San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

March 3rd, 2008
Local company’s technology at core of Web cast concert for overseas troops

by BRAD ROLLINS
Managing Editor

San Marcos-based Kulabyte’s video encoding technology is being used to Web cast a live concert for U.S. troops stationed abroad through the social networking site MySpace.com.

Called Operation MySpace, the concert is designed to give troops in Kuwait a taste of home with host Carlos Mencia and performances by the Pussycat Dolls, Jessica Simpson, Distributed, Filter and DJ Z-Trip. MySpace users can watch starting at 1 p.m. March 10 at http://myspace.com/operationmyspace.

To make the first-of-a-kind event work technologically, MySpace turned to Kulabyte which bills its products as the “world’s fastest video encoding solutions.” The three-hour concert will be video recorded in California and sent via Kulabyte’s multi-core video encoders to the Web cast.

The company’s technology “compresses content significantly enough to be able to push it out over the Internet so it can be watched on home computers,” spokesperson Jason Cronkhite said.

Started in 2004 by Chris Gottschalk and Blake Wenzel in Gottschalk’s home garage, the company has grown to 30 employees in the last year as it prepares to launch its patent-pending TimeSlice system that allows a faster, high-quality video and audio encoding that uses less bandwidth.

First working out of leased space downtown, the company moved last summer to their new facility at 2410 Hunter Road where they are already planning an additional 5,000 square foot building to accommodate expected growth. As part of an economic development subsidy, the city is giving the company $12,500 a month for a year to make payments on the facility.

In April, the company signed a licensing agreement with Clifton Park, N.Y.-based On2 Technologies to enable use of Kulabyte’s encoding suite in the popular Adobe FlashPlayer.

Operation MySpace profile (http://myspace.com/operationmyspace) will serve as a communication hub where troops’ families and friends, along with the entire MySpace community, can post videos and messages of support via a video blog section. The profile will also feature a scrolling ticker of goodwill messages uploaded to the community during the live stream.

A condensed one-hour version of the show, featuring the best and most stirring moments, will be nationally broadcast on FX on April 12.

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