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Posts Tagged ‘video’

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.

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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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HTML5 has been a hot topic for some time now but in many ways it’s becoming more of a norm. At Mydeo, I’m seeing more and more of our customers jumping on the <video> tag bandwagon and for good reason too. The use of Flash is slowing down mainly due to the lack of support in iOS devices but it’s also interesting to add that the latest versions of Android are also dropping support. Android and iOS are the market leaders for smartphones and tablets and together control over 85% of the overall pie. Consumers demand their videos on the go and if you’re still using the ye old ways of Flash then you could be losing a sizeable chunk of your audience to your competitor who has already utilised a solution for reaching these devices.

I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to spend the whole of your quarterly budget  on a video platform just to reach smart devices. This post will show you how to embed videos on your site using the <video> tag. It will also show you how to reach multiple browsers and devices because not all end users have the same equipment/software. I will use video files that have already been uploaded to the Mydeo servers to test with.

In the example below you’ll see a standard  HTML page but with the addition of the video tag that’s referencing a file on the Mydeo servers. If you copy this code and paste it into notepad and save the file as a .htm or .html, the file will open as a web page containing the video. This, in its current format will also play on iOS devices.

<html>
<head>
<title>My HTML5 Video</title>
</head>
<body>
<video src="http://mydeo.vo.llnwd.net/o1/u/m3/64de828ce3264daf912aa3493414a30d.mp4" controls="controls" height="480" width="620"></video>
</body>
</html>

If the video is not playing for you, there’s a good chance that the browser you’re using doesn’t support .mp4 or HTML5 at all. To reach almost every browser/device, we need to do a few more things.

The example below has a few additions: firstly, I have moved the source tag onto a different line and added support for three different file types: mp4, ogv (ogg) and webm. These three files types are the video formats excepted by HTML5 so by referencing all of them, you’ll reach a better percentage of end users. All the files referenced here are the same video but I’ve just converted them into the separate file types (information on how to convert you videos for free is mentioned later in the article). Secondly, if you want to be able to reach users using older operating systems with older browsers, you can also add a traditional Flash player (see the code example on how to add a Flash player). The player below is coded so if the first option doesn’t work, the browser will seamlessly attempt to play the second option and then the third and so on. This process is called a ‘fall back’, the browser falls back until it finds a compatible version to play.

<html>
<head>
<title>My HTML5 Video</title>
</head>
<body>
<video controls="controls" height="480" width="620">
<source src="http://mydeo.vo.llnwd.net/o1/u/m3/64de828ce3264daf912aa3493414a30d.mp4" type="video/mp4" />
<source src="http://mydeo.vo.llnwd.net/o1/u/m3/59243cfe69c74f3ebc26d14cb29e9b96.webm" type="video/webm" />
<source src="http://mydeo.vo.llnwd.net/o1/u/m3/160a3cd44c074efcae8b1fbb784aca9f.ogv" type="video/ogg" />
<--! Here is where you add code for a traditional flash player, you can use the mp4 URL above and generate yourself a player by navigating here: http://blog.mydeo.com/2013/01/25/flash-video-player-generator/ -->
</video>
</body>
</html>

And that’s it! You can use the code above to create your own HTML5 player, all you need to do is replace the source URLs with your own. There are many different options for customising your player so be sure to have a play around with the code. If you need to convert your files into mp4, ogg or webm then there is a fantastic video converter which is 100% free and can be downloaded here: http://www.mirovideoconverter.com/.

Remember that these test files are utilising Mydeo’s servers so if you need a hosting provider to deliver your HTML5 videos over a super fast global network, then do not hesitate to contact us. You can do so by email: m3@mydeo.com or by phone: +44 208 540 2300.

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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.

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Why not YouTube?

This is a common question asked by many customers who are trying to establish the value in using a CDN service.

 

YouTube is often the first place you’d think of for sharing personal videos.  So if it’s good at distributing video, why not use it for your business website? I’m going to share a few of my thoughts with you here on why I wouldn’t recommend it for your business content:

 

  • A slick looking website has a big influence on how your customers perceive your business. Having promotional or corporate videos hosted via YouTube might be regarded as a ‘cheap option’ by your potential customers, which could reflect poorly on your business.
  • A YouTube video on your website will slow down your page loading times by up to 50%. Hosting your rich media content with Mydeo on the other hand can make your site up to 30% faster.
  • Keeping your customers engaged on your website is critical. But by embedding a YouTube hosted video on your pages there is a very high chance your customers will click through to YouTube.com, one of the stickiest sites in the world. Once there they are unlikely to return.
  • If you upload a video to YouTube, you automatically grant YouTube distribution rights to that video, across all media channels.
  • After watching a YouTube video, the player automatically recommends other videos within the same category. This could ultimately lead your customers to your competitors.
  • You get what you pay for. YouTube is free, so if you have questions or problems, you’re on your own.
  • Mydeo can accelerate delivery of all your files – not just video.

 

Mydeo allows small businesses to benefit from the speed, robustness and scalability of a world leading CDN, Limelight Networks, at a fraction of the cost of buying direct. This means your website is faster and your customers are happier.

 

Don’t just take our word for it, try it yourself at www.mydeo.com.

 

Thanks for reading. :)

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What is HTML 5 Video?

First, lets talk about what HTML 5 is. HTML 5 is the successor to HTML, the standard formatting language used to publish all web sites, and interpreted by all web browsers to display them. HTML 5 is a necessary replacement for traditional HTML because this new standard includes native support for today’s data-rich, interactive web applications. Traditional HTML does not include native support for rich media (videos, animations etc.) whereas HTML 5 does.

Ok, so what is “HTML 5 Video”?

Recently, the HTML 5 specification was updated to state the following:  

[Browsers] should support Theora video and Vorbis audio, as well as the Ogg container format.

This is primarily because there are no known patents or royalty arrangements that need be observed in order to produce or consume media encoded with these standards.

Can Mydeo deliver HTML 5 video?

Yes! In fact, we include support for it in all our packages. To get started, sign up for your free 15 day trial or give us a call to discuss.

What do I need to get started?

If you’ve got existing media that you’d like to convert into an HTML 5 video format, you can either do this yourself using a commercial encoder or use our pay as you go encoding service within your account.

You’ll then need your web designers to design you a player and a player page that support HTML 5. Some off the shelf freebies are available for this, check out HTML5video.org as an example.

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Embedding Windows Media Player into web pages:

The goal of this article is to explain in relatively simple terms how to get Windows Media Player embedded into your web site. In order to do this, you will have to have basic HTML knowledge and access to the HTML code of the page in which you would like to embed the player.

Windows Media Player is fairly simple to get onto your web site once you understand the basics. To begin with you will need to have a valid HTML page which you can edit. The minimum you need for a blank HTML page is the following:

<HTML>
    <BODY>
    </BODY>
</HTML>
 

 Below I will go through the HTML code needed to successfully embed windows media player into your web page line by line.

The first thing you need to do is to add the relevant OBJECT tag. This identifies the Windows Media Player ActiveX control to the browser and sets up any initial definitions. You must place the OBJECT tag inside the BODY portion of the HTML code:

<object classid=”clsid:6BF52A52-394A-11D3-B153-00C04F79FAA6″ codebase=”http://activex.microsoft.com/activex/controls/mplayer/en/nsmp2inf.cab#Version=6,4,7,1112”  ID=”Video” width=”640″ height=”552″>

</object>

The ‘ID’ above refers to the unique name for each player instance on a webpage. For example if you wanted to embed more than one player on a page you would have to give each a unique ‘ID’ (ID’s can be anything, it’s up to you what you name them, but good practice would dictate that you don’t use any special characters or spaces). The ‘width ‘ and ‘height’ obviously refer  to the size of the player you would like to embed. You control other player options by using ‘param’ tags, which look like those shown below:

<param name=”ShowControls” value=”1″>

-Use “1” to show the control button(play, stop, etc…).” “0” will hide the controls.

<param name=”AutoStart” value=”1″>

-Use “1” to start the video playing as soon as someone gets to your web page.

<param name=”Rate” value=”1″>

-Specifies the playback rate. 0.5 equates to half the normal playback speed, 2 equates to twice.<param name=”ShowStatusBar” value=”1″>

<param name=”StretchToFit” value=”1″>

-Specifies whether video displayed by the control automatically sizes to fit the video window, when the video window is larger than the dimensions of the video image.

<param name=”uiMode” value=”mini”>

<param name=”SRC” value=”YOUR URL HERE”>

<param name=”URL” value=” YOUR URL HERE “>

 

Once you are done, your embed code should look something like the sample below. Feel free to copy and paste the below sample and enter your file details in.

<object classid=”clsid:6BF52A52-394A-11D3-B153-00C04F79FAA6″ codebase=”http://activex.microsoft.com/activex/controls/mplayer/en/nsmp2inf.cab#Version=6,4,7,1112”  ID=”Video” width=”640″ height=”552″>

<param name=”ShowControls” value=”1″>

<param name=”AutoStart” value=”1″>

<param name=”Rate” value=”1″>

<param name=”ShowStatusBar” value=”1″>

<param name=”StretchToFit” value=”1″>

<param name=”uiMode” value=”mini”>

<param name=”SRC” value=”YOUR COMPLETE URL HERE”>

<param name=”URL” value=” YOUR COMPLETE URL HERE “>

</object>

 

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