Castify Networks : large screen video on the Web!
After a first round of table (FF 30 million), the start-up is going to launch with a Swiss telecom operator tests of a system that should stir up TV on the web. Interview of Jamel Gafsi.
A new stage for Castify Networks : its first item Castify DirectBeam, a sophisticated software system that improves the broadcasting of audiovisual contents on the Internet has been since August 11th in Switzerland at an operator's to pass tests for one month. And the firm founded last December has signed a contract and benefits from a good reference. The French Riviera start-up that seems to have very ambitious development objectives has succeeded in a 30-million-franc-round of table. This allowed the firm to leave Eurecom's premises to settle at the CICA in Sophia Antipolis.Here are the four founders who met at Eurecom : Jorg Nonnenmacher- CEO, (his thesis at Eurecom about broadcasting of audiovisual contents on the web obtained the Prize of the best publishing in the most prestigious specialized scientific newspaper in the field ); Jakob Hummes- technical manager; Jamel Gafsi- development manager, (his thesis about high performance video servers allowed him to obtain the CCI innovation Prize in 1999); Lukas Anliker, network architect. Some engineers like Thomas Mancini from the ESSI joined the founder team. Two doctors of transport network and protocol management on the web, coming from the Eurecom Institute will join the team in October.Jamel Gafsi presents the new departure of the start-up which aims at a FF 350 million turnover within four years- Sophianet.com : People are talking about a capital levying by Castify, what do you think of that? - Jamel Gafsi:'A part of the operation has already been made. The agreement on the amount has been established (about 30 million francs), but the money will be released by two stages. The first one has already been accomplished and the second one will be released in November.'- What is your item?'It is a system dedicated to all the telecom operators and suppliers in audiovisual contents. It is a leading technology that allows a very wide audiovisual broadcasting with an excellent quality. As an example, nowadays, a very popular TV channel cannot broadcast its own audiovisual contents on the Internet to thousands or even only to hundreds of web surfers at the same time. The quality is not satisfying and it is due to the distance run by the sent signal, in general a very important distance and the network is not large enough to support the flow.Example : when the Concorde crash, people rushed to see TF1 and LCI sites and the video servers that were broadcasting pictures taken from the accident were rapidly overloaded and out of order. The aim of Castify system is to resolve the problem of saturation of servers and offer to users a high quality service, never stopped even during the rush hours (it means large screen and not the small window).'- How?'The principle is to superpose a virtual network on the existing network on the web. The virtual network is composed by a series of scattered servers put near groups of final users. The main server, instead of meeting each individual demand, supplies the other servers that meet the final users. It is about to become a distributed structure of production and broadcasting of contents.The structure allows to support 'live' contents (watch traditional TV on the web) or audiovisual contents when there is a demand. A slogan appears on our site (www.castify.net): 'any content, any time', it reflects the strength of the technology we bring.However, we have to resolve very complex problems of network management which are due to the scattered servers. The Castify product brings a solution to network and contents management. Above all, it assures that each final user is supplied with video content by the nearer server.'- How are the developments nowadays?'The first version of Castify DirectBeam was finalized on August 10th. It is a matter of a central component around which all the other components of Castify technology are. We have a European partner, a Swiss telecom operator which has installed since August 11th a series of tests during one month on Castufy DirectBeam on its market network. If the test is conclusive, it will lead to sign a contract. Two other important partners (a satellite services supplier and a computer maker with whom we are in discussion) will help us to develop the system.