We just completed a major upgrade to our media platform that includes, among other things, support for mobile devices such smartphones and tablets, including Apple iOS and Android devices. Now, all of our high-quality video is available to both desktop and mobile devices.
In time for our Spring 2013 term, we just completed a major upgrade to our media platform that includes, among other things, support for mobile devices such smartphones and tablets, including Apple iOS and Android devices. Now, all of our high-quality video is available to both desktop and mobile devices.
The upgrade includes changing all of our media servers to the new Adobe Media Sever v5 Extended (from FMS v4.5) and a new multi-platform media player embedded in all media pages; they work together synergistically to provide high-quality video to all devices.
Our implementation continues to support our commitment to Adaptive Streaming through both RTMP and HLS. We have been using Adaptive Streaming for almost 2 years (solely via RTMP and Flash until now) and it has been very important to be able to support users with bad broadband connections (common to many rural clergy) as well as those blessed with good high-capacity connections. With Adaptive Streaming, the server platform detects (and continuously monitors) the speed of each user’s connection and plays the biggest, highest-quality file that the connection will allow. The server literally throttles up and down within fractions of seconds. This means a rural user on a thin connection can still see video but perhaps at 256-kbps or 386- or 512-kbps; while the urban user on a “fat pipe” can see high-def video (HD) at 2,000-kbps or higher. Adaptive Streaming is fast enough to be dynamic, even if you are on a fat pipe but have a temporary “brown out” due to network problems or congestion, the server will automatically throttle back while you have the hiccup but throttle back up when it clears.
In all cases, the user doesn’t have to do anything, it is all handled in the background by the technology.
This approach (auto-sensing player and Adaptive Streaming) are in keeping with our “any-service-from-any-device” philosophy. You use the device you wish, using the connection you have (wire line or mobile) and the technology automatically adjusts without you having to do anything (no selections to make or setting to adjust). The user simply goes to one common page and the media simply works regardless of the device or connection being used to view the page.
If you would like to test these new features on desktops browser or mobile devices, here are three free samples you can try out:
This server upgrade also allow additional features which we will be implementing this quarter. Watch this space for our announcements of new and exciting things.