Sunday, April 19, 2009

Microsoft Positions Smooth Streaming for Online HD Video Delivery

Microsoft released a new Smooth Streaming feature in Internet Information Services (IIS) Media Services, its HTTP-based media delivery platform. The release includes extensions for cost-effectively measuring, monetizing and caching media.

Microsoft's Smooth Streaming adapts the quality of the video stream in real time, based upon the consumer's changing bandwidth and central processing unit conditions. It support high-definition (HD) video (1080p) over HTTP.

Microsoft highlighted growing industry adoption of Smooth Streaming from leading media customers such as electronic retailer HSN, and broadcasters such as, RAI, TV 2 and CTV, as well as media ecosystem partners, including content delivery networks (CDNs), encoding independent software vendors (ISVs) and digital rights management (DRM) service providers, that have announced support for Smooth Streaming.

Microsoft also demonstrated end-to-end delivery of live streams delivered via Akamai Technologies Inc.'s AdaptiveEdge Streaming for Microsoft Silverlight. Live encoding of video streams will be produced with Inlet Technologies' Spinnaker, the first video encoder to support IIS Live Smooth Streaming. Live Smooth Streaming, currently in beta, provides personal video recorder (PVR)-style access and navigation to live video streams. Users can join events in progress, then quickly jump to the beginning or rewind the highlights.

Microsoft's Silverlight 3, which is currently in beta, provides features to further improve online media experiences including support for native playback of MP4 formats (H.264/AAC), an extensible decoder pipeline, full-screen HD playback using graphics processing unit acceleration and out-of-browser capabilities.

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