Elemental Live Shakes Up the Economics of Video Streaming

Elemental Technologies today unveiled the latest version of its video encoding platform, aimed at giving video distributors a more efficient way to encode live and on-demand video streams. With a GPU-accelerated processing system and proprietary algorithms for video encoding, the new Elemental Live system is designed to lower the cost of streaming video to multiple platforms and devices.

Elemental Live can encode up to four simultaneous 1080p HD video feeds or eight simultaneous 720p streams in a single platform. That’s important for today’s media publishers, which are increasingly moving to adaptive bitrate technologies that require multiple encodes of a single feed. Encoding multiple versions of a stream at different bitrates allows the video to adjust to changing network conditions, showing the highest-quality stream available to an end user at any given time.

The system is also ready to support encoding for multiple devices and platforms at once, straight out of the box. This allows publishers to use a single appliance to output video to multiple locations or devices, whether it be for PC viewing or viewing on a mobile device, like the Apple (s AAPL) iPhone. The product is built to support adaptive streaming solutions for Adobe (s ADBE) Flash, Microsoft Silverlight (s MSFT), and Apple mobile devices, and also supports the latest in HTML5 and 3-D encoding.

By packaging all these capabilities into a single appliance and accelerating encoding with parallel GPU processing, Elemental Live is designed to lower the total cost of streaming video online. With the ability to support multiple input feeds and output streams, Elemental CEO Sam Blackman says the appliance gives customers about four times the performance of competing encoding options at about half the price.

Elemental has long touted the advantages of parallel processing for video encoding. The company, which raised $7.1 million in financing in 2008 and was included in our “Next Big Thing” showcase at NewTeeVee Live last November, is releasing the Elemental Live product into beta today, with general availability expected at the end of May.

Related content on GigaOM Pro:

The Next Big Thing in Video: Adaptive Bitrate Streaming (subscription required)