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ViewCast Launches Osprey SimulStream

New Capability Offers Improvements For Streaming With Osprey Video Cards (October 03, 2001)
ViewCast Corporation announced today that Osprey SimulStream software is available for purchase, giving users of select Osprey Video cards the ability to output multiple video and audio streams with independent capture settings from a single Osprey capture card.

SimulStream software is available initially for the Osprey-210 and Osprey-220 models. Osprey SimulStream is also provided as part of ViewCast Systems package offerings in Niagara Streaming Systems that utilize the Osprey-210 and Osprey-220 for their capture engines.

Content creators of streaming media typically encode several different streams of the same media in order to provide the best possible viewing experience over both modems and broadband connections. Different formats -- such as RealMedia or Windows Media
-- are often provided to address user's preferences. With existing capabilities, content creators repeat the encoding task for each file or use multiple cards in parallel to speed up the process. When Osprey SimulStream is used, multiple encoding tasks can be launched simultaneously. By taking what used to be four-to-six separate encoding tasks and making it a single session, Osprey SimulStream reduces encoding time up to 83 percent while greatly improving the video and audio on the resulting streams.

Osprey SimulStream also increases the physical density of encoding tasks for major web broadcasters. Other companies provide systems-only offerings limited to four streams per system, while the Osprey SimulStream with a single Osprey Video card allows an infinite number of streams -- limited only by the size of the system's CPU capabilities and specific encoding tasks. This allows previously un-attainable encoder density for professional and large-scale webcasting applications

Osprey SimulStream complements current "multi-bitrate" encoding options from companies like RealNetworks and Microsoft. Multi-bitrate encoding is the ability to create a single stream with the ability to "throttle back" the bitrate based upon network congestion. The drawback, however, is that multi-bitrate streams are either encoded optimally for a modem with a small QCIF (160x120 pixel) image resolution, or with a larger image for a broadband stream, but not both. Using the multi-stream capability of Osprey SimulStream, a smaller QCIF image is provided to the modem user, while the broadband user receives the larger CIF (320x240 pixel) image for an improved viewing experience. Multi-bitrate applications can be run with SimulStream to combine the benefits of each.

In addition to allowing for optimized unique encoding sessions with independent resolutions and color formats, Osprey SimulStream also extends to other applications -- such as Virage's VideoLogger with face recognition or Convera's Screening Room -- that may be run concurrently with encoding using only a single Osprey Video capture card.

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