May 27, 2013

Streaming Media East conference notes


Now when I'm finally got back home and have won the jet lag battle, it's time to make some summary of my experience from Streaming Media East 2013 conference.

First, I'd like to thank Dan Rayburn, the Conference Chairman and Executive Vice President for, who made it possible for me to get an invitation to the event. WMSPanel team appreciates this very much!

Meeting people, listening to their stories and experience, learn industry's best practices - that's what the conference is all about. There were too many sessions, workshops and exhibits to visit for a single person, so I'll talk about events which I've been part of. I also took a few pictures while listening to the sessions.

I'll be referring to this conference program during my story.

Conference survival kit :)
One of conference halls.

The Pre-Conference Workshops

Out of four workshops running in two parallel tracks I chose these ones.

Chris Knowlton, Wowza Media Systems VP of Product Management, presented "Wowza Media Server and End-to-End Workflows" describing Wowza Media Server history, current key features and best workflows applicable for wide variety of customers. He also described future capabilities which will be very exciting. Most notable new feature from my point of view is GoCoder, iOS app for Wowza which in fact provides a complete workflow for mobile streaming. I think it will be extremely popular for building custom streaming platforms for wide varieties of use cases. I believe future Android app and some customization will make this solution a very popular feature of Wowza.
Check the PDF with this presentation.

Chris Knowlton at the workshop. 
Chris Knowlton making Wowza demo.

Robert Reinhardt presented "Deploying Quality Video for HTML5 and Flash" workshop explaining browser and server-side solutions and protocols to be considered for projects which you might work on. Acknowledged as part of Streaming Media All-Stars, Rob specializes in turn-key online video products so his workshop was all about sharing his experience to the audience.
Presentation PDF is located here.

Robert Reinhardt at his workshop.

The First Day

The conference was opened by Dan Rayburn who welcomed each and every one who arrived to the conference. Inspiring introduction to the great event was followed by free giveaways of Roku boxes - a nice surprise for several lucky attendees!

The keynote was presented by Damon Phillips, ESPN’s vice president for ESNP3 and Watch ESPN. The main idea of his speech was that exclusive, live, relevant content is the king in online sports. And he knows what he's talking about :) Check the brief description of his keynote in this article.

This day Chris Knowlton also presented a short demo called "Top 3 reasons Wowza Is Right for You" describing Wowza's benefits and new features of upcoming Wowza Media Server release. This version is going to be introduced soon. I don't want to give spoilers so follow Wowza forums to get updates.

I was also lucky to meet Wowza Media Systems co-founder and CEO David Stubenvoll! I couldn't resist to take a picture of him while we talked :)

Dave Stubenvoll, CEO, Wowza Media Systems
Other sessions I visited include the following.

"Driving Engagement: Companion vs. Convenience" was a session about second screen technologies, use cases and experience. People from various companies presented their vision of this concept and shared preferred use cases.

Huffington Post became famous of its new journalism approach and now they try expanding to a bit different field - engaging video in their discussions. Read more about "How To: Integrating Social Media With Webcasting at HuffPost Live" session in this Streaming Media article.

Round-table session "MPEG-DASH: The Next Steps Towards Broad Adoption" gave us a preview of what is going on with MPEG-DASH. People working on the standard showed working prototypes of live streaming on a variety of portable devices which included the streaming itself, the reference player and some other cool things to look at. The standard seem to become more and more mature for everyday use.

Rob Reinhardt rocked the crowd again in his next session called "How To: Evaluating the Effectiveness Of Your H.264 Encoder". An interesting how-to of choosing the right encoder solution and encoding options for your particular use case.

The Second Day

The second day was opened by the keynote from Rob Gelick, SVP and GM of digital platforms at CBS. I recommend reading general description of his keynote in this article.

Dylan Armajani, another guy from Streaming Media All-Stars, presented "How To: Best Practices For Live Streaming Delivery" story talking about lots of lessons he's learnt during numerous live events he's been part of. A quintessence of live streaming knowledge, that's what I can say about this session.

Kiran Patel, Senior Product Manager from BBC, told an amazing story about "How The BBC Ensured Live Streaming Resilience For The Olympics". Building fail-safe infrastructure for planet-wise live event is a truly great experience. Couldn't resist and ask a question, check the upcoming session video to find the answer :)

The exhibit hall

Starting from day one, the exhibit hall was working for two days giving the ability for dozens of companies to show their products and services. Media platforms providers, hardware vendors and cloud solutions developers showed their best technologies. Teradek, conference platinum sponsor, amazed me with their new and existing turn-key streaming devices. Even though I don't work with hardware like this, there are number of companies around me which I'll definitely recommend it to.
A couple of Teradek devices.
I was excited to see and talk to guys from BitTorrent who are making the next big thing for live events streaming using principles of torrents' P2P protocol. Having a number of viewers being more than just a dozen, this protocol gives advantage over traditional balancing and allows spreading the stream efficiently over any network.

A bunch of other things caught my attention, those two are just most notable examples.


Dan mentioned that all sessions' videos will be available on the web site shortly so I can't wait to see the sessions which I missed.

Generally speaking I can say that Streaming Media conference is definitely a must-visit event and I plan visiting Streaming Media West in November. Looking forward to seeing our customers there as well :)

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