Network Foundation Technologies

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Privately held company
Industry Online Broadcasting
Founded 2001
Headquarters Ruston, Louisiana
Key people
Mike O'Neal, Chief Scientist; Marcus Morton, President
Products NiftyTV
Number of employees
40
Website niftytv.com

Network Foundation Technologies, LLC (NiFTy) is a U.S. based online broadcasting company founded by Dr. Mike O’Neal,[1] a computer scientist at Louisiana Tech University, and Marcus Morton, a music, film and multi-media entrepreneur.[2] The company pioneered an online broadcasting technology[3] that allows the computers and Internet connections of its audience to help deliver a broadcast on to other viewers.[3] An application, NiFTyTV, bypasses limitations inherent to online broadcasting by reducing bandwidth costs at the source.[4]

NiFTy is headquartered in Ruston, La., on the Louisiana Tech University campus. The company largely employs graduates and students of the university's computer science program.[5]

Background[edit]

Founded in 2001, NiFTy was the first online broadcaster to incorporate the “Free For View” model for professional sports leagues,[6] and provides online broadcasts for the Arena Football League[7] and the Professional Bull Riders,[8] as well as Grambling State University.[9]

The company receives ongoing support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) as well as private funding, and has been awarded nine U.S. patents, with five pending. Patents #7,035,933,[10] #7,512,676,[11] #7,536,472,[12] #7,543,074,[13] #7,664,840,[14] #7,818,407,[15] #7,843,855,[16] #7,895,324[17] and #7,925,726 were issued between 2006 and 2011.

Technology[edit]

NiFTy's technology centers on a balanced binary tree design, where a broadcast stream is fed directly to a small number of viewers, who propagate the signal to more viewers. The audience grows as the signal repeats to more end-users, but only a few nodes remain directly connected to the server. The collective capacity of the viewers' computers and Internet connections then power a significant part of the online broadcast in a polite and non-invasive manner.[18]

This technology overcomes the requirement that online broadcasters transmit a duplicate copy of each video stream to every viewer. Employing end-users' computers to help broadcast the content stream reduces the server footprint and lowers energy consumption.[19]

Board of Advisors[edit]

NiFTy's Board of Advisors includes music executive Clarence Avant, former chairman of Motown Records and board member of PolyGram Records and William J. MacDonald, creator and producer of the HBO series "Rome."

Awards[edit]

On February 15, 2011, NiFTy received a Tibbetts Award from the Small Business Administration.[20] The company also won the Louisiana Technology Company of the Year in March 2010.[21] To date, the National Science Foundation has granted NiFTy $1.2 million in research funding.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "mikeoneal.com". mikeoneal.com. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  2. ^ imdb.com
  3. ^ a b "nsf.gov" (PDF). Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  4. ^ "investing.businessweek.com". investing.businessweek.com. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  5. ^ louisianaeconomicdevelopment.com Archived March 1, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "mediaweek.com". mediaweek.com. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  7. ^ "arenafootball.com". arenafootball.com. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  8. ^ "pbrnow.com". pbrnow.com. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  9. ^ "niftytv.com". niftytv.com. January 14, 2012. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  10. ^ "google.com". Google. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  11. ^ "google.com". Google. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  12. ^ "google.com". Google. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  13. ^ "google.com". Google. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  14. ^ "google.com". Google. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  15. ^ "google.com". Google. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  16. ^ "google.com". Google. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  17. ^ "uspto.gov". uspto.gov. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  18. ^ Daily, Geoff (November 24, 2008). "app-rising.com". app-rising.com. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  19. ^ "crunchbase.com". crunchbase.com. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  20. ^ "sba.gov". sba.gov. February 15, 2011. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  21. ^ The Times-Picayune. "nola.com". nola.com. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  22. ^ thenewsstar.com[dead link]