Archive for February, 2011

Getting started with Stage Video support in OSMF and Strobe Media Playback

Introduction

The guiding principle of the Stage Video implementation in OSMF is that the current API should allow a video player developer to upgrade to the latest version of OSMF and get the performance boost of Stage Video without having to modify their existing OSMF-based video players.  For more on the what, why, and how of Stage Video in OSMF, please check out our other blog post, Stage Video in OSMF.

Here I’d like to describe the new Stage Video-related features in Strobe Media Playback which you can use for troubleshooting your setup. After this, we’ll guide you through the process you can use for testing your video player with the latest OSMF codebase.

Strobe Media Playback – Watching Stage Video in Action

We have published a live Stage Video demo in our dev space on osmf.org. See it in here.

The player is instructed to show the Info Overlay at startup, so you should see the current version of the Flash Player installed in your browser. You can also see if the hardware-accelerated decoding and rendering is being used or not.

If you don’t have a version of Flash Player with Stage Video capability installed, the player will let you know about it:

You can download a version of Flash Player with Stage Video support here:
http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/


At this point you should be able to check that Flash Player is properly installed and see it in action:

You can see the performance boost that Stage Video brings by comparing the CPU levels in a player that uses Stage Video against a player that doesn’t. To make this kind of comparison easy, we exposed the enableStageVideo property as a configuration setting in Strobe Media Playback. When set to false, the Video object is used, even if Stage Video is available:
http://osmf.org/dev/latest/debug.html?logFilter=videoClasses&enableStageVideo=false

Check the Stage Video workflow implementation in your OSMF-based video player

Now you are probably eager to test the performance of your video player with the exploratory implementation of Stage Video support in OSMF.

For this you’ll need to get the Flex SDK that contains the latest Stage Video APIs, you’ll need our source, and you’ll need to set up your development environment.

  1. Get the source code from our Sourceforge SVN space: svn checkout http://svn.code.sf.net/adobe/smp/svn/trunk
  2. Import the OSMF and StrobeMediaPlayback projects.
  3. Download the Flex Hero SDK (Flex 4.5 SDK – build 4.5.0.19786+) here: http://opensource.adobe.com/wiki/display/flexsdk/Download+Flex+Hero
  4. Add the new Flex SDK to Flash Builder (right click on any project, Properties, ActionScript Compiler, Configure Flex SDKs). Set the new SDK as the default.
  5. Check that you can run the StrobeMediaPlayback project without any issues.
  6. Link your video player to the OSMF project that was imported in step 2.
  7. Go to the compiler properties (right click on it, Properties, ActionScript Compiler) and set “Use specific version” to 10.2.
  8. In additional compiler arguments add   -swf-version=11
  9. Go to your HTML page and add wmode=direct to your parameters. Your embed snippet should look like this:

swfobject.embedSWF(
“StrobeMediaPlayback.swf”
, “StrobeMediaPlayback”
, 640
, 480
, “10.1.0”
, “expressInstall.swf”
, parameters
, {
allowFullScreen: “true”,
wmode: “direct”
},
,{
name: “StrobeMediaPlayback”
}
);

At this point you are ready to run your video player.

Normally, your video player should behave exactly as it did before switching to the exploratory version of OSMF.

Troubleshooting

If the video is not visible, check to see if you have an opaque DisplayObject in your display list that may be covering the Stage Video. To fix this issue, you can make it transparent, for example. This was the only issue that we had to fix in Strobe Media Playback before we got seamless video playback and a great performance boost!

Resources

Getting started with Stage Video, by Thibault Imbert:
http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashplayer/articles/stage_video.html

Stage Video on Adobe Developer Connection:
http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashplayer/stagevideo.html

Get a Stage Video-enabled Flash Player 10.2:
http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/

Download the latest Flex Hero SDK: http://opensource.adobe.com/wiki/display/flexsdk/Download+Flex+Hero

A great blog entry and sample code, also by Thibault Imbert:
http://www.bytearray.org/?p=2571

Simplifying StageVideo with StageVideoProxy,
by Kenny Bunch from Dream Socket:
http://www.kennybunch.com/blog/2010/12/simplifying-stagevideo-with-stagevideoproxy/

Update February 19, 2010:

Here is some background on the underlying implmentation. Feedback wanted!
http://blogs.adobe.com/osmf/2011/02/stage-video-in-osmf.html

Stage Video in OSMF

Stage Video support, newly available with Flash Player 10.2, is now available in the latest OSMF (version 1.6, Sprint 1)  library. We’re offering some background on the “what,” “why,” and “how” of Stage Video in OSMF, with the hope of getting valuable feedback on the current implementation from our open source community.

Guiding Principles

Because of the great performance improvements that Stage Video provides, OSMF will now automatically use Stage Video whenever it is available. As a player developer using OSMF, you won’t need to worry about any Stage Video-related workflows – they are handled seamlessly.

If you have a player that uses features which are currently unsupported by Stage Video, you can still use OSMF 1.6 and exercise the (simple) option to disable Stage Video support. Your player can still be upgraded to OSMF 1.6 to take advantage of the latest bug fixes and improvements, while leaving Stage Video support aside.

Also, a website hosting an OSMF player isn’t required  to ask its users to upgrade their Flash Player version to 10.2. A site owner might want to ask his users to upgrade, especially if serving HD content, but OSMF doesn’t enforce this in any way.

The Stage Video Workflows

To add Stage Video support to a video player without using OSMF, you would need to handle workflows such as the following:

  • Monitoring when Stage Video becomes available or unavailable.
  • Making sure that videos are positioned correctly when switching from Video to Stage Video.
  • Keeping track of the instances that are currently in use when working with multiple Stage Videos.

You would also need to create a suite of automated unit tests and test these workflows on different operating systems and Flash Player-enabled devices.

By using OSMF, all these aspects are now handled for you. (And, at the same time you become part of a growing open source community that continuously contributes to the quality of this framework.)

One-Line Disabling of Stage Video Support

To turn off Stage Video support in an OSMF player, simply add the following snippet to your video player code before you create any media element:

OSMFSettings.enableStageVideo = false;

Flash Player Versions and OSMF Compilation Targets

Currently, OSMF is available in two variants:

  • OSMF for Flash Player 10.0 – This is the variant that provides the core OSMF features and the largest possible installed Flash Player base.
  • OSMF for Flash Player 10.1 – This variant contains support for additional 10.1 features such as Multicast, HTTP Streaming, playback of protected content, and Stream Reconnect.

Until Flash Player 10.2, if you didn’t use any of the 10.1 features, you didn’t need to worry about the OSMF 10.1 APIs at all. There are, in fact, many OSMF customers still using the 10.0 variant.

However, with the release of Flash Player 10.2, even developers who aren’t using any 10.1 features probably will want to make use of Stage Video, if possible. Therefore, instead of adding one or more additional OSMF compilation targets at this point, we decided to keep the current two variants and add Stage Video support to them both. Whichever OSMF variant you choose, you get Stage Video support by default.

Feedback Wanted

We’d love to hear about your experience with using the Stage Video support in OSMF.

In particular, we’d like to get feedback on the following:

  • Do you need additional access to Stage Video APIs?
  • If yes, what use cases would you try to implement, and how would you need to be notified of the Stage Video state changes?

Thanks!

Stage Video in OSMF is here!

We are pleased to announce the first sprint drop of OSMF 1.6!

The key feature of this sprint drop is support for Stage Video, a new feature in the recently released Flash Player 10.2.  Stage Video is a full hardware accelerated video pipeline, which enables playback of 1080p video while consuming only 1-15% of the CPU on a common Mac or Windows computer.

Adobe continues to evolve our video platform, enabling publishers to offer the best user experience possible, and Stage Video is the most recent addition.  We hope that you will check out the latest OSMF sprint drop and provide us with feedback on our Stage Video implementation.