SmoothHD shows off dynamically variable video quality, based on connection

As you know video streaming is the hottest thing on the internet, with new sites and services emerging all the time. Fundamentally all services suffer from one core problem,...

SmoothHD

As you know video streaming is the hottest thing on the internet, with new sites and services emerging all the time. Fundamentally all services suffer from one core problem, quality vs connection.

The Problem
Around the globe people access the internet using a wide variety of connection types, but more importantly speeds. The problem with this is there’s a certain amount of guess work content producers have to do in deciding what quality to publish there content in.

We’re constantly walking the line between having good quality content, while being able to reach the largest possible audience. A commonly accepted way to achieve this is to provide multiple version of the same content and allow the end user to choose, this loads the content producer with the burden of additional production time and hosting costs.

The Solution
A new, much better solution is now available. This allows content producers to create a single high quality stream that is reduced in quality dependant on a users connection speed. Ladies and Gentlemen this is video streaming done right ! Neither the creator or the user need word about the quality vs connection battle.

The Technology
This is achieved using IIS7 Smooth Streaming Technology. The first company to utilize this technology is Akamai, creating a showcase site – SmoothHD.

The Quality
Let’s talk about the quality. Available in gorgeous High Definition, this is without exception the best online streaming video quality that I’ve seen, bar none. Sure the source material is obviously shot on high end, very expensive cameras, but as HD consumer grade cameras get cheaper and HD webcams start to emerge, this technology could be used by everyday users, while remaining simple to use and maintaining great quality.

If you want to test the on-the-fly dynamic quality scaling, then try watching the same video on different speed connections. You should also check out the statistics overlay, available from the button in the lower-right of the video. Then maybe start a download or 2 and watch the quality adjust dynamically.

SmoothHD

The Result
This fundamentally changes the online video experience. Previously users would attribute a video’s quality to the site or service providing it and have little influence on how it was received. Now they have the opportunity to consider upgrading their connection to receive better quality video.

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More info @ Akamai

Categories
Internet

Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.