Showing posts from November, 2015

Live from Marina Del Rey

Increasingly, live cams are inserting background music (often from local radio stations), video ads and pre-recorded highlights during dark hours. While some might frown on the practice of playing pre-recorded content on a so-called "live" cams, the reality is, viewers often disappear when the sun goes down. Furthermore, there is significant expense associated with the setup and operation of venue cams. Venue camera operators are simply trying to use the live streams to help with the overhead associated with providing them.

Death of Flash Marked the Death of Many Ad Agencies

When Google began auto-pausing Flash on their Chrome browser since September 1st, 2015, many ad agencies were unable to fulfill their client contracts, and thusly, died. Considering that 84% of all banners across the Internet are affected, agencies have to quickly adopt HTML5 banners and video, which are more impervious (but not invulnerable) to blocking. 
The problem with adopting HTML5 to build interactive ads is that agencies had to invest in, or evenr hire, software programmers.  Some agencies made the investment, some - must likely - went out of business. We don't have the numbers on the failures, but the losses must have been in the tens of millions industry wide, and agencies who's campaigns were blocked, would see their revenue immediately stopped or threatened. 
The benefits of HTML5 are clear:

a)Because browsers support it, it is less likely to be blocked
b)Because blocking HTML5 could block desirable Web content, it is less likely to be blocked in the future
c)No spec…

Apple Wins Patent Lawsuit Leveled By Pendrell

US jury hands in verdict for Apple -- Ruled that they did not infringe on Pendrell patents
US jury recently ruled in favor of Apple’s in a case against the iPhone manufacturer. Pendrell was the plaintiff in a case where Apple was indicted for breach of policy for illicitly applying DRM tools to its content distribution services.   These include iTunes and iBooks.  Apple denied the claims and further made the dues about the invalidity of the Patents and finally won the recent trial conducted in Eastern District of Texas, US District Court. 

What is HLS Live Streaming?

HLS Live Streaming (or HLS), is an HTTP-based media streaming data communications protocol. It was originally developed and implemented by Apple Inc. as part of its QuickTime, Safari, OS X, and iOS software. It has since been adopted as a standard for live and on-demand streaming.

HLS live and on-demand video segments video streams and files into a sequence of small HTTP-based file downloads. Every segment is downloaded in a series of short chunks, which are assembled by the destination client. Client-side players may select from alternate streams containing the same material encoded at a variety of data rates, allowing the streaming session to adapt to the client-side data rate. At the start of the streaming session, it downloads an extended M3U playlist containing the metadata for the various sub-streams which are available.

An example HLS live feed from a camera pointed at a fish tank with multiple stream encoding qualities.

Since its requests use only standard HTTP transaction…

Alternatives to DRM

Are there legitimate alternatives to DRM? When distributing content, the decision of whether to protect a video with more than paywall security, is a process that balances the probable loss in revenue, versus the amount it will cost to protect your video.

Without some type of content protection, content is at risk.  Thousands of websites distribute the vast majority of monetized video content, behind a secure a paywall. Paywalls are user authenticated Web sites that prevent viewers from accessing the videos unless they purchase a subscription or otherwise pay to play. Unfortunately, with this approach, after a viewer gets access to the video, it’s totally unprotected; anybody with a powerful browser or download utility can download the file.

In most cases, publishers decide that they don't need any more security than a paywall; or providing access restrictions to content based on registration and logged in status.

Why DRM is Secure

Why does DRM provide superior security?  Because …

Drone Clips - Spectacular and Intriguing

What is it about drone shots that are so popular? YouTube is loaded with thousands of video clips; showing drones hovering over nature, wildlife, whales, sports events, highway disasters, natural catastrophes, fires and crimes in action.  Sometimes they get in the way of things, and cause their own disasters.  But always - in spectacular HD color!

Here is an example of a drone shoot, where we view a shot of the drone shooting a drone shot.  Here is the big question - will viewers pay subscriptions to see high quality drone footage?  And will they pay for live coverage of exciting events; like a sports game or a high speed pursuit?

Live Gaming Gets Extreme Ratings

Who would have imagined that game observers would make up the biggest group of 'Net based live events? That is the reality. Fourty five million gamers gather every month on Twitch to broadcast, watch and chat about hot tournaments going on at any time. Twitch's video platform is the backbone of both live and on-demand distribution for the entire video game ecosystem. A quick look at YouTube Live's top programs at any time, will reveal the dominating popularity of game observing.

Twitch and YouTube Live are experiencing major growth specifically because of the huge popularity of game observing; where online gamers play with skills, and others admire. It appears that it is an international culture, since the traffic comes from all over the world - especially in nations where computer games are as popular as football.  The billion dollar question - will viewers pay money to see major gaming evevents live?

YouTube Live & YouTube Red

YouTube Live is the live version of YouTube, with live channels for everybody who has a Gmail account; similar to a live channel.

But already, major producers, networks and content owners are setting up shop at YouTube Live. YouTube Red is a subscription service for people who want to watch YouTube programming without ads.  Both are seen as a possible response to the huge successes behind Murcat and Periscope. It is expected that both services will be successful, and because YouTube traffic is already larger than broadcast television, we don't have any reason to doubt the positive expectations of some.

Streaming Media West Nov 17, 18th

Streaming Media West 2015, is the ComicCon of the streaming media industry; and every year, hundreds of industry insiders, media executives, equipment and solution providers, set-up shop at the Hyatt Regency in Huntinton Beach. Together, they explore technology trends in live and on-demand media (especially video), and streaming. Hundreds of hardware, software and services companies exhibit their offerings in the Hyatt's plush environment. Of course, one of the biggest trends is away from Flash, and towards HLS streaming, media servers and players. 
Formerly held in San Jose, then it moved to Century City. But ever since moving to Huntington Beach California, it has a nice feel and it is far enough from Los Angeles to give one a break from the typical Los Angeles event. Check out some of the workshops:

Media Players That Support CSS Skins

Both the JW Player and the Theoplayer media players are primarily HTML5-based players, and both support CSS skinning; or the creation of custom user-interfaces and styles; integrating player controls and features into a unique design.

These CSS-friendly players allow each publisher to create a uniqueviewing experience that immerses viewers in your brand with your own pixel-perfect skin.  But it goes way beyond custom media play - these players are actually application frameworks with their own scripting languages and APIs.  And most importantly, you can position any HTML5 element, graphic, or video - anywhere you want in allowable area for CSS.

The fact is, HTML5 based media players provide a secure mini-framework for applications; one which permits publishers full control over what is played, when it is played, and to whom  it is played. Opps! We forgot to say - for how long it is played!

And it can be video, audio, applications, documents or anything that is HTML5 compatible.

DASH and Streaming

MPEG-DASH divide the media file into segments which can be encoded at different bitrates or spatial resolutions. The segments are provided on a Web server and can be downloaded through HTTP standard compliant GET requests as shown in the figure below where the HTTP Server serves three different qualites, i.e., Low, Medium and Best choped into segments of equal length. 

The adaptation to the bitrate or resolution is done on the client side for each segment, e.g., the client can switch to a higher bitrate – if bandwidth permits – on a per segment basis. This has several advantages because the client knows its capabilities, received throughput and the context of the user best.

In order to describe the temporal and structural relationships between segments, MPEG-DASH introduced the so-called Media Presentation Description (MPD). The MPD is an XML file that represents the different qualities of the media content and the individual segments of each quality with HTTP Uniform Resource Locators …

The Web Series Reborn - Pay Per View

It is possible that we are witnessing the re-birth of the Web series as a legitimate programming category. In the past, we saw many quirky and experimental shorts related to everything from teen adventures to super-heroes.  But we've never seen anything become extremely popular until the advent of Roommies Lovers and Friends. When your five minute series attracts millions of collective, loyal viewers - you've really got something.  
They were probably the most popular short series on YouTube, but they were not making a profit. When they switched to pay per view and subscription, everything changed. 
Roomies Lovers and Friends, was launched in 2012; and it has shocked the industry and possibly set new records as the most popular and profitable Web series history.  Produced by Black & Sexy TVand Issa Rae Productions.  They launched Roomies Lovers and Friends in 2012; a series that centers on male and female roommates who end up sleeping together. Afterwards, you can imagine th…

Is Evostream Media Server the Best?

One of the biggest and most expensive overhead items in building a media server is memory requirement. Red5, Wowza Media, Adobe - all require a ton of memory; and the math is pretty straight forward; you're going to pay a ton! But Evostream, developer of the Evostream Media Server, boasts about how their server doesn't require as much memory and power.

On their site, they say:

Stream live, low-latency video to phones, tablets, browsers, set top boxes and cloud services like UStream and Akamai. The EvoStream Media Server supports HTML5 and the native video players for any device your customer might be using. Stream your live media anywhere....

And again:

Stream 4X’s More per Server and save 80% on your Total Cost per Channel, Lower initial cost, operate on lower cost server. Maximize your existing server’s capacity with only 1 license to deliver 400% more streams than JAVA-based technology.

Scale your streaming platform and save up to 80% on your additional server and license c…

Simple DRM Plus Specifications

MediaGration Simple DRM Plus
MediaGration Simple DRM Plus, is the strategic employment of several security technologies; which, when combined, form a very strong protection of the stream and the content. 
a)Streamed from a local secure media server b)Content is stored in a protected directory c)Alias based file access (single use URLs) d)CAPTCHA-protected user authentication f)128-bit AES encryption on each segment e)Access is synched to user accounts; credits, etc., on all Web frameworks
The resulting combination of technologies, forms a highly secure and efficient user, data, network and content security; without the need for a separate DRM server. 
Currently, MediaGration's Simple DRM Plus, might be the most secure technology available without the use of a separate DRM server. It is available in a software toolkit; with video security features, including:

1. Stream control policies and rules 2. Video selection policies
3. IP-address and country block rules
4. User-group access rules
5. First…

Simple DRM Plus

HLS streaming supports live and VOD delivery; with support for DVR, captions, sub-titles, slow-motion and high-speed playback, along with support for the highly efficient DART protocol.

What is HLS encryption?

HLS Encryption allows video publishers send encrypted video over HTTP for playback on desktop and mobile devices. HLS utilizes the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) as well as other technologies to seamlessly protect content from non-authorized streaming, piracy, and redistribution by others, with no detectable difference to video playback.

HLS Encryption, or HLSe, is supported is several key media servers and players; most notably Evostream Media Server, Wowza Media Server, and Adobe Media Server. JW Player and Theoplayer are media players with advanced HLS features, such as captions and DART support. The VLC Player supports HLS, but some browsers require the download of a plugin. 

MediaGration Simple DRM Plus

MediaGration Simple DRM Plus, is the strategic employment of many securi…