YuppTV diversifies into streaming and news reporting tech solutions

MUMBAI: Yupp TV is known for its OTT SVOD service which delivers a rafter of Indian live channels, 5,000 movies and original programming to 25 million overseas people of Indian origin. CEO Uday Reddy has been doggedly bent on spreading the app’s reach over the past decade when he conceived it.

Now Reddy -- who roped in the Rajesh Kamat, Paul Aielio-headed Emerald Media to pump in $50 million to take the company to the next level last year -- is steering it into the tech solutions space. For starters, he is all geared up to offer the tech that powers his OTT service to other content owners, TV producers, broadcasters or corporations wanting to set up their own SVOD service without having to run from pillar to post.

“We are offering a white label solution to companies wanting to enter the online streaming space,” says Reddy. “We have built a robust platform serving almost 300 devices and working on Android, iOs, smart TVs, tablets and what have you. We have worked more than 10 years on the tech and finetuned it like a violin. Whether it is the payment gateway, the search, the recommendation, upscaling when the subscriber base grows – our clients will get the entire solution.”

Reddy points out that the integrated service he is offering is in the realms of the solutions companies such as Accenture and Cisco offer. “Others such as Ooyala, Kaltura, Brightcove – give you SDKs which you have to build around,” he says. “Our advantage is that we are offering the entire solution.”

He points out that his white label solution has already received interest from some clients internationally. “We hope to have completed 10-15 installations by end 2017,” he reveals. In addition to this, he is quite kicked up about an in-house developed live video streaming device Freedocast which is in its second generation and has been labelled Freedocast Pro. “ It helps in connecting the camera to the HDMI port and directly go live through it to any social media platform such as Facebook, Youtube and Twitter which can be controlled by the phone,” says Reddy.

“Any celebrity can use it to reach his audience live, any reporter, any one. It is a very simple device.”

Freedocast, Reddy points out, will support both 3G and 4G and 1080p and 720p streams in the first phase, and the upgraded version will support 4K streams as well. The device has been priced at $249 and a commercial launch is expected in June.

Currently, he and his team are focused on a global rollout of the product. Distribution is going to be through resellers, distributors and video equipment seller channels in India. B&H photo is the main partner in US.

Reddy demoed the product at the recently completed APOS in Bali (Indonesia) and is expected to make some major announcements about it at Broadcast Asia in Singapore as well.

He points out that Freedocast Pro is going to come as a shot in the arm for Indian news broadcasters, which number more than 300 in India. “They are significantly cheaper than DSNG trucks and vans and backpacks which have sticker prices running into multiples of ten thousand dollars,” he points out. “With Freedocast Pro any news reporter can, over 4G or wifi, deliver the news to the TV station with the portable device.”

Reddy reveals that YuppTV is working on the next generation of the product which will enhance the entire editing and also allow for multicamera options. “Freedocast Pro is being manufactured in China but the entire design, chip set, hardware, software have been done in-house.”

A news channel tech head points out that Freedocast has limitations in that it requires 4G or wifi to be effective as compared to the DSNGs which use satellite transmission from anywhere. “What if there is no wifi or 4G connectivity? Anyway the 4G connectivity is patchy even in the metros,” he says. “This could be a challenge. We will not give up our DSNG vans. But, may be, we will try some of them for our news reporters.”

Amongst the news channels which have placed orders and are trying out Freedocast Pro figure ETV and TV5 in Hyderabad.

“4G connectivity is only going to improve and the way broadband is being deployed, I don’t see this as a limitation,” says Reddy. “We have perfected our adaptive bitrate streaming technology to work at even 72 kbps connectivity in villages and smaller towns. YuppTV works perfectly well there too.”

He points out that both the white label solution and Freedocast will help the company break even by end-2017.

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