Streambox announced this week that Fisher Communications is the first U.S. customer to deploy the new Streambox Avenir compact mobile encoder. The two companies also announced a strategic partnership to further develop video contribution and Web streaming solutions for all distribution platforms. In addition to Avenir, Fisher has also deployed a number of other Streambox IP-based streaming and video transport solutions for newsgathering capabilities.
"The Avenir is the latest in a long line of Streambox solutions that have greatly strengthened our stations' ability to cover breaking news and share live video from remote locations in a cost-effective, high-quality, and easy-to-use manner," said Rob Dunlop, Fisher Communication's senior vice president of operations. "We were among the first to demonstrate the Avenir's potential by using it for an actual remote broadcast in our Seattle market, and its benefits were immediately apparent. In today's environment, being first to market with advanced technology solutions that expand our ability to deliver news content to multiple platforms is a key strategic advantage. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Streambox to deploy technologies that increase our volume of content and our flexibility in distribution."
Fisher implemented the newly launched Avenir as an alternative to deploying SNG/ENG vehicles for field newsgathering. A mobile device that can be carried as a side pack, the Avenir employs Streambox's award-winning ACT-L3 codec to enable high-quality, low-latency, and low-bandwidth IP transport of HD and SD video for broadcast and Web streaming. With the Avenir, Fisher's local news teams can transport full-resolution HD and SD for both live and file-based video with a system that can be deployed in minutes using up to eight bonded 3G/4G wireless network modems. The Avenir's intuitive touch screen interface lets users connect quickly and easily via their choice of network connections—ranging from dual Ethernet to Wi-Fi platforms—including bonded 3G/4G mobile broadband devices (via browser-capable smartphones) and low-bandwidth portable satellite devices such as BGAN.
Through its partnership with Streambox, Fisher will continue to expand its use of the Streambox Live broadband video contribution service, which the company has been using for more than two months. With the Streambox Live software installed on their laptops and iPhones, members of Fisher's remote news teams can record, encode, and uplink live or file-based video to the cloud-based Streambox Live service over low-bandwidth IP and mobile networks, where it can be browsed, downloaded, and decoded for broadcast. Because the entire station group subscribes to the many-to-many Streambox Live service, news occurring in one market can be shared for broadcast by any other station in the Fisher group, and video can easily be streamed to local stations' websites, as well.
"As a highly visible public company, Fisher Communications has a progressive track record in successfully deploying leading-edge technologies such as video delivery to mobile platforms and the Internet, so Fisher's embrace of Streambox products is powerful validation of our solution set," said Bob Hildeman, chairman and CEO of Streambox. "We're looking forward to leveraging each other's domain expertise and collaborating on testing of future enhancements to Streambox Live in a real-world, live news setting, and to gaining the customer feedback we need to continue delivering a superior product."
Fisher Communications, Inc. is a Seattle-based communications company that owns and operates 13 full-power TV stations (including a 50 percent-owned TV station), 7 low-power TV stations, and 8 radio stations in the Western United States.