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Verizon Bets on Video Streaming with Digital Media Services

The service enables media companies to deliver video streams to smartphones, tablets, and Internet-connected TVs.

Verizon on Monday announced a new service that would allow media companies to deliver video streams less expensively to smartphones, tablets, and Internet-connected TVs. Some of the initial customers of Verizon's Digital Media Services to offer live and on-demand video are Turner Broadcasting, Hearst Magazines, and The Associated Press.

Verizon's Digital Media Services will basically help video providers reduce costs associated with delivering the same video file or live stream to a variety of devices that require different screen sizes, resolutions, and formats, without having to create dozens of different transcoded files.

On the consumer side, Verizon's new service will allow users to access video streams, be it from a smartphone, iPad (or other tablets), or via Internet-connected TVs. The video will then be served via storage nodes located near metropolitan areas, meaning users will stream from the nearest geographical server, thus allowing for faster streaming and better quality video.

These video files from content creators will be delivered using Verizon's global IP network, as well as via two data centers Verizon has in California and northern Virginia (where videos are transcoded too). Contextually selected advertisements will be automatically served alongside the video streams, depending on the device uses.

"Verizon is creating a first-of-its-kind automated digital utility," says Mike Millegan, the company's president of global wholesale. Greg Ireland, consumer video industry analyst for global technology research firm IDC, adds, "This is a significant and much-needed development in highly fragmented market."

Verizon's Digital Media Services were under development for nearly three years; the service is currently in beta with several content companies, and commercial availability is expected some time in July.

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