We at Faultline Online Reporter probably take more convincing than most when hearing brash claims like a company revolutionizing the streaming industry, yet there was something distinctly different about a press release from a company called Streaming Global, in that its complete absence of explanation emanated an intriguing sense of arrogance.
But upon getting in touch with the company and speaking to CEO Richard Oesterreicher who is also acting CTO, and VP Marketing Austin Schmidt, the pieces began to slot together. Streaming Global’s patent-pending technology essentially eliminates large, wasteful parts of streaming architectures – enabling customers to turn a public or private cloud into a speedy streaming system without any hefty additional software. It has eliminated transcoding, ingest mux and the need for an input server – but why? Surely the elimination of transcoding massively limits the potential device reach?
Then there was a lightbulb moment. “We are encoding at the source instead of the server and our patent is on packaging at the source, and we still offer multiple bit rates,” explained Oesterreicher. “We never decode an algorithm until it gets to the viewer.”
In truth, these are some of the most processor intensive and expensive parts of streaming. “Ingest is one of the costliest processes. People are still using the same streaming architectures built in the 90s. You needed a CDN twenty years ago but for live streaming today it just doesn’t work, even edge caching is outdated, and colocation is a thing of the past,” were some of the bold statements from Oesterreicher, who has been building and selling technology companies for some 30 years.
Essentially, Streaming Global has developed mobile encoders to steal business from the big boys, available as a service running on any public or private cloud infrastructure, capable of saving at least 25% on the costs of delivering content and boasting rapid live latency reductions. “Azure and AWS have latency of between 40 to 60 seconds and Facebook has one of the lowest at around 8 seconds, while our first implementation was 2 seconds,” said Oesterreicher. However, he sees the major cloud providers more as partners than rivals.
Founded only in September this year (although development stretches back about 24 months), the 15-person company claims to have picked up a few big customers, but unfortunately none can be spoken about just yet. Oesterreicher is hoping he can start shouting about a major sports league in February, for which Streaming Global is the exclusive streaming technology supplier. As for its patent-pending technology, Oesterreicher warned that the US Patent Office is not a body renowned for its hastiness, with some applications taking as long as 8 years to get the green light.
As a company hoping to disrupt the streaming market and claiming that established technologies are old hat, surely Streaming Global also hopes to become a key player in the codec wars? Apparently not though, as Oesterreicher was unwilling to voice his opinion on the record about the codec wars waging right now, simply saying, “We believe in the viewer. H.264 is ubiquitous and we don’t require specific codecs.”
“If you want a strap line, go with this – we have built what the next generation of Apple HLS should have been,” was Oesterreicher’s mic-drop moment.