Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘video streaming’

Producing a professional live event over the internet is a complicated and stressful task. Making sure everything happens at the exact right time in a seamless fashion is paramount to the end user experience. The live feed itself has to be perfect to meet the expectations of your audience. The problem with live video today is the inevitable direct comparison to on-demand video services. Audiences’ witness the likes of Netflix, YouTube and other HD video streaming services and base their experiences as the benchmark in which to scrutinise all other forms of internet based video. Okay, this may be a bit harsh because the odd skip would probably be forgiven seeing that it’s live. However, a dead stream is a dead stream and your users aren’t going to just sit there and watch a frozen frame or a black screen.

Taking every precaution possible is obviously the best way to lower the chances of a broken stream. There’s not much you can do in terms of a backup stream for a live event because obviously the footage is sent out in real time. At least an on-demand file can reference a backup version if the primary source is compromised. In terms of backup with live services through a CDN, Mydeo has a system in place with Limelight that can seriously lower the chances of a broken stream.

The system Mydeo offers has is the ability to stream to a primary and a backup ingest server which introduces a number of key benefits. Firstly, by streaming to two separate ingest servers, you get double security from network errors. In the very unlikely case that one of the ingest servers were to experience a problem; the other server would take over with delivering your stream. The end user would be none the wiser and the video feed would continue delivering seamlessly. Again, it’s very unlikely that an ingest server would fail but at least you know there’s a fall back in the worst case scenario.

The second key benefit is the ability to utilise dual internet connections. If you’re able to tap into a secondary internet connection, you can set the primary ingest URL onto the main (fastest) internet connection and the backup URL can be set to the alternative internet connection. Again, if something were to happen to either of the internet connections, the stream would switch over automatically and the end user experience wouldn’t be compromised. Some customers of Mydeo have started utilising mobile internet solutions as a backup source. Couple this with backup power generators and you are on the way to complete resilience from internet connection failures.

Mydeo can offer backup (fall back) solutions with both normal Flash live and Stream Anywhere products. If you would like more information on our CDN services, please feel to contact by email: help@mydeo.com or by phone: +44 208 540 2300.

Read Full Post »

Limelight Networks have renewed their partnership with Mydeo to provide European small business customers with a more flexible, low-cost way of delivering content via its global Content Delivery Network (CDN).

Mydeo offers a number of benefits to businesses requiring the high performance and reliable delivery of the Limelight Network’s CDN, but on more flexible commercial terms. These include lower minimum throughput plans, instant online account set up, no minimum contract terms, no setup costs and free premium reporting.  Mydeo supports all major file formats for delivery over the robust Limelight CDN. Mydeo also offers a number of streaming solutions for both live and on-demand. The newest addition to the Mydeo product line-up is Stream Anywhere which enables users to live stream to multiple end devices, including: iPhones, iPads, Androids devices, Windows Phone and more. Mydeo also offers traditional Flash streaming services for reaching older devices that are incompatible with the HTML5 platform.

“The service is aimed at small businesses with the same needs as the large corporates i.e. requiring high quality media delivery to increase their website performance, run rich media campaigns, build brands and boost sales, but with lower data throughput requirements” commented Mydeo’s Founder and CEO, Cary Marsh. “It helps them overcome some of the technical difficulties associated with delivering large media files on their websites such as poor delivery and reduced site performance, at affordable rates. Using Limelight’s CDN, video and other rich media files are delivered effortlessly, allowing the consumer to remain fully engaged with the site.”

Mydeo launched in 2005 with the help of an R&D grant for Technical Innovation from the DTI. By the end of 2005 Mydeo were Microsoft’s European Windows Movie Maker partner, providing high quality Windows Media Hosting services for XP users worldwide. In October 2007, Mydeo and Best Buy Co. Inc., a multinational retailer of technology and entertainment products and services, entered into a business partnership; Mydeo now powers the company’s video sharing service.

Mydeo continues to provide industry leading CDN solutions at a fraction of the cost of buying direct. Mydeo’s expert, London based team are dedicated to delivering unrivalled customer service and are at hand to help companies handle their online digital presence.

For more information about Mydeo, please visit our website: www.mydeo.com. You can also contact our friendly London based team by email: help@mydeo.com or by phone: +44 208 540 2300.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

British Rally driver Louise Cook from Maidstone has set the goal to be the first female World Rally Champion. Louise started a sponsorship campaign called ‘Promotion50’ to raise the money needed to get her started on her road to glory. The idea was to get as many companies to donate just £50 to run her mk6 Ford Fiesta ST Rally car for a whole season. With the backing of Mydeo and various other companies, Louise has already boasts a multitude of achievements, including: British Rally Championship Ladies Campion 2011, Fiesta Sport Trophy Vice Champion 2011, BRCC RC4 Champion 2012 and more. Louise still has to complete her ultimate goal of being World Champion but with the on-going support from Mydeo and other sponsors, we believe this is just around the corner.

Louise races towards the finish line!

Mydeo are a content delivery company utilising the Limelight CDN. For more information about our services, please visit www.mydeo.com. You can also call us on: +44 208 540 2300 or email: m3@mydeo.com.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

Live streaming: Push vs. Pull

When encoding video or audio, you have two options. You can either ‘push’ the stream or ‘pull’ the stream. Each method has advantages and disadvantages which we will discuss here and help you to choose the method best for your circumstances.

Pushing a stream:

With a push stream, the local machine running the encoder is initiating the connection. This connection has to be made with a streaming server.

The main advantage of pushing a stream is that router port forwarding and firewall exceptions do not have to be made. A static IP address is not required to push a stream which would be necessary with the pull method. Static IP addresses are less common than they used to be and with some ISPs they have to be paid for. On an internet connection with no static IP address available, pushing the stream will be your only option. A push stream is generally less stable than a pull stream and would consume more local bandwidth because it is constantly connected to the streaming server that it is pushing to.

A push stream would normally be used for short one off webcasts rather than 24/7 webcasting because of its inherent bandwidth overheads.

Pulling a stream:

With a pull stream, a streaming server (or a viewer) initiates the connection with the encoding machine. It is possible to webcast without the use of a streaming server using the pull method; however, if more than 2 or 3 people connect to the stream simultaneously it will suffer and not be delivered properly to any of the viewers. When a streaming server is ‘pulling’ from the local encoder it would be possible to have hundreds of thousands of viewers without the stream suffering at all.

One of the big advantages of pulling a stream is that the server will only connect to the encoder when the stream is requested by a viewer. This means that you will be limiting your local bandwidth usage by using this method because you will not have to be constantly connected to the server. This obviously makes it much more suitable for constant 24 hour streaming. It is possible to restrict access to the encoder by IP address – which means you can only allow the streaming server to connect and restrict any unauthorised access. Windows media encoder also records and IP address of connections so you can see who is connected at any time.

One disadvantage of using this method is that in order for the streaming server to connect to the encoder, port forwarding and firewall exceptions will have to be set up. Using the pull method is ideal for streaming from a static location where the configuration of the network stays constant.

Conclusion:

When choosing the method you are going to use, the best thing to do is ask yourself a few questions before you start.

1.       Do I have a static IP address?

2.       Am I going to be broadcasting for longer than a few hours at a time?

3.       Do I have access to the router to set up port forwarding or firewall exceptions?

4.       Will I be broadcasting from more than one network?

If you answered no to the first question then pulling a stream will not be an option for you. If you are going to be broadcasting for more than a few hours pulling the stream would be the obvious choice because you will save on bandwidth use. Without access to the router (or someone who does have access) you will not be able to set up the port forwarding properly and the streaming server will not be able to connect to your encoder with the pull method which mean, you will have to push. When you are broadcasting from more than one network, the settings are likely to be different on each network. Pushing the stream would most definitely be a better option here because it will work regardless of the network security in most instances.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.