KT first with device-agnostic video

KT has unveiled a new mobile video broadcast service that allows users to broadcast live video to multiple devices at once, regardless of the device make or OS platform.
The “Show It” service is powered by Syniverse Technologies, which is supplying the service to the South Korean incumbent on a white-label basis.
KT is the first cellco in the world to launch the service commercially. It is OS- and device-agnostic in that it doesn’t require a client, says Charles Landry, EVP of global messaging at Syniverse.
“It’s a managed service that runs on our data center, where the rules and libraries for the service are embedded,” Landry said. “Video is transcoded on the fly so that the video will play on the existing video player in the device.”
Customers use Show It by clicking a widget that connects to the phone’s contact list. The user selects the person or persons they want to broadcast to, and sends them an email or SMS with a message inviting them to watch the stream and a link to join the stream. Recipients don’t have to be KT users to watch the stream.
The service also adjusts the video streaming rate based on the available bandwidth for the upstream and downstream links for each handset. “We can regulate the frame speed so the stream doesn’t overburden the network,” Landry said.
“The transcoding engine will show the transfer rate so we can adjust the quality for continuous play. If the signal drops totally, it can be moved to an archived link to be watched later.”
Landry said Syniverse built the capability to transcode across different handset makes and platforms via its work on similar services for MMS that bridged problems with interoperability.
He also said the service is compatible with most handsets, barring the iPhone which has FaceTime – “an excellent closed service.”
Landry said 3G is a minimum connectivity requirement for the service to work, but that it can be configured to work on feature phones, tablets and laptops as well as smartphones.
The service will form the basis for other types of broadcast services, from citizen journalism to push services like customer service or tech support.