Inlet Makes Live Streaming Media Like TV

By Carl Lindemann

While the computer/Internet combo has created a communications revolution that rivals traditional media, the online experience has lagged behind the TV’s magic ability to deliver instant, constant image quality. At the 2009 NAB Show, Inlet Technologies is showing its part in the industry-wide endeavor to deliver online what consumers have long taken for granted.

“The rise of adaptive streaming technology provides true home experiences like TV,” said John Bishop, Inlet SVP, business development and strategy.

Inlet has established itself as a core enabling technology with key content such as the major sports leagues. The basic idea is simple: break through the old limits that require viewers to decide whether they want the “fat stream” or the “skinny” one.

“All the sports leagues no longer have to go with this ‘lowest-common-denominator’ approach,” Bishop said. “We open up to system intelligence that makes this completely transparent to the end user.”

How it works is that the Inlet technology provides multiple streams at multiple qualities. On the player end, the system monitors network traffic on the Internet and toggles between streams in real time to seamlessly deliver the highest quality possible at that moment.

“It’s instantaneous. What you watch is optimized for what you have [in bandwidth available] now,” Bishop said.

Inlet’s system provides the intelligent infrastructure for the adaptive streaming technologies being advanced by Adobe and Microsoft. These make the most of available bandwidth and come not a moment too soon with the increasing hunger for HD quality and TV ease of use. According to Bishop, they’re ready to deliver the goods: “This is the killer app for live Internet video.”

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