Hostworks - Digital and Internet TV Services
Hostworks is a leading solutions provider to the online and digital media industry in Australia. The company was formed in the 1990s to address the needs of NineMSN, a joint venture between Microsoft and PBL Media. Today, the company is owned by Broadcast Australia, which owns 400 TV and radio transmission towers and delivers over-the-air content.
Hostworks provides digital media services and solutions to clients, including 10 of the 12 major Australian broadcasters and corporate media organisations, and delivers online services to four of the top 10 Australian websites. Jetstar (Qantas’ budget airline), Network Ten (an Australian television operator that airs two channels in several metro areas), Seek (a job search site) and Fox8 (a pay-TV operator in Australia) are among its customers.
Not only does Hostworks manage some of the largest websites in Australia, but also it must deliver ever greater volumes of digital and Internet TV as consumers’ media habits shift into a digital world.
“We find the majority of our customers use on-demand in a catch-up TV mode,” said Adrian Britton, General Manager Technology, Strategy and Innovation, Hostworks. “You miss a show, and you watch it later online.”
A case in point is when ABC iView released online episodes of the popular British sci-fi series “Doctor Who” one week before they aired on broadcast television. “We experienced 100,000 hits in one weekend, which surpassed any previous record,” said Britton.
Hostworks developed its state-of-the-art content delivery solution (HCDS), to handle these kinds of unpredictable and unprecedented demands and accelerate the delivery of streaming media, Web and other content, to customers.
Getting on the Air
Hostworks deployed Blue Coat ProxySG appliances with Optimized Video Delivery technology as part of its Hostworks Content Delivery Solution. The Blue Coat solution enables Hostworks to scale the delivery of digital content for Australia’s leading broadcasters and Web sites without requiring additional bandwidth or Web servers.
Using the Blue Coat solution, Hostworks can scale live and on-demand video delivery for its customers. With the Blue Coat stream-splitting technology, a single video stream from a Hostworks media server can serve thousands of viewers, providing a quality user experience and reducing the demand for Internet bandwidth. The Blue Coat solution supports Adobe Flash, Microsoft Windows Media MMS- and RTSP-based streaming media as well as the newer http delivery technologies. For video on demand, the Blue Coat solution allows Hostworks to serve content instantly to a large number of users directly from its video caches, rather than each request having to be served from the Hostworks media servers.
- Adrian Britton, General Manger, Technology , Strategy and Innovation
Blue Coat’s Optimized Video Delivery solution features ProxySG appliances, which optimize both application performance and Web security. With ProxySG as part of the Hostworks Content Delivery Solution, Hostworks can accelerate application performance for files, e-mail, Web, SSL and rich-media applications and significantly reduce bandwidth with compression and other technologies. In addition, the Blue Coat solution compliments Hostworks’ security by protecting users and networks from security threats, phishing and other attacks.
Getting a Clear Signal
“Every day the demands on Internet content delivery change, and the Blue Coat solution helps us constantly evolve to make sure that we stay ahead of the curve,” said Adrian Britton, General Manager Technology, Strategy and Innovation, Hostworks. “Blue Coat has improved the performance of existing services and allowed us to create new services to help our customers accelerate content and improve availability all in the face of unprecedented consumer demand.”
Optimized video delivery gives Hostworks a competitive advantage. “One of the biggest barriers to Internet adoption is consumers having to watch their download limits,” said Britton. “Hostworks has an elegant solution to deliver zero-rated, or unmetered, content to consumers.”
An outstanding user experience for video, enabled by the state-of-the-art HCDS, allows Hostworks to capture new market opportunities. For instance, the company hosted the 2010 World Cup website for SBS, Australia’s exclusive FIFA World Cup 2010 rights holder. “They had no idea of how many consumers were going to access the soccer World Cup, if Australia were in the finals for example,” said Britton. “Hostworks offers an infinitely scalable platform to cater to unprecedented demand.”