IN 1999, MID-CAREER professionals from the European Broadcasting Union attended week-long workshops in the Arthouse Multimedia Center for the Arts. Back then, we produced video for playback on the Real Media Player. In 2006 the EBU decided to do an in-deep investigation of the available peer-to-peer (P2P) video playback solutions. In its final report, the technical department of the EBU endorses Octoshape’s P2P solution as “scalable, reliable, [and] easy to manage.” The report comes on the heels of the EBU's technical department investigating a number of member experiences, then unpacking those experiences during technical conferences. As the largest broadcaster organization in the world with more than 100 members, including BBC and RTE, and reaching an audience of 650 million people weekly, the EBU's final solution solves scalability and cost factors by serving video clips in a high-quality way without buffering. Video clips that I have watched with Richard Azia on camera play instantly. It appears that the system uses using multiple point fail over systems alongside source signal stabilization technology. It worked extremely well during the streaming of the Olympics in HD (a 2.5 Mbs stream).
I believe the Irish technology community needs to bolt on a high-quality streaming solution for large audiences. The Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) now uses the Octoshape technology to reach an audience measured in the millions. In the EBU's mind, the contest is streaming at an exceptionally low-cost basis.
A public test programme was rolled out between EBU and Octoshape in 2008. Called the EBU P2P Media Portal, aggregated audio and video content from 10 of its member broadcasters plays for public consumption. The public portal has tested multiple operating systems (Windows, MAC, Linux), all common browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari), various codecs, embedded support for advertising, as well as the acid tests of stability and reliability. Background information on the trial and the experiences gathered has been summarized in the EBU Technical Review 2008-3, “Technical Trial of the EBU P2P Media Portal”, by Franc Kozamernik, Senior Engineer at the EBU and secretary of the EBU P2P investigation group. "The main conclusion of the trial is that Octoshape is an excellent Internet distribution system for carrying audio and video streams to PC users. The system is scalable, reliable, easy to manage and interoperable with a number of codecs, operating systems, browsers and geolocation systems.”