Profile: Elliot Broadwin

Feb 11, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Title: President and CEO, iVAST.
Background: Mr. Broadwin joined iVAST, his third start-up, in the summer of 2000. He is one of the founders and the former CEO of OpenTV, which provides interactive television software. Trained as an engineer, he has also worked for RCA, General Electric Co., Thomson Consumer Electronics and Zenith. “I have been around the video business and technology business development for more than 20 years, so I have a lot of experience in seeing how the market adopts technology,” he said.
Problem solved: iVAST offers a streaming media platform based on MPEG-4 standards that includes tools to create, publish, deliver and play back content. “If you wanted to combine audio, video 2-D, 3-D, animation, you would need RealPlayer or Windows [Media Player], Flash, 3D from Pulse and [need to] pull it together to author an application. And you would need a player that can play it back. iVAST is based on standards, and it all works together,” he said.
The next standard: The backbone of iVAST is built on the recently released MPEG-4 international standard for multimedia for the Web. MPEG-4 not only compresses audio and video files more efficiently than the current standard MPEG-2, it adds 2D and 3D graphics, animation and interactivity, he said. “I believe we have the most powerful communications standard ever developed in MPEG-4. The user experience is only limited by the imagination of the people creating content. You have all the tools at your disposal. If it took MPEG-2 eight years to reach [ubiquity], I think it will take MPEG-4 four to five years.”
David vs. Goliaths: By offering a media player, iVAST is setting itself up to go head to head with two powerful incumbents in RealPlayer and Microsoft’s Windows Media Player. “We don’t view ourselves as going against a Real or [a] Microsoft. We are participating in an alliance-the Internet Streaming Media Alliance-and we are part of 150 members promoting the adaptation of MPEG-4.”