IBC Q&A: Aspera’s Michelle Munson discusses FASPStream’s sports potential, ‘disruptive’ delivery innovation

AsperaMichelleMunsonWith the launch of Aspera’s FASPStream at IBC 2016, the file-transfer specialist highlights the scope for international video delivery over IP with delays as low as a couple of hundred milliseconds. Michelle Munson, Aspera’s president and CEO, elaborated on the potential of FASPStream in discussion with SVG Europe…

How do you identify the outlook for FASPStream in sports?
We realised that this has a broad interest around the industry, but especially in sports broadcast, where there are, for example, multicamera angles at a match. You can have streams from lots of cameras or work the other way, where one source can have multiple FASPstream transport outputs so you can do one-to-many from a single camera source.

It would seem there has been a lot of work involved in making it simple to implement.
One thing that was important was to do this in a way the requires no SDK integration, because a lot of workflows don’t have time for that. The way we have made the software is that it can literally source from any encoder or transcoder. It’s very simple to use: it’s an instant on, [so] all you need is the host computer and the encoder/transcoder setup to an output configured on a local unicast or multicast channel.

The receiving is exactly the same. The software is installed on Linux physical machine or VM, and then the output of that is configured to go directly to the transporting service.

Can you tell us about the demo here with Elemental Technologies?
The demonstration uses Elemental, but FASPStream is not locked to that. We are working with Elemental [because] it is a good partner in the sense that the transporting service has great performance: it works with live and doesn’t introduce more delay. So, end-to-end, we can show true live delivery. But the architecture is built so that any transcoding service and encoder will work with this.

The demonstrations show this approach being used across the U.S. and Europe and intercontinentally. Is the business model different depending on the different scenarios?
Where it is being used across continents, probably the main driver is that there is no alternative. But, within the U.S., there is a cost benefit. What I mean is that you can have a venue where it is not practical to pay $10,000 for a truck and the staff. [Instead,] you can do all of that with a single person and a computer.

I do think this is an important disruptive technology because it fundamentally changes the economics.

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