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New VDN network from Sorenson Media: Sorenson 360

COW Library : Web Streaming - Audio|Video : Jerry Hofmann : New VDN network from Sorenson Media: Sorenson 360
Sorenson Media’s New VDN network: Sorenson 360
A Creative COW Product Review


Jerry Hofmann looks at Sorenson Media's New VDN Network: Sorenson 360
Jerry Hofmann
Jerry Hofmann
JLH Productions
Denver, Colorado USA

Article Focus:
Need high quality encoding with a more than reasonable way to serve the videos you need to put online? One of CreativeCOW's leaders, Jerry Hofmann takes a look at Sorenson Media’s new Video Delivery Network (VDN) called 'Sorenson 360'.


Need high quality encoding with a more than reasonable way to serve the videos you need to put online? Look no further than Sorenson Media’s new Video Delivery Network (VDN) called “Sorenson 360”.  For as little as $99/mo on an annual contract, you can deliver up to 2,500 streams of video with plans that go up from there. 199/mo delivers 6,000 streams, and $299/mo delivers 10,000 streams!  If you don’t want or need an annual contract, month to month pricing is also available.

It’s so simple to figure out your needs when the bandwidth you are buying is figured out as a number of streams delivered, instead of the actual amount of data you’ll need to be pushing around the Internet. If you go to competing sites, you’ll find you can’t figure out costs without talking to a sales representative because the pricing isn’t listed at all on these sites. Sure makes it easy to figure out what you’ll need to purchase when you look at the number of views instead of the cost of the amount of data you need to deliver. Who wants to do that math anyway?

The streams are based on 5-minute videos, which includes unlimited uploading bandwidth you use.  Most industrial programs may well fall into this time constraint. But if you do the math (yeah, I said I didn’t want to do any of it, but I did it anyway), for $99/mo you get to deliver over 208 hours of high quality video. It’s not unusual to need longer than 5 minutes for your video programs, so there are pricing plans for those needs as well. Just call Sorenson or email them at sales@sorensonmedia.com and they can tailor a plan to meet your specific needs. 

But here’s the best part! It’s EASY to work with. Working with both Mac and PC, you don’t even have to have encoding software or know a thing about encoding! You can log on to Sorenson 360, and simply encode through your web browser to one of three MPEG-4 settings available (Small, Medium or Large). It’s that simple. It’s done with a java app aptly named “ Squish” that launches once you choose the file for encoding (it actually runs inside your Internet browser).  After the encoding, you’re compressed video is sent to the server to be delivered. You don’t upload your original file; you encode through your browser, and only have to spend the time uploading the compressed files. You’ll find that the encoding supplied by Sorenson is very high quality indeed.

You can also send to your Sorenson 360 account directly from Squeeze, just download the latest version of Squeeze 5 for this welcome addition. It may be preferable to use Squeeze for a more managed encode, so you have at your disposal the use of Sorenson’s award winning compression software which can be used to upload directly to any number of Sorenson 360 accounts. After importing video into Sorenson Squeeze and applying a customizable preset encoded in the widely adopted MPEG-4 or Flash video formats, the file can be automatically published to a server cloud and accessed online through Sorenson 360 for management. You simply link to these videos from any number of web sites.



 

There’s an extremely clean interface to be found on the Sorenson 360 web site, and it allows you to manage your videos there with ease.



 

Once video is uploaded to Sorenson 360, users have access to sophisticated meta-data features, such as viewer-tracking, embedded tags with keywords, detailed video analytics,



 



 

data-rate control and professional-level player skins.



 

An unlimited number of videos can be uploaded and managed then embedded into any number of Web sites.

The transaction, including account creation, takes fewer than five minutes and requires only a credit card. There is no lengthy contractual agreement required.  It’s easy, and with the addition of transparent pricing, you’ll not be surprised when the bill comes in.

 

Here’s a list of all the features of Sorenson 360:

 

Video Publishing in less than 5 minutes.

  • Compress and upload video via Squeeze or browser-based Squish
  • Select video and size you want to embed
  • Copy code and insert into your web site

Achieve the highest quality web video experience with the powerful Sorenson 360

  • Utilizes the power of Sorenson Squeeze
  • Unparalleled codec and video options
  • High Quality (HQ) encoding options
  • You control the data rate, up to 1Mbps
  • High quality Flash and H.264

 

Sorenson 360 is the easiest to use Video Delivery Network (VDN) available

  • Multiple professional players to choose from
  • Scalable video player sizing
  • Detailed video analytics
  • Unlimited uploads
  • Send to a friend option
  • Permalink address
  • Video embed codes
  • Full screen mode
  • Embedded cue points for Flash
  • Custom key frame
  • User controlled data rate
  • Custom filters
  • Custom video watermark
  • Local outputs (with Squeeze)
  • Detailed video metadata

Input Formats

  • AAC , HE-AAC, AIFF, ASF, AVI, DV, MOV, MP3, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, WAV, WMA, WMV

Publish Formats

  • FLV (Spark and VP6), MP4 (H.264)

 

I think this represents a lot of bang for your buck, don’t you?

It’s all there. Easy to use, easy to understand pricing, and a clean new web site to manage your videos with, not to mention professional quality encoding at your fingertips without having to know a thing about compression settings, and not a single piece of software to learn if you choose to simply upload directly to the site.

There’s even a free trial you can download to check it out before you spend a dime. It’s a no brainer, free trial makes it very easy to get your feet wet, and so you’ve nothing to lose giving it a try to see if it fits your needs. I’ll wager there are a lot of you or you know of folks included in your clientele that would benefit greatly from the easy online video asset management and delivery tool Sorenson 360 supplies. In fact you can manage more than one account from inside Squeeze. Just select the account the video is to be uploaded to and let Squeeze automatically upload to any number of accounts.

Sorenson 360 represents a step up from free sites that re-encode your video. Often lowering the quality a lot.  This service allows you to encode your own videos and they’ll serve it. Or, if you wish, just use their java app “Squish” to encode right on your computer and automatically send up the encoded file. This service is quite unique in this regard.

There is no doubt in my mind that the future of our industry will include massive amounts of Internet delivery of video, and Sorenson has come up with a dandy way to manage all of your and your client’s online video assets. Sorenson 360 makes it incredibly easy to do. Not surprising from a company that made video encoding a breeze and has customer service to beat the band. I’ve always been a fan of this company for the quality of their product and the super customer service offered from the great folks there.

Wonderful to see this new offering from Sorenson Media, and be sure to check it out for yourself! http://www.sorensonmedia.com 

-- Jerry Hofmann



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