Client Ecosystem for Windows Azure Media Services

This blog gives an overview of what kind of client support Microsoft offers as part of Windows Azure media Services. On one side, you could create, manage, package and deliver media asset through Windows Azure media services. Many popular streaming formats are supported, such as Smooth Streaming, Http Llive Streaming and MPEG-dash. On the other hand, we provide various SDKs and frameworks for you to consume media asset by building rich media applications rapidly on many platforms, such as PC, XBox, mobile and etc.


Today, though people started to watch videos on different devices, video streaming on desktop through browser is the most popular way for video delivery. Most businesses built rich media applications with plugin such as Silverlight or Flash. For instance, Netflix web version is built using Silverlight and Hulu web version is using Flash. This plugin approach works fine for majority of operating systems and browsers. Read More Here

How to figure out when data chunk failed to be downloaded – SSME v2 walkthrough

This blog belongs to a series of Smooth Streaming Client v2.0 walkthroughs. You could download this latest Smooth Streaming Client SDks here. We have made a few major changes in this version. In this blog, I will introduce to you how to figure out data chunk information while you are downloading it.

While playing smooth streaming content, you could utilize ChunkDownloadedEventArgs to figure out downloaded chunk information, such as whether data chunk is successfully downloaded, what type of data chunk is, what duration the chunk has and etc. This is very useful for you to monitor data chunk download progress. If you find something wrong, you don’t have to wait the downloader to keep retrying, rather you could route to other media source for instance.
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Announcing Smooth Streaming Client SDK v2.0

I am pleased to announce the release of Smooth Streaming Client v2.0 for desktop and Windows Phone. You could get the SDK here and more excitingly, you could use this refreshed Media framework based on this SDKs to start building video streaming applications in Silverlight on Desktop or Windows Phone.

It has been over two years since the first release of Smooth Streaming Client SDK. As for today, after three major releases, Smooth Streaming Client SDK gets much mature. This .Net based framework has features include simple controls such as Play, Pause, and Stop, as well as more complex functionality such as full DVR, Instant Replay, Live Advertisement Insertion, Multiple Camera Angles, and Seek (Fast Forward/Rewind) capabilities. It has been used by major players in the media industry, such as NBC, Comcast, Rai TV, France24, Time warner Cable, Cablevision and many more.

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How does video streaming work? [part 2: Traditional Streaming]

In Part 1, I introduced how Progressive Download works and in Part 2 I will talk about Traditional Streaming.

Traditional Streaming, as one of the video streaming technology, uses special media server to serve content. Here are some key characters of traditional streaming as showed in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1: Traditional Streaming

Traditional streaming uses special media protocols, such as RTSP(Real Time Streaming Protocol), RTMP(Real Time Messaging Protocol) and RDT (Real Data portocol). Read the rest of the post…

How does video streaming work? [part 3: HTTP-based Adaptive Streaming]

This blog is the 3rd part of “How does video streaming work?” blog and you could check the details of Progressive Download and Traditional Streaming in Part 1 and Part 2.

Figure 1: Http-based Adaptive Streaming

Video gets encoded into different formats and video qualities. Http-based Adaptive Streaming uses normal web server and transmit data via HTTP protocol. Video files are chunked into small video fragments in sequence, usually 2 seconds. Hence, for a 1Mbps video, the data chunk size is only 250 KB. Read the rest of the post…

How does video streaming work? [part 1: Progressive Download]

More and more people start to watch video online and people spend more time watching video online. According to ComScore,

In US, 37 billion videos was viewed by 181 million internet users in April 2012.
84.5% US Internet Audiences watch video online.
Each person spends 21.8 hours per month.

This blog is to explain some common video streaming technologies used by major content provider or media channel. If you are curious about streaming technology or you are a developer/content provider who wants to find out more about how to get started, this is the right blog for you.

There are three major streaming technologies used nowadays: Progressive Download, Traditional Streaming and Http-based Adaptive Streaming. I will introduce Progressive download in this blog, Traditional Streaming in Part 2 and Http-based Adaptive Streaming in Part 3. Read the rest of the post…

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