Adobe Primetime’s Commitment to HTML5

Adobe Primetime has emerged as the leading global multiscreen over-the-top (OTT) platform, powering content delivery, monetization and personalization for live, linear and on-demand TV experiences. Since launching in 2013, Primetime has been adopted by major media companies worldwide, including Channel 5, Comcast, HBO, M6, NBC Sports, RTL Group, Showtime, Sony Crackle, Starz Arabia, Time Warner Cable, and Turner Broadcasting, and helped power major events such as the Sochi Winter Olympics for NBC Sports.

Our customer commitment to providing the highest quality, most reliable content viewing experience across platforms is paramount, which is why Adobe is further advancing its support for HTML5. As a platform-agnostic solution, Primetime supports HTML5 content delivery across desktops, mobile web browsers (iOS, Android) and connected devices for secure, protected playback – extending both reach and monetization capabilities.

Adobe Primetime & HTML5 for OTT Television and Film

As we announced at IBC in September, Adobe Primetime supports the deployment of live, linear and on-demand OTT experiences to HTML5 environments across screens. Our TVSDK for HTML5 applies Adobe’s expertise in video solutions to the open HTML5 standard.

TVSDK for HTML5 is a software development kit for Primetime customers that want to deploy premium video experiences to HTML5 environments across screens. With TVSDK for HTML5, Adobe has applied its video solutions expertise to the open HTML5 standard, which enables engaging video experiences on mobile devices. In turn, top media companies can deliver more of what people want on the mobile web and increase the viewer’s time spent on their mobile websites. TVSDK for HTML5 also works with HTML5-compliant desktop browsers and OTT devices to offer complementary viewing experiences.

There are several advantages to leveraging Adobe’s support for HTML5:

  1. Workflow efficiency – TVSDK for HTML5 supports all the same great workflows that are part of Adobe Primetime.
  2. Most extensive reach – Primetime customers still get TVSDK 2.0 as a fallback solution where HTML5 is not supported. By leveraging TVSDK 2.0 and TVSDK for HTML5, Primetime customers can achieve the greatest possible reach across screens available anywhere.

Adobe Primetime is maximizing the potential reach of video distribution. Currently, 51% of active mobile/tablet browsers and 52.5% of active desktop browsers in use today support premium video via HTML5 (Source: NetMarketShare, Oct. 2015). Primetime’s HTML5 support in conjunction with other standards covers almost all active mobile/tablet and desktop browsers.

Adobe Primetime & Flash Player Support

The Adobe Primetime TVSDK is built on a multithreaded premium video engine integrated with Adobe Flash Player, with native support for HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) and full GPU support for hardware decoding and rendering. The Flash failover for TVSDK for HTML5 leverages this same engine that is only available to Primetime customers and partners.

HLS support built by third-parties on Adobe Flash Player’s NetStream API needs to be developed in ActionScript (AS) and is limited to a single-threaded AS execution environment, which is shared by the app’s display rendering and AS Virtual Machine. This can result in performance limitations, specifically with higher bit-rate and higher resolution premium video content.

However, the Adobe Primetime TVSDK stack runs natively, leveraging a multithreaded architecture that is optimized for each desktop platform’s hardware acceleration capabilities, which enables higher quality video playback and accelerated performance. It is also the same cross-platform stack that is available on other TVSDK-supported mobile and OTT platforms, providing the same consistent set of features, behaviors and APIs for ease of development.

TVSDK for HTML5 Supports Two Main Use Cases

There are two main ways that Adobe Primetime customers can use TVSDK for HTML5. Some media companies may use it to deliver protected streams with full encryption and content protection, while others may use it to deliver unencrypted HLS or Advanced Encryption Standard (AES128) streams.

  • Digital Rights Management (DRM) Protected Streaming – The Primetime TVSDK for HTML5 allows for protected streaming with support for the native content protection stacks on each browser: 
    • Access on Firefox,
    • PlayReady on Internet Explorer/Edge
    • Widevine on Chrome
    • FairPlay on Safari

The TVSDK for HTML5 will load in the correct Content Decryption Module (CDM) based on the target browser, and request the correct stream; HLS streams for Safari and MPEG DASH streams for Firefox, Internet Explorer/Edge, and Chrome. The TVSDK 2.0 can then be used as a fallback solution for browsers that don’t support HTML5 Media Source Extensions (MSE)/Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), including older versions of Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer/Edge and Safari on the desktop.

  • Non-DRM protected streaming – The Primetime TVSDK for HTML5 also allows for the playback of AES128 or unencrypted HLS streams across all MSE-enabled browsers. Just like in the protected streaming case, TVSDK can be used as a fallback solution for browsers that don’t support MSE.

Regardless of whether you are using the TVSDK for HTML5 to deliver protected or unprotected streams, both delivery mechanisms are supported across both desktop and mobile web browsers and support the same great features of the existing TVSDK.

Adobe Primetime is also excited to support HTML5 through Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) and bring the advantage of greater reach for protected video content to our customers.

Adobe Primetime uses a CDM to deliver protected video content to all EME-capable, HTML5-compliant browsers. For the remaining mobile/tablet browsers that aren’t HTML5 MSE-compliant, Primetime can support native deployments. For the remaining desktop browsers, Adobe Primetime defaults to using Adobe Access to play back DRM-protected video.

The industry at large is looking for a consistent way to deliver premium video experiences across all viewing platforms. HTML5 through EME provides a generic specification for browser manufacturers to build APIs that allow premium video experiences to be delivered in their browsers. Most consumer electronics manufacturers, traditional browser manufacturers, and content creators are now working towards HTML5 through EME as a standard means of delivery. For instance, both Chromecast and late model Samsung TVs now provide EME-capable, HTML5-compliant browsers.

The Road Ahead

We’re excited for broadcasters, programmers and pay-TV providers to take advantage of the Primetime TVSDK for HTML5 in order to build and deliver premium video experiences across IP-connected screens and ensure content flows consistently across devices. HTML5 is one of the leading open standards across web and mobile platforms, building on the capabilities that Adobe Flash Player originally pioneered. We will continue to maintain the compatibility of existing Flash Player content through Adobe Primetime to support our customers’ needs, while leveraging and advancing HTML5 to bring the same capabilities and coverage. Stay tuned for more updates and Primetime developments around HTML5 in 2016.

Jeremy Helfand, Vice President of Video Solutions

About Jeremy Helfand, Vice President of Video Solutions

Jeremy Helfand is a digital media industry veteran with nearly 20 years of experience shaping infrastructure, strategy, and technology around profitable advertising-driven businesses. As the former CEO of Auditude (acquired by Adobe in 2011), Jeremy was responsible for the overall implementation of video ad management and monetization technologies for premium publishers and media companies. Following the Auditude acquisition, Jeremy now serves as vice president of Adobe Primetime, leading the global go-to-market strategies for the company’s video publishing, advertising and data management solutions. Prior to Auditude, he was the President of United Online’s Media Group, managing all advertising and partnership revenue including the launch of their audience platform, Adcurate. Prior to this, he served as SVP/GM at Advertising.com (acquired by AOL).

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