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Posts Tagged ‘streaming’

Stream Anywhere is Mydeo’s solution to mobile streaming and since we launched it last year, we’ve received very positive feedback. You can read our initial post on Stream Anywhere by clicking here.  We’re very happy to tell you that Stream Anywhere has just been upgraded. This post will talk you through some of the major updates included in V.2.1

DVR

A feature that’s been requested many times since Mydeo released Stream Anywhere is DVR functionality. If you didn’t already know, DVR is Digital Video Recording and it grants the viewer a number of benefits. Firstly, using the player controls, the viewer can rewind the live feed.  Imagine you’re watching a football game and you missed the match winning goal. Using DVR functionality, you’d be able to rewind the stream back to the point of the goal and continue watching from that point. Afterwards, you could always fast forward back to the point where you left off.

The second great feature of DVR is the ability to pause the live feed, much like most modern set top boxes. The DVR functionality is preconfigured to allow the viewer to pause the live feed up to a certain amount of time before continuing the stream.

Lastly DVR functionality enables you to make the live stream available for On-demand delivery up to 24 hours after the live feed has finished publishing. The on-demand file is made available through the same publishing URL as the live feed so will work seamlessly within your player. This is great because once a live event has finished,  it’s not uncommon for an on-demand version of the video to be put up in its place. By making the original stream available for on-demand play gives the production team a window to edit the original footage and replace the live feed with a permanent on-demand file. This means zero downtime and a much better experience for your audience.

Apple AES encryption

Until know, the only security option for Stream Anywhere was Media Vault which uses MD5 hashing to encrypt the playback URLs to only work when pre-defined parameters are met. For example you could configure the stream so it only works on a particular page of a particular website. In addition to this, we can now offer Apple AES encryption for the HLS playback URLs. This functionality can be added upon direct request to your Mydeo Account Manager. Along with AES, we can also now block streams to geographical locations so if you only want your stream to work in the US, we can now do that for you.

Self provisioning

You can now self provision your own event streams. This means you can log into the control panel and create any number of streams without ever having to contact your Account Manager. Benefits of self provisioning include: Being able to set your own event expiry options, set your own DVR windows (see above), apply levels of security at your own leisure and update your ingest points.

As ever, if you have any questions about Stream Anywhere or any of our other fantastic CDN solutions, please do not hesitate to contact us by email: help@mydeo.com or by phone: +44 208 540 2300.

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We talk a lot about players here in the Mydeo blog but this due to the fact that we get a lot of questions from our customers about what players to use for their content. Unfortunately, there’s never usually a one-stop solution when looking into players but that may be about to change… JW 6 player is the latest offering in the JW player series and it’s packed full of features which we all should be very excited about.

One feature in particular that’s extremely useful is the HLS plugin. As you may already know, Mydeo offers full HLS support and is mainly used for reaching those all-important iOS devices. HLS itself isn’t supported natively within some of the more popular web browsers such as Chrome, IE and Firefox. Customers wanting to reach both desktop and iOS devices will generally stream with both a HLS feed and an RTMP feed. This however, could now be a thing of the past because JW 6 has the functionality to reach all desktop browsers and iOS devices with just a single HLS feed. When JW 6 detects a desktop browser, it uses a functionality called ‘flash mode’ and the HLS feed plays seamlessly within the browser. When it detects an iOS device, it then reverts back to HTML5 mode to play the same stream.

We had customer recently who needed this exact functionality and they utilised JW6 along with Mydeo’s HLS streaming accounts to pull off a very successful live event. This made things much easier for them because they only had to worry about the single feed and the built-in customisation options meant getting the player on their website was a breeze.

The HLS plug-in is only available through the JW 6 premium version but with this you get multi-end device functionality for both your live and on-demand content along with countless other customisation options. Using the built-in skins, you’re also able to integrate the player in a way that matches your existing website styling to achieve an overall professional look.

To find out more about the latest JW player, you can visit their website: http://www.longtailvideo.com/. To find out more about Mydeo’s HLS services, you can call us on: +44 208 540 2300 or email us at: m3@mydeo.com.

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Reach is a great new service offered by Mydeo for optimised mobile delivery, Live and On-Demand. Below is all the information you need to know about this fantastic new solution.

Extend the reach of your video content to the growing
universe of mobile devices.

Publish once. Distribute everywhere. With LimelightREACH,™ you can grow the audience for your media content—reaching consumers wherever they happen to be, on whatever device they’re using, and in the right format for the device.

All devices are not created equal

As mobile video consumption surges, it’s no simple proposition to deliver content that works across an ever-expanding array of handsets and IP-capable gadgets. Now you can rise to the challenge—with LimelightREACH, an intelligence layer that optimizes media delivery for today’s mobile devices. This innovative solution combines video adaptation, device detection, and optimized delivery—so you don’t need worry about the technical details of reaching a mobile audience. A single Universal URL streamlines publishing for instant user access from any browser, any application.

You stay in control

LimelightREACH integrates mobile delivery intelligence with your existing workflow, so there’s no need to change the way you run your operation. You define how your content will be presented to consumers—and you can use the same hosting, publishing, and reporting infrastructure you already have in place. Thanks to an open architecture, LimelightREACH works with the leading CDNs used by media companies and integrates with popular advertising platforms, including LimelightADS,™ the new ad insertion service from Limelight Networks.®


With LimelightREACH, the business of publishing video to mobile audiences is easier than you think. The presentation of your content —whether on your mobile site or mobile application—remains under your control using one convenient URL for any piece of content.

LimelightREACH key features


Device targeting.

Limelight Networks maintains profile information for all the major smartphones, as well as the standard mass-market cell phones in use today. That means we’re on top of details like screen size, codecs, and encoding parameters—so you don’t need worry about the specific capabilities of every new device on the market.

One source file.

Publish your high-resolution source file and leave the rest to us. LimelightREACH supports on-demand video in a variety of container formats (MPEG2, MPEG4, MOV), video codecs (H.264, MPEG4 AVC, QuickTime), and audio codecs (AMR, AAC)—then adapts your media based on the profile settings for targeted devices.

Universal URL.

Your job is to present your content to mobile consumers and innovate on your mobile application or site. LimelightREACH makes that easy by giving you a single URL that works for any device. When a user requests your content, LimelightREACH detects the device and pulls the right version of your media, delivering it using the aprropriate scheme (HTTP or RSTP).

Media-grade CDN.

For scalable delivery, LimelightREACH leverages LimelightDELIVER,™ LimelightSTREAM,™ and other leading CDN platforms—giving you the confidence that any amount of content can be delivered reliably anywhere in the world.

Reporting and analytics.

Detailed reports on historical data, most requested programs, user behavior and consumption metrics, and geographic traffic give you valuable information about your mobile audience and your business. LimelightREACH also supports popular external measurement systems, such as Omniture.

Conclusion

So concluding this, we offer the best solution for mobile delivery on the CDN market. If you’re interested in Reach or any of our other CDN services, please feel free to contact us by phone on: +44 208 540 2300 and by email: m3@mydeo.com.


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We often get asked how Mydeo differs from Amazon S3 – so here’s a quick summary.

Amazon S3 is a storage system, whereas Mydeo provides Content Delivery via a Content Delivery Network (CDN). The CDN Mydeo use exclusively is Limelight Networks, one of the leading global CDNs optimised for rich media delivery.

The focus of S3 is not to get the content to the client as fast as possible, it is to have it available to them when they need it. A CDN incorporates both of these things, the content is always available and the network is designed to get it to the customer as fast as possible. There is also no chance of any down time on a CDN because of the numerous server clusters around the world. With a CDN, if a data centre were to go down, the content would just be delivered from a different location. Amazon’s S3 has been known to go down in the past for hours at a time, on one occasion it was down for over 24 hours – and no explanation was ever given as to why from Amazon.

Amazon’s pricing can be complicated. While it will be cheaper than a CDN it is not a cheap as it may first appear – you must pay for connections as well as throughput.

Amazon’s S3 is a great system for what it is designed to do but that is not streaming video delivery. A CDN is designed for video delivery primarily and the files are delivered from appropriate servers – flash files from an FMS etc.

I would therefore always recommend using a CDN for any streaming media delivery where viewers would, rightly, expect excellent delivery performance and 100% availability.

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One of the major factors that affect the performance of your website delivery is the distance between the end user and your web server. With this in mind it makes sense to try and get your content as close to your users as possible. A content delivery network (CDN) is a great way to do this.

A CDN is a collection of web servers positioned around the world. When a user makes a request for a file, the CDN automatically determines which server is closest to that user and delivers the files from that location.

CDNs are mainly used for the delivery of video because of the videos need for high bandwidth capabilities to deliver properly. However, there are lots of other possibilities for the use of CDNs. You could deliver images, stylesheets, scripts, animations etc. By delivering these from CDN you will drastically increase the speed of your website.

Typically in the past it has been cost prohibitive for smaller companies to use a CDN to host their content for website optimization because of minimum throughput commitments being multiple terabytes and contract length being a year or even longer in some cases. M3 eliminates this problem. With plans starting at 25GBs of throughput any one can use a CDN to optimize their website. M3 uses the Limelight Networks CDN which is widely known as one of the biggest and best in the world so you can always be sure that your content is being delivered on a top class network which will certainly increase the delivery speed of any media. You can view our pricing here https://m3.mydeo.com/Business/plans.aspx and sign up for a trial at www.mydeo.com.

If you have any questions please feel free to write to us on m3@mydeo.com

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Streaming vs. progressive download: Understanding the difference

One of the most frequently asked questions about delivering video online is – “What’s the difference between streaming video and progressive download?” As a user clicking a video link on a website, you will not often know which delivery method is being used, unless you do some poking around. Although the end result may look the same to the end user, streaming and progressive download are very different delivery methods, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Here we will take a look at the two delivery methods and help you to decide which will work best for you.

Delivering a file via HTTP:

Delivery of a file over HTTP is normally referred to as ‘progressive download’ or ‘http streaming’. In reality, it is not streaming at all but a very simple bulk download of a video file to the end user’s computer. A temporary copy of the video file is then stored on the local computer so that the viewer can watch the file over and over without having to download the file each time.

Let’s assume you have a video file encoded at 500kbps. The server delivering the file does not know or care that your video file is encoded at 500kbps; it simply pushes data to the host machine as quickly as it can. This can sometimes give the illusion that the file is being streamed because playback can start as soon as enough of the file is available on the local machine. This obviously restricts the users from skipping to parts of the file that have not yet been downloaded.

If the bandwidth available to the machine downloading the file is smaller than the encoded bit-rate there may be a wait before the file will start to play. For example, on a 56kbps dial-up modem, trying to play a file that is encoded at 500kbps you may have to wait a fairly long time before enough of the file has been downloaded for it to start playing. On a 500kbps internet connect, or faster, playback should start almost immediately and the file should download faster than it will play, meaning that playback will not have to stop because not enough data has been downloaded.

HTTP(Hypertext transport protocol) operates over TCP(Transport control protocol) which controls the actual transport of the packets over the network. TCP is optimized for guarantee of delivery, regardless of file format or size. If a packet is skipped during the transfer of a file, it will request a resend of that packet. Resend requests take time and bandwidth and could increase the load on the server. TCP is not designed for efficient real time delivery or careful bandwidth control, but for accurate and reliable delivery of every bit.

Delivering from a streaming server:

Effectively, a streaming server is a piece of software which deals with video requests. Unlike a standard web server delivering a video file over HTTP (progressive download), a streaming server opens a conversation with the local machine. There are two sides to this conversation, one is for transferring the video and the other is for control messages between the media player and the server. These control messages include commands such as ‘play’, ‘pause’, ‘stop’ and ‘seek’.

If you have a 56kbps connection, you will not be able to receive a stream encoded at 500kbps; you will have to settle for a lower quality video encoded for 56kbps connections. Streaming does however have many advantages.

1. You can begin video playback at any point of the video, or skip through the video as you see fit. This is very convenient for users.

2. It makes a lot more efficient use of bandwidth as you are only using bandwidth for part of the video that are actually watched as opposed to HTTP delivery where the whole file gets delivered.

3. The video file is not stored on the viewer’s computer – the video data is played and then discarded by the media player. This lets you maintain more control over your content.

Streaming servers use a specific set of protocols to deliver streams, such as RTSP(Real time streaming protocol), RTMP(Real time messaging protocol) and MMS(Microsoft media services). These protocols are all more suited to delivering video streams because they are more focussed with continuous delivery than they are with 100% accuracy. Unlike TCP, they do not send resend requests for missing packets but instead continue with the rest of the video file. The idea is that it is better to have a momentary glitch in audio or video than for the playback to stop altogether and wait for the missing data.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, both streaming and progressive download have their own benefits and limitations. If you are trying to reach viewers with slower connections and need the quality to be high, progressive download would be your best option. On the other hand, if you know that your viewers will all have a fast enough connection to view your stream, you might save on bandwidth by streaming the video. Without knowing who your video will be served to, progressive download will always be a safer option because no matter what connection they have, they will be able to view your video. For live streaming, a streaming server has to be used. This cannot be done over HTTP.

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