The team at Cardinal Peak is ecstatic that Ben Mesander has rejoined the product engineering services firm as a director of application engineering. Leveraging a rare understanding of complex video and image processing technologies, Ben solves the most complex challenges with creativity. He is an accomplished leader with more than 30 years of engineering experience who served as a chief engineer with Cardinal Peak before 2015 and is warmly welcomed back.
Deep Digital Video Product Design Expertise
Ben’s technical focus at Cardinal Peak is on video, streaming media, digital signal processing and embedded software engineering. As the practice leader of the video engineering team, he guides the video team, oversees presales engineering and systems design and leads project delivery. He specializes in Amazon Kinesis Video Streams (KVS)-based solutions and designing massively scaled cloud architectures.
With specialty in leading software development teams and implementing software solutions, Ben possesses deep engineering expertise in video, embedded software, scientific software, highly complex numerical methods, control systems and enterprise software. He excels in building teams, engineering planning and aligning engineering resources with business goals.
Welcome Back to Cardinal Peak’s Product Engineering Team
From 2006 to 2015, Ben was a chief engineer and partner at Cardinal Peak. In fact, he was employee number seven! At that time, he was a consultant, creating and delivering technical solutions for Cardinal Peak’s customers in the digital video/audio, embedded systems and enterprise streaming video domains.
In his past customer engagements, Ben often leverages expertise in audio and video codecs (MPEG 2, AVC/H.264, HEVC/H.265, AAC, DD+), 4K video, networking, SELinux, encryption and adaptive streaming (RTP, HLS, HDS, MPEG-DASH), as well as multiple programming languages ranging from low-level assembly, C, C++ and Golang to high-level scripting languages such as Python. He has collaborated on product design and engineering across many industries — both in an engineering team and directly with customers.
“Having worked with Ben before, I can attest to the value his deep expertise in video, digital signal processing, large-scale distributed systems and leadership qualities will bring as we develop and deliver forward-thinking video solutions,” said Bernard Vachon, VP of engineering. “Ben’s return to Cardinal Peak is a testament to the positive aspects of our culture and will undoubtedly bolster the digital video production capabilities we can offer our clients. At Cardinal Peak, we prioritize collaboration, innovation and engineering excellence — and I am confident that with Ben back on board, we will continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible.”
Video Product Engineering Career and Background
Ben’s background in video includes performing increasingly challenging roles with several well-known video and technology companies. He was vice president of engineering at Wowza, held senior director roles at Comcast in video on demand and was a VP at eVisit overseeing telehealth virtual client video, infrastructure, architecture and more. In each role, Ben helped improve time to release, streamlined and automated processes, and efficiently managed high-performing teams.
An electrical engineer by education, Ben’s technical interests include digital video and adaptive streaming at scale, UNIX/Linux, C, C++, numerical methods, control systems, embedded systems, digital signal processing and large-scale distributed systems. His deep digital video experience includes H.264, H.265, VP8, AV1, mp2ts, mp4, WebRTC, adaptive streaming at scale (HLS & DASH packaging, CDN delivery) and DRM (Widevine, FairPlay, PlayReady).
Digital Video Product Design Trends
In 2023, video is expected to account for more than 80% of all web traffic, easily the most popular type of content. There was a time when every company built its own video processing pipeline, but now you can rent video stacks from anywhere — as a service — at a low cost and without any engineering effort required. So what are the current trends in digital video, and where is the industry heading?
Ben envisions a future where an increasing amount of video is consumed and monitored by robots, or artificial intelligence (AI). Already, most video produced around the world is never seen by the human eye. Instead, AI algorithms review the content.
There are many examples of this with surveillance and physical security, remote monitoring of disparate ICU departments, offshore oil and gas wells, and so much more. Platforms like Amazon’s Kinesis significantly reduce the effort to set up such monitoring, send it to the cloud and share it across teams.
One interesting aspect of AI-consumed video is that our current video formats exploit the weaknesses of the human eye. When video is compressed, throwing away any quality, resolution, frame rate, detail and information that is beyond what the human eye can even perceive iss not an issue. Our eyes could never tell what has been lost. But with AI, that extra visual information could be useful. How will that change video formats and standards? Ben is excited by forward-looking ideas surrounding how AI will process video and images in the future.
The final trend for digital video is that we will continue to see considerable reductions in cost. As computing power and cloud services advance, so too will the capabilities to leverage streaming video in more ways.
Video and Streaming Media Development Challenges
But what about cases where secure video is a necessity? Some access control systems are required to be disconnected from the public cloud. Having data on-premises without internet access will always be the most secure method. Specific use cases, like military and defense systems, may dictate privacy and regulatory compliance, limiting access to on-site use without the convenience and ability to log in remotely.
These use cases bring up the challenge of the public cloud — your data transfers on unknown networks to the cloud. Malicious players anywhere in the world could read bits off the wire and decrypt without penetrating the cloud provider.
Video and Streaming Application Development Case Studies
Check out these recent video and streaming application development case studies from Cardinal Peak.
- Designing a Personalized HLS Streaming Platform
- Video-on-Demand Implementation with Infrastructure-as-Code and DevOps
- Developing a Proprietary Next-Gen Streaming Media Platform
How can Cardinal Peak support your video product design?
Published Video and Streaming Media Blog Posts
If you’re interested in deep video, streaming and signal processing articles, Ben has authored some of Cardinal Peak’s top-performing blog posts that still draw readers years later. Check them out:
- The H.264 Sequence Parameter Set
- Understanding the Cyclic Redundancy Check
- World’s Smallest H.264 Encoder
- MAC vs. HMAC: Differences Explained
Let us know how Ben and our video engineering team can support innovative streaming video designs and engineer state-of-the-art digital video products.