Bitmovin, a world leader in online video technology, is teaming up with the University of Klagenfurt and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Digital and Economic Affairs (BMDW) in a multi-million Euro research project to uncover techniques that will enhance the video streaming experiences of the future.
The joint project establishes a dedicated research team to investigate potential new tools and methodologies for encoding, transport and playback of live and on demand video using the HTTP Adaptive Streaming protocol that is widely used by online video and TV providers. The resulting findings will help empower the creation of next generation solutions for higher quality video experiences at lower latency, while also potentially reducing storage and distribution costs.
Margarete Schramböck, Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs, sees great potential for the future in the development of technologies of this kind: “Video represents 60% of the Internet data volume and, correspondingly, the potential for optimization and resource conservation is enormous. At the same time, the Christian Doppler Laboratory contributes to the development of high-tech in Carinthia, secures jobs and draws qualified personnel to the region. A win-win situation for companies, science and society.”
Fierce competition increases the need for innovation
“The partnership with the University of Klagenfurt allows us to investigate the basic building blocks of video delivery in greater detail. This will help us to remain in pole position in the years ahead”, as Christopher Müller, CTO at Bitmovin states. Christian Timmerer, Associate Professor at the Institute of Information Technology (ITEC) at the University of Klagenfurt and Laboratory Director, goes on to explain: “Increasing competition between online video providers will accelerate the need for innovation. We continuously strive to maintain the optimum balance between cost, quality of user experience and increasing complexity of content.”
Ministry of Economic Affairs provides support through the Christian Doppler Research Association
The Christian Doppler Laboratory ATHENA is jointly funded by Bitmovin and the Christian Doppler Research Association, whose primary public sponsor is the Federal Ministry of Digital and Economic Affairs. The budget for 7 years of research is approx. 4.5 million Euros, with the public sector providing roughly 2.7 million of this total. Martin Gerzabek, President of the Christian Doppler Research Association, sees great potential for cooperation between science and industry, as in this case: “ATHENA is our first Christian Doppler Laboratory at the University of Klagenfurt. We are very pleased about the expansion of our funding model, which facilitates cooperation between outstanding science and innovative companies on an equal footing. We congratulate the University of Klagenfurt on this great success and confidently look forward to further CD labs and JR centres in the region.”
According to Oliver Vitouch, Rector of the University of Klagenfurt, “ATHENA offers a fantastic opportunity for further pioneering developments in global leading-edge technologies. Video streaming has permeated our everyday lives; most of us use it on a daily basis. This lab of the future is an ideal blend of research and innovation”. In Klagenfurt, members of the Institute for Information Technology have been working on the development of innovative multimedia technology for around 20 years. Bitmovin, which operates on a global scale and maintains sites on three continents today, originally began its operations in Klagenfurt: The three founders (Stefan Lederer CEO, Christopher Müller CTO, and Christian Timmerer CIO) first collaborated on the development of the MPEG-DASH video streaming standard during their time at the University of Klagenfurt. This standard is currently used by YouTube, Netflix, ORF-TVThek, Flimmit and many more besides.