Authored by Nancy Garcia, Community and Diversity Program Manager at Elemental, and Chris Brown, Executive Vice President, Conventions and Business Operations at the NAB Show
The media and entertainment industry’s opportunities to improve its diversity and inclusion (D&I) have come into sharper focus in recent years, thanks in no small part to the efforts of industry advocacy groups as well as observers, such as UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies and the USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism, which measure the makeup of our industry and propose paths to improvement.
One of the reasons our industry is so closely watched on this issue is also one of the main reasons it’s so gratifying to be a member of this community: simply put, the media and entertainment industry has a profound influence on the cultures that it serves. This influence means every gain the industry makes in matters of diversity and inclusion has the real potential to reverberate through society in ways large and small, while at the same time, making our companies richer, stronger and more competitive. That’s a power we all enjoy; and with it, as they say, comes great responsibility.
We’re excited about the momentum we’ve observed in addressing D&I within the media and entertainment companies we connect with. We see organizations large and small making a serious commitment to diversity and inclusion and taking meaningful steps to improve from within. Among the most fundamental actions companies are taking as part of their D&I initiatives: Company-wide educational efforts that support a more inclusive, aware and culturally responsive workplace. Employee development programs that help unleash every worker’s growth potential and support their long-term success. And implementing formal hiring practices and programs that ensure outreach to and provide opportunities for people from underrepresented communities.
These and other company-focused efforts present a number of paths that we as individuals can take to support and champion D&I within our own organizations. Beyond that, there are things we can best accomplish by coming together as an industry community, not only by creating awareness and inspiration for the work that needs to be done, but by generating funding and support for organizations that focus their expertise and resources on helping underrepresented communities succeed.
This is the valuable role that events like the 4K 4Charity Fun Run at the 2017 NAB Show play to support D&I in our industry. We’re grateful to see our industry is forward thinking in action as prominent industry leaders step up such as HBO, Comcast Technology Solutions and The Weather Company, an IBM Business.
Support for increased diversity and inclusion and the 4K 4Charity Fun Run is also driven by leaders including Aspera, an IBM company, Nokia, Verimatrix, Dolby Laboratories, Accedo, Brightcove, Broadstream, Irdeto, ChyronHego, Tektronix, Sports Video Group and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), as well as media partners NewBay Media and Rapid TV News.
The generosity of our sponsors and participants will benefit Mercy Corps and Women Who Code in their charitable work protecting, educating and inspiring underserved communities around the world. With 100 percent of individual registrants’ contributions dedicated to these worthy orgnizations, we hope you’ll extend your support to this vital cause.
You can take action by signing up today to join your fellow professionals for a fun and energizing experience in support of this important cause. And why not invite your colleagues and co-workers to join you in a corporate team or as part of a Fun Run challenge? We’d love to discuss sponsorships or corporate matching gifts with your company’s community investment or D&I initiative team as well. For more information about the run or to learn more about supporting as a sponsor or group, please reach out to Kate Incerto, 4K 4Charity Fun Run manager. We hope to see you on the course and appreciate your support for a more diverse, more inclusive industry.
Globo.com provides digital platforms and services for Brazil’s Grupo Globo, connecting online audiences to a vast portfolio of content and services including Globo TV’s broadcast networks, film studio Globo Filmes and over-the-top television service Globo Play. As part of its mission, Globo.com provides video-on-demand (VOD) services for programs produced by more than 100 TV affiliates across the country. Recently, Globo made the strategic business decision to develop a subscription-based 4K VOD service and turned to Elemental, its long-time source for video processing solutions, to power the deployment.
Prior to developing the 4K service, Globo.com conducted extensive market research, including monitoring the types of viewing devices connected to its video services. It identified a significant number of devices in use, particularly smart televisions, capable of displaying 4K video, while underscoring consumers’ expectations for enhanced picture quality from 4K services.
Informed by its findings, Globo.com built the plan to develop and launch its 4K VOD service. Transcoding speed and video quality were among its top requirements. Speed is critical to Globo.com not only in terms of fast time-to-market for its new service, but in its ability to quickly process great volumes of content as it continuously builds a library of 4K streaming video from its vast number of sources. At such a high resolution, superior video quality is clearly of fundamental importance to the viewing experience of its audiences across Brazil.
According to Igor Macaubas, product manager, online video platform of Globo.com, “The system integration advantages of choosing Elemental were very important in launching our new service quickly, but our main concern was that we achieve the exceptional image quality our viewers expect from 4K video while getting our content to market as quickly as possible. Elemental once again proved it could deliver. We’ve trusted Elemental for many years and its ability to stay ahead of the consumer technology curve while maintaining interoperability and ease of deployment continues to impress.”
Software-defined video solutions from Elemental are uniquely well-equipped to meet Globo.com’s stringent requirements to implement the 4K HEVC codec in multiple bitrates. HEVC is powerful, delivering highly efficient video compression that makes online delivery of 4K content practical. HEVC is also computationally intensive, requiring the development of complex algorithms to achieve its superior compression ratios. Elemental’s HEVC solutions allow advanced video encoding to be implemented in dedicated appliances, virtualized in a data center or hosted in the cloud, whether supporting real-time streaming or batch-processed encoding.
The Globo.com 4K VOD service is slated to go live in February 2017, and will offer a rich library of 4K content.
Hotstar, one of India’s largest premium streaming platforms, has seen more than 175 million downloads since its founding in January 2015. Hotstar offers more than 25,000 hours of sports, episodic television and cinematic content programming in eight languages. Hotstar was named Apple TV’s App of the Year 2016 for India.
“The Indian consumer today is at the front of mobile video. No consumer in any other part of the world has access to better options than the Indian consumer,” said Ajit Mohan, CEO of Hotstar. “Now we are setting our sights on shaping the connected TV experience in India.”
Among Hotstar’s broad range of video programming is premium content, including the world’s biggest sports event in 2016, IPL cricket, and English Premier League football. The popular online video platform also features premier entertainment content, such as Game of Thrones and The Sopranos. In January 2017, Hotstar signed a multi-year subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) deal with Disney India, allowing the company to extend its Hotstar Premium offering to include exclusive content from Disney, Marvel, ABC and more.
“India is the only country in the world where a streaming platform like Hotstar exists, and where the best TV shows from around the world, movie premieres and live sports are available on a single platform,” said Mohan.
To deliver this video content for its OTT service, Hotstar relies on Elemental Live to ensure a premium viewing experience on both mobile networks and WiFi internet connections for its rapidly growing subscriber base.
Users of India’s largest streaming platform have more to look forward to as Hotstar innovates on its award-winning app with new features and more original content in the near future.