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AWS Beats Apple to New-Age TV

Apple's new-age TV moves garnered all the headlines yesterday, but slipping in under the radar last week was a pre-emptive strike by Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS), which acquired a pioneer in "software-defined video solutions for multiscreen content delivery."

The new acquisition, Elemental Technologies Inc., "makes it easy for media and entertainment companies to take live and on-demand video destined for traditional networks like cable, satellite, or over-the-air broadcast and re-format that content for distribution to PCs and smart phones, tablets and TVs," AWS announced.

The Portland, Ore.-based company provides services for pay TV operators and broadcasters, content programmers, government organizations and enterprises. It will continue that mission while integrating with AWS for new-age video services on-premises and in hybrid and cloud architectures, AWS said.

"Elemental has more than 700 media franchise customers and powers some of the world's most popular over-the-top TV (OTT) applications, like the BBC's iPlayer, CNNGo, ESPN Score Center, HBO Go, MSNBC Shift and Sky Go and Sky Now," AWS said. "Additionally, Elemental is supporting the world's first 4K Ultra HD services including those that were delivered by the BBC during the 2014 World Cup."

IDC analyst Al Hilwa, in an e-mail, said, "The Apple announcement seems to have been widely panned in the media [as] not bringing something new." While not to be under-estimated, Hilwa said of Apple's move: "To be sure, this is what most of us thought Apple TV was going to be three years ago."

AWS said the Elemental acquisition will close in the fourth quarter of this year.

What AWS didn't say was: "Welcome to the new-age TV party, Apple!"

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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