Adobe’s Project Primetime Powers BBC’s Coverage of the Olympics

Earlier this month, NBC launched two Olympics apps that are powered by Adobe technologies and built on Adobe AIR, Adobe’s Flash runtime for mobile apps.

Today, we’re excited to announce that the BBC is leveraging key components of Project Primetime in their live and video on demand (VOD) coverage of the London Games. The content is being delivered through a new, HTML5 app built with Adobe PhoneGap, Adobe’s tools and framework for creating cross-platform HTML5 apps for smartphones and tablets.

The BBC employs Project Primetime to power its coverage of the Olympic Games and other major sporting events to millions of mobile and connected devices across the UK for the first time in history. Positioned as “the Digital Olympics” by the BBC, we are happy to provide some of the core components required to deliver on their vision.

Several Adobe technologies are being used to power BBC’s coverage of the Olympics. Adobe Media Server prepares the content in using both the HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS) format and the HTTP Live Streaming format (HLS) to stream live and on demand video across desktops, connected TVs and iOS devices. Adobe Media Server is also used as a video origin to feed video across content delivery networks to meet capacity requirements.

To ensure an uninterrupted viewing experience, Adobe worked closely with the BBC to provide adaptive bitrate video playback technology built using the Open Source Media Framework (OSMF) that we have updated to ensure that video re-buffering or stream disruptions are limited as the video leaves the broadcast center and reaches the consumer device.

Primetime Highlights will also be used to power the rapid conversion of live video to on-demand clips. This allows audiences to experience interesting moments throughout the games, even if they cannot watch it live. Primetime Highlights can ingest pre-encoded video streams and quickly re-assemble them into clips with full adaptive bitrate support and made available to the audience quickly. This technology has been completely integrated into the BBC’s data management flow, so the video experience will be supported by synchronized data about the sport and the athlete.

What does my race/ethnicity have to do with Olympics?

Sorry if I am just a thick-headed Canadian farm boy but I saw something today that I have to ask about. I went to register for tickets for the 2010 London Olympics when I found this question posed to me:

Ethnicity: (it is on this web page)

Two immediate thoughts came out of this. First I wondered how to classify myself. Although I have relatively white skin, I do read books from other cultures and try to live some of their ideals. Buddhism is a particularly large influence on my private thoughts although most of you would never guess it. As I pondered this though the bigger picture entered my head and I asked the first question I should have.

What does your race have to do with watching the Olympics?
Sorry Olympics organizers but I really do not see the connection here. This could not have been asked in Canada at the recent 2010 games during the registration process as every person in Canada is afforded the same quality of life. The Charter of Rights and Freedom’s guarantee';s this in section 15.1 (read here)
15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.”

I guess I am missing something here. Can anyone shed some light on this?

Travel nightmare: About the Eurostar, travel and winter weather

If you are following me on Twitter, you probably read that I was affected by the Eurostar travel nightmare this weekend. I wanted to write this post to document the event for future reference.
First of all, I wasn’t stuck in the tunnel and I am really glad I wasn’t. The stories from the people who [...]

Adobe Flash Platform user groups in London

adobe_usergroups.jpgFor those based in or around London, I wanted to provide a quick update on the Adobe Flash Platform user groups that are available and encourage you to find out more about each of the groups and the events they are running…

One of the longest established groups, the London Flash Platform User Group (LFPUG) isn’t an official Adobe user group (so you won’t find it on groups.adobe.com), but it does offer a unique mix of presentations in an informal setting and attracts a good crowd every month. Meetings take place regularly on the last Thursday of the month near Farringdon – the next meeting is on July 30th, with presentations on UML for AS3 and the Mate Framework.

Next up is the Flex London User Group (FLUG) – with a large membership registered on MeetUp and a history of organizing several successful Flex Camp events, the FLUG is currently undergoing a change in leadership and the newly-formed team is starting to put ideas together for more regular meetings. Without any meetings currently scheduled, I’d recommend that you sign up to the MeetUp site so as to receive information on upcoming events as they are confirmed. If you’re interested in helping out with presentations or can contribute in other ways, then please do let me know I can put you in touch with the user group managers.

Finally, there is a new Adobe RIA User Group, which has been setup by Skills Matter to provide information on Flex, AIR and LiveCycle to more of an enterprise developer audience. I’ll be presenting an ‘Introduction to Flex 4′ at the inaugural meeting on August 19th, with my colleague Ben Forsaith presenting an ‘Introduction to BlazeDS and LiveCycle Data Services 3′ at the follow-up meeting in September. For more information about these meetings and to register visit the event website.

User groups are a great place to meet like-minded developers, watch technical presentations and get information on the latest tools, technologies and frameworks – if you’re developing with Flash in some way I’d strongly recommend you join one. If you’re not based in London, but would like to attend or start your own user group, then you can find more information at the Adobe Groups website.