Synamedia Boosts Investment In Compression R&D, Makes 3 Hires

Synamedia, a global independent video software provider, announced a boost to R&D investment in its compression technologies alongside a trio of senior appointments.

With the adoption of 4K-ready devices and new broadcasting standards such as ATSC 3.0 supporting 4K and ultimately 8K streams over-the-air, Synamedia’s investment in compression will meet the growing need for advanced encoding technologies to deliver low latency live experiences while optimizing bandwidth.

Synamedia will focus on driving innovation in content-adaptive encoding including the use of neural networks. First previewed at IBC 2019, content-adaptive encoding uses automation and machine learning techniques and builds on Synamedia Digital Content Manager (DCM) with the Smart Rate Control for live ABR.

Other initiatives will include new core video and audio algorithms, filtering noisy source content, and encoding optimization. With the goal of fully autonomous deployments in Synamedia’s sights, the analytics team will play a vital role in accelerating video network development by advancing the automation of video quality assessment and performance benchmarking.

Synamedia’s compression team is now led by encoding expert Jan De Cock, who has joined as director of codec development. His entire career has been in the compression space, most recently at Netflix where he was manager of video and image encoding for four years.

Prior to that he was assistant professor in the department of electronics and information systems at Ghent University in Belgium. He holds a Ph.D. in engineering, has authored dozens of academic papers on video compression, and holds patents in signal, image and video processing.


Also joining the video network business as vice president of services is John Hargrave, who was most recently CTO and COO at Zone·tv. With expertise in software-as-a service, he spent four years at Ericsson as VP of mediaroom field engineering then VP of global media services. John also worked at Microsoft as general manager for Mediaroom and at Telus as national director of professional services.


Rounding out the new hires, David Baranski joins as VP of sales for video network North America. Before his 18 months at Mediakind as VP of sales for U.S. cable operators, Baranski spent six years with encoding specialist Envivio and then Ericsson, following its acquisition of Envivio in 2016. As VP of sales for U.S. cable operators at Ericsson, David headed software compression and media delivery sales for the Americas.

As well as supporting established codecs including MPEG-2, AVC and HEVC, Synamedia’s compression team is adding newer codecs such as AV1 and MPEG’s Versatile Video Coding codec (VVC). Last month Synamedia joined the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia) to advance open standards for media compression and delivery over the web using AV1, furthering Synamedia’s goal of enhancing OTT video streaming experiences at scale.

Julien Signes, SVP-GM, video network at Synamedia, said: “These new hires are part of an initiative to accelerate customers’ journey to virtualized, software-based encoding for broadcast and OTT using DCM. Boosting our world-class team with such an experienced trio of video and compression experts will help us supercharge our ambitions and deliver top-notch solutions to customers faster.”

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