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RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser speaks at the 2017 Casual Connect gaming conference in Seattle. (GeekWire Photo / Nat Levy)

Seattle-based RealNetworks has struck a deal with CIBN Oriental Network to help the Chinese broadcaster enhance its TV and mobile video streaming capabilities.

CIBN is one of seven networks in the restrictive Chinese market licensed to distribute media over the internet instead of through a cable provider, similar to a service like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. Using RealNetworks’ RealMedia HD video codec, CIBN will be able to speed up its streaming service while reducing data costs and storage requirements and providing higher image quality, the companies say.

“Applying RealNetworks’ innovative technology into our platform helps build a customized and localized ecosystem for CIBN OTT TV,” Gong Yuguo, general manager of CIBN Oriental said in a statement. “The unique video codec allows CIBN Oriental to explore new business models in copyright protection and information security, and to develop a better service model for content management.”

The technology will be available to CIBN customers after it is implemented in the fourth quarter of the year.

RealNetworks, which is best known for creating RealPlayer two decades ago, has transitioned over the last few years under CEO Rob Glaser as it searched for its next hit. Video streaming is big business in the U.S., where more than half of all households use at least one streaming service, and globally. Helping companies around the world provide the best streaming services possible represents a solid opportunity for RealNetworks.

“RealMedia HD is a next generation video technology, which enables rich, and immersive viewing experiences,” Morris Zhang, vice president of greater China for RealNetworks, said in a statement. “We’re confident that CIBN Oriental will be able to deliver enhanced service experiences to their millions of users with adoption of our technology.”

RealNetworks’ three divisions focus on consumer media, mobile services and games. Consumer media is organized around RealPlayer. Mobile services includes products like ringback tones and mobile messaging services. And the games division consists mostly of GameHouse, which RealNetworks acquired in 2004, and brings in revenue through selling games, ads on game sites and micro-transactions within games.

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