network acceleration technology helps with this, providing a higher bit rate. Coupled with the new adaptive streaming, Chapweske thinks Swarmcast can be the next TV infrastructure, delivered over broadband.

“Broadband is going to be the dominant way to view video,” he said.

Efficiency of delivery will be a difference maker. Major cable ISPs want to meter bandwidth, which could be a pricey prospect for online video consumers. Who want to blow a whole month’s bandwidth cap watching a movie or two from Netflix on the computer?

Swarmcast’s model calls for it to partner with content providers, its main customers. We see room for them in deals with the major ISPs, who in turn could broker Swarmcast to media partners, saving their bandwidth and enhancing the user experience in the process.

Whether the savings in bandwidth consumption saves the public from the return of the metered Internet remains to be seen. That won’t happen if Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and AT&T continue to view heavy bandwidth users as pirates and thieves.

A little bandwidth savings could add up to a big future for Swarmcast’s network plans. We have to wonder if there will be external interest in the company, should its main product continue to deliver on its promise.

We’re thinking about this as we consider the next big consumer platform, the mobile phone. Clarity of content coupled with something like Apple’s latest iPhone may spur video over broadband, and with it the monetization opportunities, to the mobile world.

Picture This: Swarmcast As The New Video Network
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