Microfost to Open xCloud Game Streaming Beta Early Tomorrow

The verge | August 11, 2020

Microsoft is allowing Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers to try its new game streaming feature (xCloud) early tomorrow, August 11th. The software giant will launch a new version of the Xbox Game Pass beta app for Android, which includes game streaming. While the game streaming feature, known previously as xCloud, will be officially available on September 15th, anyone can grab the beta app from the Google Play Store and try it early from tomorrow onward. “As we approach the launch of cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on September 15, we’re entering a limited beta period to ensure a smooth transition of the cloud gaming experience to the Xbox Game Pass app on Android,” explains a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge.

Spotlight

Among all the communication mediums marketers have to choose from, there’s one fact that cannot be ignored: video content  including curated user-generated video and original branded content is exploding across the internet. In a report published in the Business Video Now series, Wainhouse Research estimated that workers watched 1.12 billion hours of business-related video content in 2013, a trend that’s forecasted to more than double by 2016.Streaming media/live online video is emerging as a solution to the external and internal communications challenges marketers face among the myriad of competing messaging platforms (e.g. digital signage, SMS, TV, radio and email ads). In fact, according to a 2013 Wainhouse Research Enterprise Web Communications Survey of 1,000 executives, those who used online video reported it as the most effective tool in branding and promotion.


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BUSINESS

Synamedia acquires Quortex to add just-in-time live video streaming and accelerate its SaaS offerings

Synamedia | July 14, 2022

Synamedia, the world's largest independent video software provider, announced it has acquired Quortex, the privately-held provider of a leading cloud video delivery platform optimized for just-in-time processing of live video streaming. With this acquisition, Synamedia will enhance its cloud Video Network capabilities, complementing its VIVID Workflow as-a-Service (WaaS) with a set of innovative solutions for OTT content processing, disaster recovery, long tail content processing for large service providers, and live events. Using a patented, industry-first, pay-as-you-stream model, Quortex's just-in-time technology provides exactly the resources required at any given time. If no-one is watching a channel, it simply frees up those resources. This methodology provides time to market and considerable cost advantages over existing cloud approaches, while ensuring that every deployed resource has a purpose. For example, for long tail content, Quortex's technology reduces cloud costs up to 67%. Quortex's multi-tenant SaaS technology builds video streams on-the-fly, based on the end users' requirements and matched to viewers' locations, devices and time zones. It adapts to unpredictable network, infrastructure and audiences, and automatically scales cloud resources up and down, leveraging spot instances that take advantage of spare cloud capacity at a fraction of the typical cost, while maintaining quality of experience. The service is designed for any live streaming provider including telcos, cable operators, direct-to-consumer (D2C) players, and broadcasters. As a founding member of Greening of Streaming, and as energy costs spiral and organizations commit to cutting CO2 emissions, Quortex is well positioned to play an important role in sustainability strategies. "By pioneering just-in-time video streaming processing and delivery, Quortex has broken new ground with live services that dynamically spring to life when processing a user request. This radical change in the economics of cloud processing will accelerate the migration of live video services to the cloud. We see enormous potential as we expand Quortex's reach globally - for the fast-growing D2C live streaming market as well as our traditional service provider customer base who want to reduce infrastructure costs and meet their CO2 reduction commitments." -Julien Signes, EVP and General Manager of Video Network at Synamedia Ben Keen, independent analyst and advisor, commented, "True innovation often derives from a dismantling of legacy approaches to a problem and Quortex has brought some timely fresh thinking to video streaming technology. Reversing the traditional 'push' architecture, the Quortex team has come up with a potentially more efficient scalable 'pull' process that uses bandwidth only when it is required. The addition of this true SaaS proposition to the portfolio should allow Synamedia to offer live streaming services to a far broader range of increasingly cost-sensitive and environmentally-aware customers." Marc Baillavoine, CEO and Founder of Quortex, said, "With our breakthrough just-in-time approach, we have turned the live streaming model on its head, ditching the need to wastefully provision streaming resources just-in-case. We believe that with Synamedia's global reach and complementary product lines, we can accelerate our mission to transform the agility and cost of streaming and slash its carbon footprint." Quortex was founded in Rennes, France, in 2018 by a team of video industry experts with more than 100 patents. Customers include beIN Group Media, M6 and Red Bee Media. The company's employees in France and the UK will be joining Synamedia. Quortex has been supported since its inception by Elaia, Go Capital, Unexo and business angels. Its technology will be part of Synamedia's Video Network portfolio, and the company will continue to operate under its own brand while taking advantage of Synamedia's customer base, financial strength and global presence. About Synamedia We're trusted by service providers and content owners to protect, enrich, and deliver video. The flexibility and agility of our cloud products enable customers of all types and sizes to launch, monetize, and scale services at speed. Our award-winning portfolio includes intelligence-led anti-piracy, advanced advertising, business analytics, broadband and streaming video platforms, and video network cloud and software solutions. Synamedia is backed by the Permira funds and Sky.

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TECHNOLOGIES,BUSINESS

disguise Acquires Creative Studio Meptik to Accelerate Global Delivery of World-Class Immersive Productions

disguise | July 13, 2022

disguise, the market leader in extended reality (xR) technology, has acquired Atlanta-based immersive entertainment specialists Meptik, to empower the global deployment of trailblazing immersive productions, studios and installations delivered by Meptik and powered by disguiseWhile both companies will continue to operate as separate entities, disguise will be leveraging Meptik’s expertise to expand its global reach, helping creatives build the next generation of extended reality and metaverse experiences. Meptik’s teams will work with disguise to workshop new solutions, create product roadmaps and drive new standards in entertainment technology. Meptik specializes in creating dynamic virtual worlds that blow audiences away—and keeps them coming back. Their clients range from film studios to lifestyle brands, Fortune 500s, musical artists and more. Combining creative chops with technical skills, Meptik is always working behind the scenes to define what’s next for extended reality (xR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and virtual production (VP). Led by Sarah Linebaugh and Nick Rivero, their team of experts deliver groundbreaking projects for filmmakers and broadcasters as well as remarkable corporate and immersive installations. xR technology unleashes storytelling potential by delivering photorealistic, three-dimensional, real-time graphics that immerse performers and audiences alike in a virtual world visible on set and in-camera. disguise’s market-leading extended reality (xR) workflow has, in the past two years alone, enabled over 600 xR productions in over 50 countries, powering live entertainment productions for music artists such as Katy Perry and Billie Eilish, film and episodic TV productions for Netflix and Amazon Prime, corporate presentations for Siemens and Verizon and live broadcast programs from Eurosport, MTV and ITV. With new disguise locations opening up around the world and a software interface available in multiple languages, disguise is accelerating the democratization of its xR workflow to meet the expanding appetite for xR, virtual production and virtual studios. As a rapidly growing global player in the events, media and entertainment space, disguise is well placed to support a similar growth trajectory for Meptik, bringing their creative and technical expertise to all. Customers can expect a Meptik team with the latest technology in their back pocket, and an ever-growing global team of experts to support them on their creative journey. Meptik will also use its unique combination of creative and technical expertise to aid disguise in its mission to empower game-changing virtual experiences at the intersection of physical and virtual worlds. “We have always prided ourselves on our ability to service both sides of the xR equation the creative and the technical—and we love creating dynamic virtual worlds that blow audiences away, Joining forces with disguise will enhance our ability to continue to serve our clients from start to finish while maintaining our down-to-earth spirit.” -Nick Rivero, Co-Founder of Meptik “Meptik has been a trusted partner of disguise for many years, growing to excel at bringing out the very best capability for disguise solutions. Given that we have both been, in the past two years, bringing extended reality and immersive entertainment to the world, this acquisition would expand on these efforts and lead the next era for extended reality and metaverse experiences,” says disguise CEO Fernando Küfer. About disguise disguise is the platform to imagine, create and deliver spectacular visual experiences. Its award-winning extended reality (xR) solution has powered over 600 immersive real-time productions across live entertainment for music artists such as Katy Perry and Billie Eilish, film and episodic TV productions for Netflix and Amazon Prime, corporate presentations for Siemens and Verizon, and live broadcast programs from Eurosport, MTV and ITV, in more than 50 countries. With an ever-increasing global partner network and working alongside the world’s most talented visual designers and technical teams in live events, TV broadcasts, films, concert touring, theatre, fixed installations and corporate and entertainment events, disguise is building the next generation of collaborative tools to help artists and technologists realize their vision. Recognized as one of the Financial Times’ top 1000 fastest growing businesses for 2021, disguise has recently announced new majority backing from investment firm Carlyle Group, with Epic Games taking a minority stake. About Meptik Meptik is your creative partner for building mind-blowing xR experiences from start to finish. From content creation through to technical workflow integration, Meptik’s experienced designers and xR specialists push the boundaries of what’s possible

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BUSINESS

HyperX Named Leading Peripheral Partner for SoLa I CAN Technology & Entrepreneurship Center

HyperX | August 17, 2022

HyperX, the gaming peripherals team at HP Inc. and brand leader in gaming and esports, announced it is the leading peripheral partner of SoLa I CAN Technology & Entrepreneurship Center Powered by Riot Games. SoLa Impact is a family of real estate funds with a double bottom line strategy focused on building high-quality affordable housing in Black and Brown communities. The SoLa I CAN Foundation, SoLa Impact’s affiliated, 501(c)3 nonprofit, aims to improve the lives of Los Angeles residents in low-income communities and break the cycle of intergenerational poverty by providing opportunities for education and economic mobility.HyperX has donated an array of gaming peripherals to support the SoLa Technology and Entrepreneurship Center Powered by Riot Games, including its esports arena and gaming center in South Los Angeles. HyperX gaming headsets, keyboards, mice, mouse pads, microphones, and other products are being used to help SoLa build out the facilities for local students to use while visiting the center. The operation aligns with HyperX’s goals to improve representation for Black and Brown talent to enter the gaming industry workforce as gaming professionals. “HyperX is proud to help make an impact with SoLa Impact and the SoLa I CAN Foundation by providing tools for learning at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center. The center helps to close the digital divide, promote diversity in tech and change mindsets about gaming. Members of the community that come to the center will have a chance to achieve their dreams and elevate their skill levels in a game-positive environment, By having a space to pursue their interests and aspirations based on the shared love of gaming, the residents of South Los Angeles will have a chance to help shape the future of the gaming culture and esports.” -Wendy Lecot, head of strategic alliances, HyperX. HyperX’s donation of equipment to the center helps make this facility a world-class institution able to provide our local youth with an amazing access point for technology education and career training,” said Sherri Francois, chief impact officer of SoLa Impact and executive director of SoLa I CAN Foundation. “The SoLa Technology and Entrepreneurship Center Powered by Riot Games is the first esports and gaming facility of its kind in South Los Angeles, where youth and community members can learn and develop their skills to prepare for tomorrow's workforce. About HyperX For 19 years, HyperX’s mission has been to develop gaming solutions for every type of gamer, and the company is consistently recognized for delivering products that provide superior comfort, aesthetics, performance, and reliability. Under the tagline of “WE’RE ALL GAMERS,” HyperX gaming headsets, keyboards, mice, USB microphones, and console accessories are the choice of everyday gamers as well as celebrity ambassadors, pro gamers, tech enthusiasts, and overclockers worldwide because they meet the most stringent product specifications and are built with best-in-class components. For more information, please go to www.hyperx.com. About HP HP Inc. creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Through our product and service portfolio of personal systems, printers, and 3D printing solutions, we engineer experiences that amaze. More information about HP Inc. is available at http://www.hp.com. About SoLa Impact’s I CAN Foundation The SoLa I CAN Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit affiliate of SoLa Impact, aims to improve the lives of Los Angeles Black and Brown residents and break the cycle of intergenerational poverty by providing opportunities for education and economic mobility. SoLa’s Technology and Entrepreneurship Center Powered by Riot Games is a state-of-the-art, first-of-its-kind center in the heart of South Central Los Angeles. The center works to train and inspire the next generation of technology and entertainment professionals, leaders and entrepreneurs from South Los Angeles. SoLa provides the community with skills-based technology programming, as well as scholarships and career development opportunities for underinvested communities to all Angelenos get increased access to jobs, mentorship, and placement in the most competitive fields of business. Learn more at www.solaican.org.

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TECHNOLOGIES,MEDIA AND BROADCASTING

FOX First Run Expands Partnership with Interactive Media Platform Partner ACTV8me to Amplify Fall Programming

FOX First Run | August 05, 2022

FOX First Run announced that it is broadening its partnership with media technology provider ACTV8me, to create a unified interactive experience across its all-star lineup "You Bet Your Life" and "Pictionary." The leading mobile ad-tech company will leverage its Sequential QR Code™ (SQR Code™) solution in all 180 new episodes of "You Bet Your Life" and 175 original episodes of "Pictionary," producing a measurable way for sponsors to connect with the audience, while surprising and delighting viewers in real-time at home. Across America's favorite game shows, ACTV8me will display its SQR Code™ to empower marketers to sequentially or randomly serve unique offers, messaging, and enhanced content in a brand-safe environment, all of which can be saved into the native wallet (Apple Pay or Google Pay). This proven solution allows sponsors to effectively measure lead generation and conversions. The SQR Code™ will also power an at-home segment, prompting viewers to play along with an audience question, to win sponsored grand prizes, delivering fun to the whole family. "After a successful collaboration on Season 1 of 'You Bet Your Life', we are proud of our partnership with ACTV8me in scaling across multiple series, as we continue to accelerate the reach of these syndicated shows by infusing interactive elements that improve our audience experience," -Stephen Brown, EVP of Programming and Development, FOX First Run. We are excited to serve more viewers, and optimize cross-screen experiences for premier sponsors and prizing partners," added David Schreff, CEO of ACTV8me. "As we further expand into 'Pictionary' with Jerry O'Connell, we are jointly ushering in a new way for consumers to engage with the iconic board game as it comes to life on the television screen. These FOX First Run's syndicated game shows provide a perfect match for us to inspire full family participation, and enhance the in-show sponsorships together,expressed Brian Shuster, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of ACTV8me. "By displaying our SQR Code™ solution at pivotal moments, FOX First Run is designing opportunities for viewers to test their knowledge and be rewarded this fall. Tune in this September as "You Bet Your Life" and "Pictionary" premiere on weekdays and weeknights in 192 markets in 98% of the U.S. including FOX Owned & Operated Television stations and on station groups Sinclair, Nexstar, Scripps, Tegna, Meredith, Gray, and others. Check your local listings, or visit https://youbetyourlife.com / and Pictionaryontv.com About FOX FIRST RUN FOX First Run serves as the television syndication arm of FOX Broadcasting Company. FOX Television Stations owns and operates 29 full power broadcast television stations in the U.S. These include stations located in nine of the top ten largest designated market areas, or DMAs, and duopolies in 11 DMAs, including the three largest DMAs (New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago). Of these stations, 18 are affiliated with the FOX Network. In addition to distributing sports, entertainment and syndicated content, our television stations collectively produce nearly 1,000 hours of local news every week. These stations leverage viewer, distributor, and advertiser demand for the FOX Network's national content. About ACTV8me ( www.actv8me.com ) ACTV8me's patented and proprietary media technology enables measurable engagement and attribution across all distributed content. The platform powers an interactive and transactional overlay that linear and streaming media networks, retailers, sports and entertainment venues, digital out-of-home publishers, and brand advertisers leverage across content and ad campaigns, connecting marketing spend to measurable sales outcomes. ACTV8me partners provide consumers with new valuable offers, digital coupons, and unique content, based on their age, gender, location and media consumption behavior, enabling global brands to drive measurable ROI. As a leader in interactive media experiences, including the new breakthrough SQR™ Code (Sequential QR Code), ACTV8me also partners with major television production and content owners to create original content that utilizes the platform's functionality, to unlock new recurring revenue streams.

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Spotlight

Among all the communication mediums marketers have to choose from, there’s one fact that cannot be ignored: video content  including curated user-generated video and original branded content is exploding across the internet. In a report published in the Business Video Now series, Wainhouse Research estimated that workers watched 1.12 billion hours of business-related video content in 2013, a trend that’s forecasted to more than double by 2016.Streaming media/live online video is emerging as a solution to the external and internal communications challenges marketers face among the myriad of competing messaging platforms (e.g. digital signage, SMS, TV, radio and email ads). In fact, according to a 2013 Wainhouse Research Enterprise Web Communications Survey of 1,000 executives, those who used online video reported it as the most effective tool in branding and promotion.

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