IFC News to Stream Live HD Video from SxSW

SXSW2010Logo.jpgThe Independent Film Channel’s IFC News will stream live HD performances and video from the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas March 12-21, using the HD network of Akamai Technologies and incorporating a custom social-media player from ClipSync.

On each day of SxSW, the IFC Crossroads House at East 7th and Brazos will feature live performances from bands, comics, and celebrity interviews at noon, 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. CST. IFC News’ Matt Singer and Alison Willmore will host celebrity interviews. Comedian Nejin Farsad, director of Nerdcore Rising, will feature the best of the festival’s interactive portion. And Craig Finn, front man for The Hold Steady, will host live performances and interviews with bands including Broken Social Scene, She & Him, The Black Angels, The Walkmen, Drive By Truckers, Neon Indian, Frightened Rabbit, and a special jam session featuring Delta Spirit and Dawz & Deer Tick.

The ClipSync social-media player will allow users to engage in real-time live chat, live polls, and conversations with performers.

And IFC.com recently implemented Akamai HD for Adobe Flash technology, enabling it to stream video at HD bit rates. iStreamPlanet will provide encoding and production services, and video feeds will be available in eight different bit rates.

IFC vice president of digital media Craig Parks said:

The beauty of live streaming video is that it offers millions of people immediate global access to local events from the comfort and convenience of their computers and mobile devices. The flexibility of Akamai’s HD Network, coupled with ClipSync’s social-media player, allows us to offer a much higher-quality, live interactive experience to users, which extends the reach and awareness of IFC’s SxSW events and allows more enthusiasts to experience the festival.

The SxSW experience encompasses more than just watching great bands and movies — there’s an incredible spirit and excitement that comes from interacting with passionate film and music lovers. IFC.com will offer a similarly social experience that draws viewers in and lets them be a part of the festival, even if they’re time zones away.

Akamai executive VP of global sales, services, and marketing Robert Hughes added:

The Akamai HD Network is designed to let broadcasters like IFC enhance and expand the impact of their television offerings and provide broadcast-scale audiences with highly engaging, memorable and interactive online-video experiences. Akamai HD Network customers have found that when offering high-definition video content that takes full advantage of the interactivity of the Internet, viewers are more satisfied, leading to a more positive and engaging experience with a company’s brand.