NBC, BBC using Portland company for Olympic live streams

NBC, BBC using Portland company for Olympic live streams

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by KGW Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @KGWNews

kgw.com

Posted on July 23, 2012 at 5:23 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 26 at 5:00 PM

PORTLAND -- As London gears up for the Olympics, the employees at Portland’s Elemental Technologies will be bringing the games to a global audience like never before.

It’s a gold medal opportunity for the local company.

“This is our Elemental(R) Live systems powering live streams for the Olympics all over the world,” said Sam Blackman, CEO.

Elemental is a small start-up that’s only six years old. One of their biggest success stories – coming up with a better way to stream video live.

“It's the chip that's in your PC to make 3-D games run fast or your Play Station or your Xbox. We took those chips and harnessed them for a completely different purpose, which is video processing,” Blackman explained.

That video will play live on mobile devices, tablets and computers.

“Our first customer win was the BBC, the oldest broadcaster in the world,” Blackman said.

Then, other television networks soon followed. Now, Elemental’s technology will be used by 77 countries, including the U.S., over the NBC Olympics site.

“Before it goes live it's been thoroughly tested,” said Bruce Carpenter, software engineer.

He added that it’s not only about streaming, but making sure the quality is worth an Olympic gold.

“We find the toughest content we can, whether it's fast motion, raining, football games - things that have a lot of motion and different color - and we try to work those through,” he explained.

Elemental’s technology is also used for HBO-to-Go and Xfinity for Comcast apps.

Blackman said the company is growing fast and expects to add some 25 new positions by year’s end.

(KGW reporter Joe Smith contributed to this report.)

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