Smooth Streaming – what is it and why you should use it

Right now the best way to stream your videos online is with adaptive bitrate technology and Smooth Streaming is going to be your best choice. Smooth streaming can identify the available bandwidth and settle on the most appropriate bit-rate to display your video clip at. That way you don’t have to settle for the lowest common denominator in order to ensure that all your watchers will have a sleek viewing experience.

The performance of Smooth Streaming lies in the fact that you can easily transition the video quality of a media file that a player receives in real time. Consumers with high-bandwidth internet connections can enjoy high definition (HD) quality streaming while others with reduced bandwidth speeds receive the proper stream for their connection, allowing consumers across the board to have fun with a compelling, consistent streaming experience and alleviating the need for media providers to accommodate to the lowest common denominator quality level inside of their audience base.

With their increased viewing times through higher quality true High-definition experiences, firms are now capable to increase their brand interest and marketing revenues as well. They can furthermore benefit from unparalleled network scalability making use of distributed HTTP-based Web servers and offer greater quality to much more clients.

Smooth Streaming is simple enough to conduct. As an user you may not be required to do anything else besides install Silverlight on your Mac or Personal computer. On the other hand if you are a content creator you will need to upgrade your encoding software to one that facilitates encoding to the new Smooth Streaming file format.

In order to stream media assets to clients, hosting providers will need to have IIS Media Services installed on their servers. You will only need to install IIS Media Services on your origin servers. You may need to manage your edge cache/proxy structure as well in order to correctly pass through Smooth Streaming URLs.

Software developers will need to add Smooth Streaming playback support to their Silverlight applications. This is easily done using Silverlight Media Framework with Smooth Streaming Client or by simply using Silverlight player templates integrated in the Expression Encoder.

To design Smooth Streaming presentations you need to encode your videos in a particular way. The same source content would need to be encoded at several bit-rates with each bit-rate being one complete file. The advantage of this is that the user does not have to handle hundreds or even thousands of ‘fragments’ as the server will create ‘virtual fragments’ and will be able to transition between which complete file it is delivering. Presentations with Smooth Streaming can be easily created with the help of the Microsoft Expression Encoder.

Comments

comments