Raskenlund, our integrators up North

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Ceeblue’s integration partners are an essential component of our ecosystem and customer-support network. In this Partner Profile we have transcribed a Q&A session with Karel Boek, founder and CEO of Raskenlund.

What is Raskenlund and what kind of services do you provide?

Raskenlund is an end-to-end streaming video consultancy which provides project management, development, and integration services for companies all over the world.

Raskenlund is there to help our customers design, build and manage the best streaming media solutions for each specific business case. 

Our Streaming Media adventures started back in 1998, and in the past 13 years we’ve helped more than 150 customers with over 200 projects including renowned companies like NBC Universal, Haivision, Telenor and Robi Axiata, US government agencies, and numerous promising startups. 

Our highly skilled consultants know the latest trends in the video streaming industry. We can help our customers every step of the way, from the initial idea for the project, with an in-depth strategic analysis, all the way to the delivery of the final product as a working and solid technical implementation.

Our team is located all over Europe: Norway (HQ), Belgium, Hungary, Netherlands and Poland. This geographic diversity is important to us and is an essential part of our DNA. We love to work cross-country, between continents and cross-culturally. No customer is too small or too large to make use of our services.

Can you give us some background on your trajectory and most notable achievements?

13 years ago we started as a one-man show, but due to increased demand in services, we gradually and organically grew to a multidisciplinary team of streaming media consultants.

Out of our latest projects we’re especially proud of the work done for Robi Axiata, the largest mobile network operator in Bangladesh for whom we’ve developed an OTT service from scratch.

We’re also proud of our work for Digita. We’ve built Digita an HbbTV-compliant CDN solution which allows them to support certain interactive functionalities common to the internet into television. This complements their linear content and enriches the viewing experience significantly.

Finally, we would like to mention our new and unique auto-scaling on the ingest side concept. This is handy when one needs to be able to support a large amount of video capturing devices (imagine 1000 smartphones starting a video stream at the same time). Since traditional auto-scaling solutions weren’t designed for this type of use case, we’ve applied a model that can grow and shrink depending on demand. Only launched a few months ago, we already have 5 installations up and running with this technology.

Since early 2020, and in parallel with the growing demand for our services, we decided to extend our team both on the development side as well as the commercial side. We’re pretty eager to see how this will further allow us to extend our products and services.

What value / services do you bring to companies like Ceeblue or to potential clients who might be a good fit for Ceeblue services?

Ceeblue is a great fit for a workflow where a customer needs low latency in combination with scalability.  Building such a workflow requires a solid design and integration of Ceeblue’s services with other components like ingest and security. 

And that’s where Raskenlund comes into play. Through years of experience our consultants specialize in aligning business requirements with the best technical implementation. As system integrators, besides finding the best solution for a particular problem, we can also configure and build a complete streaming workflow in line with a customer’s particular requirements.

Raskenlund HQ.001 3

What are your favorite emerging technologies in the streaming space?

We’re especially excited about new streaming protocols. We believe we’ll see a lot more SRT (Ceeblue has SRT ingest already, for example) and RIST and less RTSP and RTMP as these protocols no longer support the requirements of today. The same goes for HLS and DASH which have new challengers like LL-HLS and HESP. Finally, we believe that streaming will eventually find its way to the IoT market and be a catalyst for automation across all industries.

What do you feel the future of ultra-low latency streaming looks like?

Although it’s probably not interesting for all video workflows (think traditional broadcasting and linear television) we see sufficient use cases where ultra-low latency is crucial. The new ultra-low latency streaming protocols are typically designed around two cases: 

(1) They offer ultra low latency with high resolution video which will be especially useful for conference calling given most popular online conferencing tools like Zoom, Teams, Hangouts, WebEx,… still only offer 720p video. 

(2) They offer low latency on a large scale which is a key requirement for interactive broadcasts like digital classrooms, live auctions and online shopping. Building the bridge to your next question, COVID-19 is making sure that today’s society is ready for both.

What makes the present moment so important for the streaming industry and for ULL in particular?

COVID-19 made people realize that a lot more is possible from home than they expected. And we’re not only talking about working from home. As tradeshows and conferences had to reinvent themselves, their visitors now realize that there are more efficient ways to participate (in terms of cost and time, but also ecologically). For these types of events, video (and to a further extent, interactive video, for which low latency is essential) will play a crucial role in defining the immersive digital trade show experience and in turn the very survival of such events in a post-COVID world.

Furthermore, new social media like TikTok, Clubhouse and even Instagram are filled with thousands of people broadcasting themselves from their mobile devices. We expect a worldwide adoption of these many-to-many streaming implementations.

Bonus Question: What do you think the probabilities are that IBC will take place in a non-virtual way this year?

The truth is we’ve already booked our flights and the hotel rooms, as prices are reasonable currently. So our hopes are up for being there in person; and we think there’s a realistic chance that IBC will be a hybrid event this year. 

For more information about Raskenlund’s team and services, check out http://raskenlund.com.

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