Feeds

Energis out to steal streaming market

It's good, but Real and Microsoft may beg to differ

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Energis Squared invited The Reg on a jolly to Amsterdam to tell us how it was going to take over the streaming market - you know, the transmission and reception of sounds and pictures over the Internet.

As you may well be aware, there's already a few big boys in this market. Ever heard of Real Networks, Microsoft or Apple? We of course thought Energis had gone off its rocker, but then a few days in Amsterdam is a few days in Amsterdam.

Imagine our amazement then, when exhausted and a little worse for wear after a hefty Saturday night out, the boys ran a functional, practical and useful tool in front of us. It's called Streamwave, the technology behind it is called Emblaze, and you may well have heard of it before.

This is what you need to know about Streamwave: it's a Java applet. As such, you don't need any software to run pictures and sounds on your PC - the media player is downloaded with the content and will pop up through your browser and on the HTML page.

Aside from the fact that this is one of those "feels right" technologies, Energis was keen to point out the advantages this has. Firstly, and to our minds most prominently, it means you can run pictures directly on your site - an example given was that of a CEO's speech announcing annual results. You won't have to look at it through a different app, and it gives companies effective control on their own content. Ever met a company that didn't like that?

Others pluses are things like not having to download software on every machine for you to see the pics, no updates, rejigging of formats or licences. Plus, it is clearly immediately expandable to anything with browser technology - important when you consider the pissy-fit everyone is having to tell us what it is doing in the wireless space, man (Energis is having its love-in with Orange). Other uses: video email (quite good actually), live TV, flashy advertising, distance learning etc etc.

The technology has been bought off GEO on an exclusive five-year contract and just in case it thinks about wandering off, the two have bought chunks of each other and put directors on each others' boards. It uses MPEG-4 codecs, and is apparently quite hard to do. Those to be targeted are early-adopter corporates - media, ISPs, multi-nationals - travel and ad companies.

So that's it then? Real Networks is a dead duck (shame, it was doing so well), Microsoft will just give up on its Windows Player and Apple, well, Apple will just keep trundling along. Not a bloody word of it. Yes, Energis has got big, fat pipes all over Europe and can control the process from one end to the other but there are very good reasons why it's concentrating on corporates.

Real's and Windows' players aren't just media players. With every update come a whole host of other features - Streamwave cannot and will not bother with these. These players are also fancier and, although we were assured otherwise, faster. If Energis is lucky, they will leave it alone, let it bite into the corporate market and concentrate on the sexier side of high-profile consumer stuff. Having said that, Energis' player does appear to have the edge on picture quality (but not audio quality).

The other reason it is working on corporates is that this system is gonna be expensive. We can't say how expensive because no one would give us any figures. Actually, that's a lie, we were given the example 5,000 users, a two-hour concert: £3,000. Not bad, but then this is an optimum quote. How much more 6,000 users? Three hours? Same price for two hours as quarter of an hour? We don't know how much the encoders cost either - Energis wouldn't tell us. You can hire them though.

This will not be a roll-out everywhere system. But then if Energis did go for that approach, it would be pounced on by the big boys before it had a chance to start running. It's good, it's picked what we think is the right approach and it is a genuinely good idea (how come someone hasn't done it before now?).

The major problem as we see it is that companies won't see the point of shifting and investing in Streamwave when it already has Real stuff all over its network. We raised this very point with John Beaumont (MD of Energis² (we found the little "2" this time)). John's a straight bloke: "Well I'm sure if you came to me but you had a lot of Real kit, we could come to a deal." What do you mean? "Well, Energis is a big company and we ship a lot of kit, Sun and Oracle stuff and others. A returnable deal wouldn't be difficult." Fair enough.

We wish Energis the best. But we would advise them to prepare for the worst. Microsoft and Real aren't known for their soft touch. ®

Related Link

Streamwave - check out the technology on this Web site

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
Was ist das? Eine neue Suse Linux Enterprise? Ausgezeichnet!
Version 12 first major-number Suse release since 2009
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.