Telecine adopts SmartPlay to optimize data usage and video quality

Platform seek ways to reduce data traffic and preserve networks' integrity without sacrificing quality amid surge in demand for digital video

Telecine brazilan brand
Photo: Telecine courtesy
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  • The streaming solution dynamically adjusts streaming bitrates, scene by scene, by understanding content;
  • Telecine has seen its video plays triple and new subscriber trials nearly quadruple since March.

Telecine, a Brazilian streaming video-on-demand service, is deploying MediaMelon’s SmartPlay technology to optimize content delivery without sacrificing quality amid growing congestion over internet service providers networks. The platform allows lowering costs and bandwidth usage in an innovative way.

While Netflix, Amazon Prime and other services are temporarily reducing video bitrates – in other words, video quality – to reduce data traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic and a surge in demand for digital content, SmartPlay offers a dynamic optimization by “interpreting” content, scene by scene, and not just by looking at the network capacity.

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Part of MediaMelon’s Video Intelligence Platform, it is a streaming solution that dynamically adjusts streaming bitrates. The system is based on AI technologies that analyzes encoded data to understand content complexity and compute visual quality at different possible bitrates.

“The technology ‘understands’ the video and guides players on smart TVs, mobile phones and the web, adjusting dynamically the amount of bandwidth usage. By doing this, quality of experience sometimes have even improved”, MediaMelon CEO Kumar Subramanian told LABS

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MediaMelon’s CEO Kumar Subramanian: Image: YouTube screenshot

Apart from Telecine, the European Broadcasting Union, Belgium’s VRT, U.S.-based DaCast and India’s ErosNow are among MediaMelon’s customers.

Surge in demand

Telecine, a joint venture between Grupo Globo, Brazil’s largest broadcaster, and Hollywood Studios Paramount, MGM, Universal and Fox, has seen its video plays triple and new subscriber trials nearly quadruple. As more people stay home from work and school, the added streaming traffic is adding substantial bandwidth costs for providers. Bandwidth bottlenecks also impact the viewing experience, causing videos to start slow, pause unexpectedly and pixellate when bandwidth runs thin.

With SmartPlay, Telecine lowered the bandwidth needed to carry its streams by 42%, improving visual quality and reducing streaming interruptions (buffering) by 50%. The experience improvements have enabled Telecine to deliver content quality and reliability to viewers, while taking on nearly 400% more new trial subscribers without a corresponding increase in bandwidth costs.

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“SmartPlay has allowed us to mitigate last-mile bandwidth and infrastructure limitations to deliver better quality of experience to new and existing subscribers, manage our costs and improve margins even under these extreme conditions,” said Fabio Lima, product manager with Telecine.

For MediaMelon’s Subramanian, the increasing competition within the streaming service market may lead users to switch their platforms subscriptions not only based on price but also on experience. “We can track how a better user experience improves user engagement, and being able to keep a subscriber is becoming maybe even more important than gaining new ones. Getting quality right is important for streaming platform revenues”.

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