In a bit of cross-lake collaboration, Microsoft is now working with thePlatform, Comcast’s Seattle-based tech subsidiary, to integrate some of the Redmond company’s digital media technologies into thePlatform’s web video management system.
And in an unexpected twist, the first rollout of the combined technologies is for Comcast’s Xfinity TV iPad app, in addition to online web streaming.
The companies detailed their collaboration this morning, saying they’ve integrated Microsoft’s Internet Information Services (IIS) Smooth Streaming technology into the mpx video management system that thePlatform offers to media companies and television service providers. IIS adjusts video quality based on bandwidth and the characteristics of the viewing device to keep the video stream steady. ThePlatform is also adopting Microsoft’s PlayReady DRM to protect content from unauthorized use.
Here’s where the iPad comes in: The companies say the first media provider to roll out the joint technology is Comcast’s own Xfinity TV Online service. A line toward the end of the news release explains that the technologies are “integrated as part of the On Demand video streaming feature on the iPad.” Comcast introduced on-demand streaming in the app in February.
A spokesman for thePlatform says Microsoft’s technology is also being used as part of the streaming system for the Xfinity TV Online service for Windows PCs and Macs.
The combined technology has the potential to reach well beyond that initial deployment, given thePlatform’s customer base — which includes media and cable television giants such as Cox Communications, Cablevision, CBC, Canwest, Time Warner Cable and others in addition to its parent company. thePlatform says its media management systems are used to manage and syndicate billions of video views annually.