Press Release: Touch and castLabs JV moves IFE supply chain to the cloud

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Touch Inflight Solutions and castLabs are pleased to announce the joint venture ABOVE, an open, standards-based platform for the encoding, storage and distribution of encoded video and related metadata through cloud-based services.

Combining years of expertise in providing content management services, ABOVE aims to solve many of the complexities and inefficiencies of delivering In-flight Entertainment (IFE) content by leveraging in best practices already utilized in the over-the-top (OTT) market.

The ABOVE platform is built on concepts that have been tested and adopted over the last 4 years with Lufthansa Systems’ BoardConnect. “ABOVE will not only reduce costs and complexity, facilitate automation with improved best-in-class security but enable ‘next day’ content deliveries to aircraft worldwide,” noted Michael Childers, APEX Technology Committee chair and Lufthansa Systems Chief Consultant, Content and Media Strategy.

Over the last 18 months, Touch has leveraged components of the ABOVE platform to successfully deliver thousands of files to other IFE systems, including Panasonic, Thales and Gogo. When fully launched, the platform will be able to orchestrate complex content processing, approval and delivery workflows while being architected to evolve and increase efficiencies and functionality over time.

“Touch and castLabs’ partnership brings together industry relationships, deep knowledge and experience of the ecosystems, from content to IFE and cloud-based digital video processing. castLabs’ understanding and proficiency of working in the cloud, including expertise in content processing, content protection and playback, with mature commercial products in the market trusted by studios and large content services worldwide is complementary to the perspective Touch’s team has on content and it’s entire value chain, from licensors through the entire IFE supply chain to licensees. These synergies provide a strong foundation to develop leading solutions for the industry.” says Michael Stattmann, Founder of castLabs.

To support clients in secure handling of content, ABOVE will provide flexible transcoding workflows with automatic quality control for all commonly used IFE systems, enabling quick over-the-air content updates based on market needs and ability to react to user data and analytics. “The evolution and hands on experience with castLabs serving Lufthansa Systems’ BoardConnect over the past few years, including premium catalog content from three major Hollywood Studios along additional content for all other major IFE systems, has brought into strong and impossible to ignore clarity the efficiencies and the drastic cost and timeline reductions that a platform like ABOVE can bring to the whole industry including distributors, labs, hardware providers, airlines and other CSPs. In addition ABOVE will help facilitate dynamic content curation and updates as well as deliver advertising content in line with the ads’ own cycles.” says Joe Carreira, Touch’s Founder and Managing Director.

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Both Touch and castLabs are members of several working groups at APEX and have expertise in working with, developing, implementing and leveraging industry standards and specifications, with a history of continuously evolving platforms with industry standard requirements. Visit booth #1301 at APEX EXPO to join Touch and castLabs for a Happy Hour on Wednesday, September 11, between 4:30 and 6pm to learn more about the solution and how it can aid you in optimizing and automating your services.

About castLabs

castLabs pioneers software and cloud services for digital video markets worldwide. They provide solutions to easily enable the secure distribution of premium movie, TV, and audio assets for high-quality video experiences. Their range of applications and services are designed to help businesses deliver DRM-protected content over a large selection of consumer devices and platforms which include DRMtoday licensing, PRESTOplay player SDKs, and Video Toolkit processing. castLabs also supplies end-to-end technical consulting for encrypted video playback integrations and projects.

About Touch

Touch is a content service provider that combines 15+ years of experience in the IFE market, with well-established relationships in the industry, from content distributors to hardware providers, labs and airlines. Touch focus on the development of highly customized content curation strategies – supported by analytics – and respective management, structuring and formatting as well delivery.

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