Browser-based video production company Grabyo is bullish on the Internet future of TV. The company has been demonstrating enhancements to its online platform to help rights-holders and broadcasters prepare for that future while meeting current viewing trends.
“Streaming has become the new normal,” states the company in its 2019 Global Video Trends Report, which draws upon surveys of nearly 10,000 people in seven countries. “OTT services are now used as often as traditional TV for the majority of global video consumers, and online streaming represents the largest segment for paid subscriptions.”
Grabyo is focused on simplifying how its clients, which include marquis sports and entertainment brands, serve this new type of audience. “What we built is a set of tools, natively in a web browser, for live production, streaming, clip distribution and editing,” says Grabyo CEO Gareth Capon. “But built in a way that doesn’t use any hardware whatsoever.”
Expectations in this evolving market are high. Viewers think production quality should be as professional online as on any other delivery platform. Meanwhile, broadcasters and rights owners expect to monetise their content, while delivering additional features that match viewing trends and behaviour.
In that light, Grabyo has introduced several new features on its Producer and Editor toolsets. To ensure that transitions between video from different camera angles are smooth, without skips or delays, Grabyo Producer now supports frame-accurate camera switching from remote locations and remote camera synchronisation.
What enables this feature is automatic synching of multiple video sources using timestamps generated by the encoder, based on a clock device or from within the camera SDI feeds. “Partners send us their encoded feeds over IP using RTMP or HLS,” says Aaron Duckmanton, Grabyo’s Head of Marketing and Content. “We now have beta support for Zixi, RIST and SRT ingest, which will be fully rolled out in the fourth quarter.”
Support announced earlier this year for WebRTC, which reduces latency to practically zero, had already given Grabyo Producer the same user experience as that of a local desktop app. It also enabled Grabyo to support contribution from local camera and audio sources, leading to the launch of another upgrade announced at IBC, Producer Guest, which allows external guests to appear in a live broadcast.
Supporting its customers’ business needs, Grabyo also announced that Producer can now detect ad markers, such as onCue for RTMP or SCTE-35 for MPEG-TS streams. This allows users of Grabyo Producer to replace in-stream ads from a live broadcast with other content, including other sponsor partners. Going forward, Duckmanton said Grabyo “will begin to build integrations with ad decision servers to give publishers an easier way to monetise live broadcasts across social, digital and OTT platforms.”
Another new enhancement allows users of Grabyo Editor to add automated closed captions to video clips. Leveraging Amazon Transcribe, the AWS automatic speech-to-text capability, Grabyo is simplifying and reducing the time needed to transcribe and caption live video content.
Driven primarily by attention to user behaviour – some studies have indicated that 85 per cent of video on Facebook is viewed without sound, a habit likely replicated across other social platforms – this feature also could open up new markets. Creating and distributing clips with captions in multiple languages, for instance, would allow publishers to extend their market reach with more tailored content.