Encoding company Elemental ready for Olympian test this summer

SANTA CLARA--This summer's Olympic Games in London will be a huge test for encoding company Elemental Technologies, a primary vendor for ComcastNBCUniversal, a Comcast subsidary, has broadcast rights to the Games.

According to Elemental CEO Sam Blackman, the sports festival will feature 26 sports in 34 venues and will see some 10,000 athletes participate in 302 medal events over the two weeks of the Games.

The event will reach an audience estimated at more than 4 billion people, with 4,000 hours of live coverage.

The advertising scope is huge; NBC has sold some $1 billion in ads.

"Elemental's customers alone will reach 600 million people across the world," Blackman said at OTTCon.

Blackman said the advent of adaptive bitrate streaming had made getting the games online a gargantuan task, necessitating Elemental to produce 50 individual renditions for each video segment.

"OTT delivery in a global world is getting even more difficult," he said.

But, he said, the recent push to get the Mpeg-DASH codec adopted could have a major impact on the industry.

"If H.265 pans out it will simplify the workflow and save bandwidth," he said. "We'll only need eight or nine ABRs instead of 50 or so." Plus, he said, the new codec makes monitoring easier and could create major cost savings for the industry.

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