It is not just the main broadcasters that are exploiting the technology revolution. This month UCB TV starts broadcasting with Flash to take its message global and provide and an excellent viewing experience.
Independent organisations, such as the United Christian Broadcasters, have been able to harness new media to increase and better serve their audiences. UCB's communication channels are growing relentlessly: satellite TV, cable, DAB, YouTube, Vimeo, mobile TV, radio streaming and video streaming (not to mention CD and DVD).
This month British organisation UCB, in conjunction with Sharpstream, has rolled out Flash media streaming to broadcast to its increasingly global audience.
Neil Elliott, Head of TV at UCB explains:
"Our mission is simply to communicate our message. We have embraced DAB and satellite delivery and they are wonderful media in their own way. Each new channel that has emerged has allowed more people to engage with us but until now every service has been restricted by the geographical area they serve or limited technical capabilities. Now Flash media is taking us global. Just take a look at our Facebook page and you will see we now have viewers across Europe, America, Asia and Africa. This is all down to the power of streaming media to connect with people."
Streaming media has had a dramatic effect on broadcasters. The broadcast sector has been the scene of continual innovation since the launch of the Astra satellite network in 1989: the power of computer processing has enabled the rollout of DTV, 3DTV and HDTV in quick succession. But arguably it's the mass adoption of broadband, leading to such innovations as the iPlayer and online video, that has had the biggest impact.
The streaming service UCB uses is provided by UK broadcast specialist Sharpstream. Alan Brown, MD of Sharpstream, brings his background in traditional broadcast to 21st century streaming. He says:
"We have worked with UCB for years and we know that getting their streaming right is vital. The service they provide has to be on a par with their satellite channels - uptime is a given; quality is paramount; capping costs is vital. We know that anyone with mission critical media must find a partner that can deliver rock solid technology so that the streaming experience never lets their audience down. Flash media gives UCB a really robust, flexible service and delivers quality pictures to audiences."
Sharpstream's reporting service also gives UCB realtime audience and usage figures. Graeme Wilson, UCB's Technical Service Officer, explains:
"With streaming we can monitor our reach and gauge the popularity of each programme - it's giving us feedback we couldn't have dreamt of before. Audiences for the service are growing every month and streaming media is now an indispensable part of what we do."
The results UCB has achieved have reassured the broadcaster that adopting new technology is no mere gimmick. Flash media has made UCB's content accessible to literally hundreds of millions of devices. Streaming has quickly become a very important part of its growth strategy and central to its planning for the future.
"This month we have moved from Windows Media format to Flash media. Thanks to Sharpstream, the process was painless and the results are excellent." Concluded Neil Elliott.