Today La7, the Italian TV broadcaster owned by Telecom Italia, launched La7.tv the first TV catch-up service entirely developed and delivered in Italy. In the last months I collaborated with ValueTeam at the development of the encoding pipeline and the streaming optimizations used by the Telecom Italia Group for the project.
The service offers in on-demand the tv programs of the last 7-days (a BBC-style catch-up), with the most succesful videos stored in a “cult” section.
The service is entirely Flash based (Video Player with Dynamic Streaming, Dynamic Buffering, Fast Protocol Negotiation and Auto-Recovery) and leverage a FMS 3.5 based CDN.
The custom encoding pipeline is integrated in the broadcaster’s publishing work-flow and after only 15-20min after the end of the program in TV, the encoded files (up to 3 Hrs long) are available for QA, inspection and meta-tagging.
The source, an high quality SD 16:9 video, is encoded in two bitrates: 600 and 350Kbit/s. Despite the low bitrate, quality is very good and is optimized for full-screen playback (see screenshots below). Obviously, a low bitrate to produce a target quality means lower costs and higher reach (see also my latest Adobe MAX presentation).