How Streamworks is helping TV capture breaking news

By Natan Edelsburg 

Streamworks International, a UK based company that’s less than two years old, “specializes in capturing video of breaking news events” through their technology offerings. They’ve worked with AP Television news to deliver video to their different platforms and were just chosen as the streaming partner for the United Nations Department of Public Information. We spoke with CEO and founder Ray Mia about the company’s goals to make it easier for TV to capture breaking news across multiple platforms.

Streamworks’ clients include YouTube, the leading video platform that’s constantly trying to expand their reach into live broadcasting. Mia, an experience TV producer, describes how they’re able to deliver impressive video content at a reduced bandwidth because of their “deep understanding of broadcast cameras, frame rates, and what makes up a digital signal.” He also describes how they plan on working with more TV networks in the future to deliver video in real-time across multiple platforms.

This morning, Mia is leading a panel at the British Consulate in New York to demonstrate their eagerness to work with TV news to improve how real-time video is captured. Merril Brown, the former Editor-in-Chief from MSNBC will lead a panel with Roy Sekoff the President of Huffington Post Live, Joe Ruffolo, Senior Vice President of Digital Media at ABC News and Andrew Heyward the former President of CBS News. The panel will focus on “the future of news and how technology is driving the dramatic shifts in news production, distribution, consumption and commercialization.”

Lost Remote: How does the technology work? How do you make real-time video reporting possible?
Ray Mia: Streamworks has developed a proprietary technology that allows us to provide the best real-time video to major news organizations at a reduced bandwidth of up to 70% dependent on source material. The tech is not a codec, but happens before a codec is applied. We are embedded at source, with a large global broadcast infrastructure across the world. The Streamworks solution is a minimal access hop from camera to an authorized transmission partner via OB truck, satellite up/downlink of fiber optic cabling, as we are able to take the raw pictures straight out of the camera, or as close to original source as possible, and then manipulate the signal at a different part of the workflow to encoding providers. Our technology comes from a deep understanding of broadcast cameras, frame rates, and what makes up a digital signal.

LR: What TV networks have you worked with?
Mia: Through our partnership with AP, we have access to, and are feeding content into a who’s who of global network broadcasting. We are expanding out our business to include other global content providers (including our new partnership with UNTV) and as such our reach is growing exponentially, as well as dealing directly with networks re: their own digital linear feeds or back haul over IP requirements.

LR: How do you plan on working with TV networks in the future?
Mia: Single live solution, publish once deliver any and everywhere. If a TV network is looking for the best real time experience, and need it on any and all devices, and to also push that content in full HD to global partners (for them to rebroadcast/repackage) our system allows for that. Our work with TV networks is one that scales, not only to deliver a better service, ultimately providing a better UX and consequently a better opportunity to grow commercial turnover, but to also move in tandem with where the industry is moving to in the future. A lot of that is to do with setting a gold standard in terms of reliability, but also providing the value props that will underscore and drive the way in which TV Networks will work in the future through thought and sector leadership.

LR: How does your platform move forward social TV?
Mia: Our systems deliver a great real time, live experience through web enabled devices. So we move forward Social TV by making it a more engaging and more satisfying experience. If the experience is a poor one, then the way in which people can engage will always start of on the wrong footing. We fully integrate with social tools, to allow audiences to interact with live content through real time parallel dialogues through the usual suspects of the social world (call it 2nd, 3rd, 4th screen viewing). Why limit it to a choice of screens, make the experience available on any screen, anywhere – networked into any and all social platforms We embrace fragmentation, allowing the audience to choose that manner in which to select, see & share video content. Tablet, mobile and connected TV’s are making all of this more relevant, and we are only scratching the surface in this space.

LR: Anything else?
Mia: It’s important to provide a matrix of content, that combines together into a unilateral experience, as well as delivering a parallel and different point of view of the same live event. Can you imagine the US election debates, delivered live on any device, anywhere – with the option to engage through social interfaces that also provide immediate and concurrent assessment in real time of political commentators and members of the public? It’s a holistic approach that provides the content to the audience on any device. It is the democratization of content.