A question I get asked a lot is whether Flash Access will support live streaming. The short answer is Yes.
The slightly longer answer is that Adobe’s HTTP Dynamic Streaming solution, which combines the best of Flash Media dynamic streaming technologies with the vast installed base of HTTP servers, will support both VOD and Live audio/video streaming, and relies on Flash Access for protection. All of this is coming together soon with the upcoming release of Flash Player 10.1.
So how does this work? For a more complete description you can read an earlier post, but here I wanted to provide a simplified description. The image below may also help.
Imagine you’re running the output of a camera that is capturing a live event through an encoder; the output of that encoder will be a stream that can be piped through Adobe’s live packager for HTTP Dynamic Streaming. If you are using content protection powered by Flash Access, this packager will fragment and encrypt the content on the fly, resulting in MP4 fragments with a protected payload.
Now the fragments can be propagated to a distributed HTTP cache without having to worry about restricting access to the fragments, since each one is persistently protected. On the playback side, the client pulls down the fragments, obtains a content license from the corresponding license server, and then stitches together the fragments to create a continuous playback experience, while decrypting the content securely in memory on the fly.
For these applications, we have created a high performance, horizontally scalable license server that can deployed in a distributed environment to provide the best support for lots of concurrent users. In combination with other techniques such as secure client-side license caching, this can result in a highly scalable solution for live streaming.
Things have been very busy here at NAB. Today Irdeto announced support for Flash Access as a hosted offering, allowing companies looking to monetize online video content to outsource most of the operations required for content protection.
This will result, amongst other benefits, in a faster time to market and more effective content monetization. By relying on a trusted partner with secure, worldwide operations, content providers can focus on creating a great user experience.
Adobe and Irdeto are demonstrating Flash Access at our booths in NAB — if you are attending, come check it out and ask questions.
It’s been a long road, but we are in the final stretch to ship our next-gen content protection product, Adobe Flash Access 2.0, next month. We are seeing a lot of interest in the product from partners and customers waiting for Flash Access to fill a need for stronger content protection in Flash Player and enable new monetization strategies.
We have been in private beta for some time now and have received great feedback from partners who have helped us improve the product. We look forward to continue working with them as they deploy Flash Access, whether internally for their own use or as the technology for enhanced content distribution and monetization services.
Some of you may be familiar with the work we are doing around HTTP Dynamic Streaming (aka “Project Zeri”). What you may not know is that this technology is designed to work in conjunction with Flash Access to enable protected HTTP streaming for both Live and Video-on-Demand online video distribution.
You’ll be hearing more about Flash Access and HTTP Dynamic Streaming in the weeks and months to come. I’ll be at NAB next week, with presentations at the Adobe booth scheduled for Monday and Wednesday at 9:30 AM. Then it’s off to Streaming Media East in NYC next month.
I’ll be back in New York in June for the Copyright and Technology Conference, which Adobe is sponsoring. I’ll be moderating a panel on Best Practices for Monetizing Premium Video Content, where we are planning on having some great speakers; more on this later. There are other panels that also promise to be very interesting.
If you are planning on attending any of these events, feel free to stop by to say hi.