Digital Rapids Clears Hurdles Behind Unprecedented Summer Games Streaming Experiences


Digital Rapids Corporation

2008-08-19 10:18:00

MARKHAM, ON–(EMWNews – August 19, 2008) – Technology from Digital Rapids — a leading

developer of solutions for bringing television, video and movie content to

the latest generation of viewing devices — is one of the key enablers of

the unprecedented live Internet coverage of the Summer Games currently

being enjoyed by U.S. audiences.

Over 2200 hours of video will be streamed live on the Internet at, powered by Digital Rapids’ encoding and streaming systems.

The unprecedented scale of NBC Universal’s online coverage created new

challenges going far beyond typical streaming scenarios.

In the past, the live streaming of major international events typically

started with the satellite transmission of a single main feed from the

source location to the destination country, where that single feed would be

encoded, streamed, and distributed. The content of that feed — the

switching between camera angles, viewpoints, and storylines — was

controlled at the source. In contrast, for the Summer Games, dozens of

simultaneous live event feeds are being encoded in Beijing and streamed to

the U.S. for distribution to web audiences. In doing so, NBC Universal is

putting the control in the hands of the viewer, letting users watch

multiple events concurrently while interactively switching between streams

through a rich media experience enabled by the cross-platform Microsoft

Silverlight technology.

Bringing this number of streams to audiences at high quality all starts

with Digital Rapids encoding systems, which transform source video feeds

into web-friendly streams. An array of Digital Rapids DRC-Stream™

encoding solutions is deployed in Beijing, capable of ingesting and

encoding over 100 live video sources. Each source is encoded in three

combinations of resolution and bit-rate, tripling the amount of encoding to

be performed. The high volume of streams to be encoded in a fixed number of

systems, combined with the unpredictable and varying visual nature of the

content — from fast-moving events with extensive camera motion, to

close-ups and wide shots with minimal movement — created numerous encoding

challenges. Leveraging the inherent advantages of the DRC-Stream encoding

hardware and software alongside custom development working closely with

Microsoft, Digital Rapids is leaping these hurdles to enable this

breakthrough online video experience.

“NBC Universal’s coverage of this year’s Summer Games is raising the bar

for live event streaming. From the volume of live streams and the massive

amount of on-demand content to the quality of the end-user experience —

everything about this initiative is changing how content consumers will

look at live event coverage from this point forward,” said Brick Eksten,

President of Digital Rapids Corporation. “Never before have live event

viewers had this much control over what they watch and how they watch it,

and we’re ecstatic to be part of this phenomenal effort. The future of

online event coverage is brighter than ever, and we look forward to our

next challenge as multi-platform distribution continues to revolutionize

viewing experiences.”

Digital Rapids’ DRC-Stream encoding solutions combine powerful hardware for

video and audio capture and pre-processing with the intuitive Stream

software interface, delivering reliable, high-quality, multi-format media

encoding and streaming for professional applications such as high-end

Internet TV and IPTV. The advanced, hardware-based video processing

features enable superior quality and the most efficient use of bandwidth in

the compressed result.

Beyond the United States, Digital Rapids solutions are playing key roles in

the online coverage of the 2008 Summer Games worldwide, with leading

broadcasters in additional countries including China, the Netherlands,

Australia and New Zealand depending on Digital Rapids encoding, transcoding

and streaming systems.

For more information about Digital Rapids, please visit

About Digital Rapids Corporation — Digital Rapids develops market-leading

hardware and software solutions for transforming and delivering media,

enabling the multi-platform experiences that are defining the future of

digital video. Scaling from individual applications to enterprise and

global operations, Digital Rapids systems span the critical points in

today’s complex media workflows. Recipient of two prestigious Frost &

Sullivan awards in the World Video Encoders and Transcoders market, Digital

Rapids combines innovative technology with proven expertise to help our

customers maximize their productivity, quality, and the value of their

content in the evolving digital media market. Digital Rapids Corporation

( is headquartered in Ontario, Canada with offices

in the United States, the UK, Australia, Argentina and Hong Kong.

Digital Rapids, the Digital Rapids logo and DRC-Stream are trademarks or

registered trademarks of Digital Rapids Corporation. All other trademarks

are the property of their respective holders. Features, pricing,

availability and specifications are subject to change without notice.

Press Contact (Americas)
Mike Nann
Director of Marketing/Cmns
Digital Rapids Corp.
(905) 946-9666 Ext. 135

Press Contacts (Europe/Asia)
Kerr Duffy
Marketing Manager
Digital Rapids Europe
+44 (0) 1428 751 012

Jan Dixon
+44 (0) 1297 489229

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