PBS Deploys Aspera for High-Speed Distribution to Internet Video Platforms

Fast, reliable deliveries make large video files available to broadcaster’s growing online audience

LAS VEGAS – PBS Techcon, April 3, 2013Aspera, Inc., creators of next-generation software technologies that move the world’s big data at maximum speed, today announced that Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), a mission-driven public service media enterprise and leading provider of television programming encompassing the arts, education, history, and culture, has deployed high-speed transfer and management solutions from Aspera for content distribution.

Reaching an audience of nearly 120 million viewers per month through television programming alone, PBS has expanded its reach to include video streaming services for desktops, tablets, smart phones and other streaming devices. In January 2013, Americans watched 229 million videos across all of PBS’ web and mobile platforms. PBS content is also consumed through a growing number of providers such as Netflix, LodgeNet, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video and Comcast Video On Demand. To distribute its content, PBS transcodes its videos into a variety of formats and delivers them via the Internet to partners around the country.

To ensure reliable, predictable and on-time delivery to its distribution partners, PBS needed a transfer solution that would overcome the challenges of using the public Internet for large-file deliveries – slow, unreliable transfers that fail to fully utilize available bandwidth and lack sufficient control to share bandwidth with other critical network traffic. 

After evaluating several options, PBS selected Aspera Enterprise Server to run transfers over a 90 Mbps pipeline and Aspera Console for real-time transfer monitoring and control.

After receiving content from producers, PBS’ Media Operations Center performs quality control checks, initiates transcode jobs in all the target formats needed for streaming, and then drops the newly created video files into hot folders where Aspera Enterprise Server automatically retrieves and delivers them at high-speed to video streaming partners. Further simplifying the process, most of the video platforms PBS works with already use Aspera for other transfers, so they simply provide PBS with the login credentials and point them to a directory where PBS can upload the video files.

“With Aspera, I don’t need to worry because it does the job we need it to do – which is predictable delivery times and excellent reliability regardless of the vagaries of the Internet,” said Steve Wynn, director of engineering and maintenance at the PBS Media Operation Center.

PBS benefits from Aspera’s patented fasp transfer technology which dynamically adapts its transmission rate to fully utilize available bandwidth while remaining fair to other network traffic, an important feature for the Media Operation Center as they share bandwidth with other teams in the building.

Additionally, PBS relies on Aspera Console’s intuitive, easy-to-use dashboard which is used not only by PBS’ engineering and maintenance staff, but also for casual operators, such as the editors and technicians working with video files. Using Console’s interface, PBS staff can monitor and control transfers in real time, adjusting bandwidth allocation to reflect project priorities.

“We look forward to continuing to work with PBS as they expand their distribution channels and add more complex workflows into their existing Aspera system,” said Michelle Munson, CEO and president of Aspera. “With the addition of Aspera Orchestrator, PBS will be able to take advantage of journaling, tracking, and other file management tools to support a fully-automated end-to-end production workflow.”