Portland company helps stream Winter Olympics

Portland company helps stream Winter Olympics

Credit: Getty Images

WHISTLER, BC - FEBRUARY 20: Simon Ammann of Switzerland soars off the Long Hill on day 9 of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics at Ski Jumping Stadium on February 20, 2010 in Whistler, Canada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Simon Ammann


by Joe Smith, KGW Business Reporter


Posted on January 10, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 10 at 8:29 PM

PORTLAND -- With only 27 days until the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, one Portland company is hard at work on technology that will live stream the games around the world.

That company is called Elemental.

While it's only 7 years old, in that short time they've established themselves as the multi-screen video streaming company in the country.

Its engineers create software that converts audio and video so that it’s viewable on pretty much any tablet or smart phone, and even XBox 360.

One hundred countries are on board to use Elemental's streaming technology.

More: KGW Winter Olympics 2014 coverage

The challenge was to create a way to change the audio stream depending on the country in order to ensure that closed captioning is in the right language.

“Content is uplinked via satellite to data centers around the world. Those data centers are where Elemental software sits,” said Sam Blackman, Elemental CEO and co-founder. “So it takes a downlink from satellite, does the processing in a country, whether it’s in the U.S., San Paulo, Brazil, London, wherever the broadcaster is, and then it does the streaming.”

Elemental had to deal with each country individually to make all that happen. But, they've had experience with this during their first Olympics, the 2012 games in London. After that first success, it was much easier this time around.

Speaking of success, Elemental is growing. They are taking over more space downtown and they need to hire 42 people, from software engineers to marketing people.

So polish up those resumes.


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