Live From CES: Zixi Bolsters Its Software-Defined Video Platform While Expanding Portfolio of Supported Protocols

CEO Gordon Brooks believes industry is yet to see what IP is truly capable of

While Zixi, a developer of technology to support delivery of live, broadcast-quality video over IP, is showing off a slew of new functionalities in Version 13 of its Software Defined Video Platform here at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show, its major goal is to trumpet the industry-redefining potential of video delivery over IP and demonstrate how far it has come (not to mention how much potential still remains).

Zixi Executive Chairman/CEO Gordon Brooks explains that the focus of Zixi’s efforts here at CES is to reveal to the technology industry the company’s four foundational offerings: ZEN Master, its Video Solutions Stack, Zixi protocols (as well as 14 other supported protocols), and the Zixi-enabled network.

“A lot of people haven’t seen what IP can really do,” he says. “They think of it as a circle and not a sphere. It’s the same with Zixi. They know Zixi as a protocol. For the sports world and all of the [live-production] world, it’s knowing us as a protocol, but, through the Zixi Video Solutions Stack, the company is able to provide software tools and core media-processing functions that help content owners transport live video over any IP network, any protocol, and any cloud provider, while also correcting for packet loss and jitter.

“The Video Solutions Stack,” he continues, “is about doing hitless failover across multiple IP types, like fiber and cellular or fiber and internet. That’s all proprietary, and all of the reliability, the multi-cloud, the auto-slating, the protocol switching we do across all protocols, not just the Zixi protocol.”

Zixi’s Gordon Brooks notes that the company has supported sports-centric projects for Amazon, FIFA Women’s World Cup, Tennis Channel.

The company views this all as a future-proofing measure for its software-based solutions, and the interoperability keeps Zixi positioned as a critical and flexible foundation to a full video-delivery workflow. In addition to the 10 protocols currently supported by the Zixi Platform, the company will release implementations of Multipath TCP, TCP BBR, SRT, and the RIST Main Profile later this year.

Zen Master has garnered the most attention at industry trade shows, and the cloud-based interface is proving a valuable tool for content-delivery entities seeking significantly more transparency and control over delivery and real-time performance of live content. According to Zixi’s official CES release, Zen Master “offers visual tools to configure, orchestrate, manage, and monitor live and live linear broadcast channels at scale and across industry protocols.”

Integrations with AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and Azure are added bonuses for operations within ZEN Master.

The Zixi Enabled Network, meanwhile, benefits from the company’s openness and interoperability with more than 150 OEMs, technology partners, and media-service providers and 500-plus customers transmitting live video between 80,000 endpoints in more than 100 countries, according to the company. In addition, 50 new technology vendors adopted Zixi and became ZEN Master-certified in 2019.

Brooks also highlights a handful of sports-centric projects that Zixi has supported recently: assisting Amazon in delivery of streaming-exclusive Premier League matches in the UK, 4K delivery of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and support for Tennis Channel’s fully remote eight-camera center-court coverage of a tournament with a crew of just two technicians and a server delivering content from the venue over a single internet connection.