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Telestream Acquires Cloud Encoder, Launches First SaaS

NEVADA CITY, CALIF.—Telestream is acquiring Pandastream, a provider of cloud-based encoding services, for an undisclosed amount, from, a Las Vegas-based cloud transcoding company. With the acquisition, Telestream is also announcing the launch of Telestream Cloud, the company’s first software-as-a-service offering, and based on the PandaStream platform.

Current PandaStream customers should see no difference in service and pricing structures, according to Telestream officials. PandaStream’s 10 employees will now be located out of Telestream’s Nevada City, Calif. office as well as the PandaStream office in Krakow, Poland.

While Telestream does offer a cloud-based service called Vantage Cloud, that service is an “infrastructure as a service offering,” while the PandaStream service will be the first such SaaS cloud-only offering from Telestream. The service will allow customers to optimize their file transfer and encoding times from any location, since Telestream Cloud leverages multiple cloud service providers, including Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services and Rackspace.

“They bring out of the gate a very capable, easy-to-use scalable API-driven VOD encoding service,” said Shawn Carnahan, chief technology officer for Telestream. “They offer an infrastructure that we can use to build on additional SaaS services. PandaStream is not only very current in the technologies to build out their infrastructure and to improve the user experience but they’ve proven themselves to be adept of changing as these technologies become available. We needed to get a platform and group that is very current and up to date to what’s happening in that space.”

PandaStream counts such entities as M.I.T., SAP and post production house The Mill as among their current customers. And while Telestream customers cover a wide swath of the encoding market, they nevertheless expect the acquisition and launch of Telestream Cloud to expand their customer base.

“Panda’s customer base is largely not our customer base,” Carnahan said, “Their customers are those who need a service like this as part of a larger stack. They’re doing web applications and as part of that stack of processing, they need to be able to do transcoding and we needed to plug in very easily. While I think they’ve got a very good encoding capability, the way they package and make it available is really the ‘secret sauce.’ It’s what drove the acquisition.”

The transaction marks the third similar type of cloud-focused acquisition in as many months. In September, AWS announced the acquisition of Elemental Technologies to enhance its cloud based transcoding services and a week later, Ericsson acquired Envivio to expand its own cloud-based SaaS service as well. Despite this trend, don’t look for all video processing to move to the cloud, according to Carnahan, who adds that security, cost and bandwidth concerns still determine whether video processing moves to the cloud. He also says the acquisition will help Telestream better distinguish itself from competitors by offering a range of transcoding services, including Vantage Cloud, which, as an infrastructure as a cloud service, means that Telestram also provides the processing hardware.

“[The acquisition] allows us to make distinctions about what Vantage Cloud is,” Carnahan said. “It’s an infrastructure as a service that allows you to extend your Vantage capability to include both on-premise and cloud-based resources.”

Telestream says there will be no change in PandaStream leadership and that the PandaStraeam team will transition to a separate business unit within Telestream over the next few weeks. TelestreamCloud is available now.

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (, the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.