Smooth Streaming is a relatively new way to stream your videos at an adaptive rate giving your viewers the best possible viewing experience. Smooth streaming can determine the bandwidth available and select the appropriate bit-rate to display your video at. This means that you will never have to cater for the lowest common denominator to make sure that everyone who requests your video will have a flawless viewing experience.
Smooth Streaming delivers small fragments of a video at a time (typically about 2 seconds worth) and verifies that each has arrived at the destination within the appropriate time and played back at the expected quality. If a fragment of video is not up to the expected standard then the next one will be delivered at a slightly lower bit-rate. Of course, the converse is true too. This all happens over the HTTP protocol.
To create Smooth Streaming presentations you need to encode your videos in a particular way. The same source content would need to be encoded at various bit-rates with each bit-rate being one complete file. The advantage of this is that the user does not have to manage hundreds or even thousands of ‘fragments’ as the server will create ‘virtual fragments’ and will be able to switch between which complete file it is delivering. Smooth Streaming presentations can be created using an encoder such as Microsoft Expression Encoder.
A great example of Smooth Streaming in action can be found here – http://www.iis.net/media/experiencesmoothstreaming. This will require that you have Silverlight installed on your computer.
If you would like to discuss Smooth Streaming or any other requirements with us, please do not hesitate to give us a call on +44 208 540 2300 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.