What is Adobe Project Primetime? with David DeVisser

Please join AMSUG’s guest speaker, David DeVisser, as he teaches us about the components, products, and services behind Adobe’s Project Primetime. DeVisser will deconstruct customer integrations, such as, the BBC’s Olympic 2012 coverage. Come discover how Adobe Media Server 5 enables Project Primetime’s broadcast workflow and delivers to desktops, devices, and digital home.

Our speaker will also cover Media Server and Access product naming updates, and what they mean for Adobe’s strategy. DeVisser will compare Adobe Media Server’s built-in content protection versus Adobe Access. In closing, this session will explain Adobe’s latest runtime strategy related device support and the plans for the continued success of digital media delivery. David will answer member questions during the live Q&A session – this meeting is not to be missed!

Title: What is Adobe Project Primetime? with David DeVisser

Date and Time: October 16, 2012 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM (GMT-7 Mountain Time US & Canada)

Call-in Details: Please join meeting via Adobe Connect link here

Speakers:

David DeVisser,Principal Architect, Adobe Digital Media Alliances

David DeVisser has been with Adobe since 1998. DeVisser remembers the event that marked the next phase of digital video delivery – the day John Gay came into the office and announced his latest invention, Flash Communications Server. Digital video delivery has come a long way since then, and our speaker has been there every step of the way! Currently, David’s focus is on systems architecture for Adobe’s major media partners. He is responsible for ensuring the success of applications and websites produced by the large companies that are driven with Adobe’s technology. DeVisser enjoys the challange of managing each of his project’s unique needs with his expertise in the areas of: encoding, packaging, distribution, protection, entitlement, content management, and experience design. Please join in on October 16th for some great insignt from industry specialist, David DeVisser!

If you want to do some preparation work before the session, read more about Primetime on Adobe.com.

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Rover Curiosity Streams Live from Planet Mars with Adobe Media Server and AWS

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Even though based on Star Trek, warp drive to enable interplanetary exploration won’t be invented until 2063, mankind is slowly continuing to explore at least its nearby planetary system, thanks to the smart engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

The historic landing of Mars rover Curiosity attracted a significant audience, which JPL streamed to hundred thousands of concurrent viewers with Adobe Media Server and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

NASA/JPL’s live video streaming architecture was developed on a combination of Adobe Flash Media Server, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances running the popular nginx caching tier, Elastic Load Balancing, Amazon Route 53 for DNS management, and Amazon CloudFront for content delivery. [via Amazon Case Study]

Below is the impressive architecture from Amazon’s Case Study (which also unveils that Rover Curiosity is actually not running an Adobe Media Server origin, but Amazon ingests Nasa TV’s feed on earth).

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It’s a great showcase how technology in space and on earth can work together to let humanity participate in a historic moment.

Learn more about Adobe Media ServerAdobe Media Server 5 on Amazon Web Services, and the Amazon Case Study. Watch the live stream on NASA TV.

And if you are actually interested in Mars, don’t miss this 360 panorama of Mars.

This is the latest panorama released by NASA July 2012. It was assembled from 817 images taken between Dec. 21, 2011, and May 8, 2012, while Opportunity was stationed on an outcrop informally named ‘Greeley Haven’. on a segment of the rim of ancient Endeavour Crater. [via Paroramas.sk]

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Simply amazing.

(Featured image and panorama credit NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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BBC: “The biggest broadcasting event in our 90 year history”

A blog post from the BBC Director General Mark Thompson has paid tribute to the Olympian efforts of everyone at the BBC who delivered what he calls “the biggest broadcasting event in our 90 year history” referring of course to the 2012 London Games.

BBCThe opening ceremony entered the record books as the most-watched programs in the history of the BBC, and figures across all 24 channels of sport were astonishingly high.

While the top ten events took most of the internet feeds, 50 percent of consumption was for ‘less popular’ events, validating the BBC’s decision to have all sports, all the time, with rewind and catch-up capabilities.

There was also clear evidence of viewers taking the Olympics with them throughout the day. Looking at how people were accessing the BBC coverage online, PC usage peaked at lunchtime, mobile peaked after work around 6pm and tablet use was highest around 9pm. These truly were the world’s first digital games.

More interesting details pointed out by the BBC include:

- The Opening Ceremony drew a peak broadcast audience of 27.1 million people (including the red button), of which 9.2 million were via the mobile site and 2.3 million on tablets
- On the busiest day, the BBC delivered 2.8 petabytes, with the peak traffic moment occurring when Bradley Wiggins won Gold and it shifted 700 Gb/s
- Chapter marking enabled audiences to go back to key event moments instantly – receiving an average 1.5 million clicks per day – 13,000 clicks alone for Bolt’s 100m Final win
- The first week of the games was the most popular ever for BBC Sport Online with a total of 34.7 million browsers 50 million requests for the BBC Sport’s live video interactive streams and more than 106 million requests for BBC Olympic video content across all online platform
- BBC Sport Online’s most requested live video stream was of the Tennis Singles Finals, where Andy Murray and Serena Williams were victorious.

Changing the world through digital experiences requires a shared vision. By working with the BBC, an organization with a mandate to push technology boundariesand introduce innovative new services to its viewers, Adobe and all the broadcast partners have delivered an incredible feat of broadcast engineering both online and on devices.

As a publicly funded service, the BBC has delivered tremendous value to UK citizens, not only via traditional broadcast, but also through the delivery of the games online and across devices. Adobe, through elements of Adobe’s Project Primetime, is extremely proud of the role it played in helping the BBC deliver its outstanding Olympics coverage and of the deep partnerships formed with the BBC’s Future Media team.

Some nice user comments we’ve seen:

I think that I just got a lifetimes value from my license fee in 2 weeks!! – Mike Thomsett

I’ve always thought the License Fee was worth paying; now I think that more than ever. The BBC isa credit to Britain and sets the standard to which broadcasters around the world aspire…Thank you BBC, I have fallen in love with you again – Andrew McNeil

We would like to congratulate the BBC and its leadership for the vision, collaboration, passion and drive that has set a new bar for broadcast, extending far beyond what we know today as “television”. London 2012 has set the stage for every broadcaster around the world to bring TV content and new digital experiences online.

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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.

Primetime-screenshot2To 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.

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Adobe and NBC Olympics Join Forces to Bring the Olympics to Mobile Devices

Today, Adobe and NBC Olympics announced the official NBC Olympics apps for the iPad, iPhone and select Android tablets and smartphones. For the first time in Olympics history, mobile apps will give you the opportunity to view live broadcasts of all Olympic events in the palm of your hand. This is possible because of the partnership between Adobe and NBC Olympics, and Adobe’s ability to provide leading video technology solutions at scale. We believe the Olympics will be a defining moment for digital video and we are proud to play a role.

The “NBC Olympics Live Extra” and “NBC Olympics” apps will provide a huge variety of content – from live streams of all competitive events to short video highlights, medal ceremonies, interviews, news stories and more. We’re thrilled that both apps are powered by a series of products and technologies from Adobe, which made it possible for NBC Olympics to more easily bring them to a wide range of mobile and tablet platforms and devices.

Adobe creative tools, including Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, Flash Builder, Flex and others, were used to design and build the apps. With Adobe AIR, our runtime for Flash content outside web browsers, NBC Olympics is able to leverage existing code to ensure a consistent content and video playback experience across devices without having to develop the apps natively for each platform. By integrating support for Adobe Pass, NBC Olympics is using the industry’s leading “TV Everywhere” authentication technology used by virtually all operators in the U.S. You simply provide the login and password of your pay-TV subscription to access live broadcast streams of over 3500 hours of Olympic events. To make it as easy as possible, you only need to go through the sign-in once and won’t have to “re-authenticate” every time you want to watch a live event.

NBC Olympics is also taking advantage of Adobe technologies to measure and monetize content in both apps. Advertising onto mobile devices will be served via Adobe Auditude, our video ad management and monetization platform. Auditude will work in conjunction with other existing NBC ad serving systems and is used by major brands worldwide like Comcast, Major League Baseball, Fox News, E! Entertainment, Dailymotion and others. SiteCatalyst, our flagship product for digital analytics, allows NBC Olympics to measure user traffic and engagement across both apps for live video streams, ads and video-on-demand (VOD) content for iOS and Android devices. This enables NBC Olympics to quickly optimize the app experience based on viewer behavior.

A few other great things I wanted to highlight: Each app is interconnected, so you can easily launch one of the apps from within the other to streamline usability. Both apps offer social media integration that lets you share and communicate with friends via Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus as the Games happen in London. You can also set reminders for your favorite sport events, and, pause or rewind.

Check out this video for more information about the apps and how Adobe and NBC Olympics is taking the 2012 Olympics beyond the TV and offering a whole new experience across mobile devices:

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A Digital Video Inflection Point

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to speak about the digital video landscape at conferences with BeetTV, VideoNuze, and Brightcove, and I wanted to share some observations.

helfand_brightcove-1024x768Digital video is experiencing an unprecedented outpouring of attention, innovation and creative energy. Even with the challenges that come with any emerging business opportunity, there are many reasons why digital video is at an inflection point and poised for extraordinary growth. Here are five:

1. Consumer behavior is changing in fundamental ways. Individuals are being empowered with devices, like tablets and gaming consoles, which offer the ability to more easily consume media. Over three-quarters of US adults will watch video monthly by 2014, and professional content consumption is currently growing at three times that of user-generated content. Markets respond to consumer-led trends, and this one shows no sign of slowing down.

2. The critical path items for digital video are known. Recently one of the largest global media companies told us that they employ five engineers for mobile video delivery for every one engineer they employ for desktop video. That 5-to-1 ratio isn’t scalable or sustainable. While all critical path items are not yet solved, hurdles, like device fragmentation, improving user experience, and developing better metrics to buy and prove the value of video advertising are being tackled actively.

3. Monetization possibilities are evident and evolving. In a recent survey, consumers between the ages of 15 and 24 — tomorrow’s mainstream — were the most likely to engage with digital video advertising, suggesting that individuals are growing increasingly comfortable with ads while watching TV on desktops and devices. Digital video ad loads are still small relative to TV, pointing to a monetization multiplier effect as more professional content comes online. A recent study also shows the growing popularity of paid media consumption on tablets: 18% of consumers use tablets for viewing paid video content, up from 11% a year ago. We are heading toward a perfect storm of monetization opportunity.

4. Major programmers and operators are leaning forward. Large media companies are motivated by consumers’ desire and ability to access content in new ways, and are responding with innovative tools like the Xfinity App for iPad. For several major upcoming sporting events, you¹re going to see creative partnerships between broadcasters, distributors and Adobe that allow viewers to access content (live and VOD) across different platforms and device types.

5. Advertising Follows Engaged audiences – and Digital Video Engages. Proprietary research from Adobe Auditude shows that mid-roll video ads, the most engaging commercial position, easily outperform completion rates of pre-rolls and post-rolls. With an 87% completion rate, mid-rolls are performing close to 30% better. Professional content with engaging, TV-like ad experiences represents tremendous opportunity. The creative possibilities for better digital video and mobile advertising experiences are endless, and exciting.

To position Adobe’s customers on the leading end of these evolving trends, we are thrilled to be continuing our work building Project Primetime. Adobe’s Project Primetime helps media companies bring their linear, live and VOD content online to any connected device with greater revenues from ads and subscriptions. By combining Adobe’s streaming, protection, advertising and analytics technologies, Adobe is in a unique position to address the most significant challenges that will enable the transformation of digital video.

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The Impact of the Flash Player Unpublish Announcement on Android Video Delivery

As announced last fall, although Flash Player for the Android mobile browser will not receive any further version updates, it remained available in the Google Play Store. This week we announced Flash Player for the mobile browser will be unpublished from the Google Play Store.

android_logo2Does this mean Adobe is not committed to video on mobile devices? Absolutely not. We continue to innovate and solve mobile video fragmentation challenges. Specifically, on Android, we solve this with Adobe AIR, with high-end video features such as Adobe Access DRM, and frequent new releases with new video features. In addition, we introduced “Project Primetime”, focusing on solving video fragmentation and monetization challenges across desktop, mobile and digital home.

We made the decision to discontinue support for Android mobile browser because of two reasons: 1) Premium experiences on mobile devices are typically being delivered through apps and 2) Mobile websites mostly rely on HTML5 based video delivery.

What does the mean for you if you use Flash Player on Android for mobile browser video delivery? First, existing users can continue use as is. Android market unpublish does not mean Flash Player will be uninstalled from devices. Devices with Flash Player already installed will continue to receive security updates. Second, you should develop a migration plan. New users will not be able to download Flash Player and install to their mobile browser.

Adobe’s solution for video delivery to mobile devices is centered on enabling apps. As an immediate future-proof migration path, Adobe AIR provides the same advanced Flash based video features, which means no changes to your content protection or video delivery infrastructure. AIR enables advanced video features for playback on Android 2.2+ devices, including Adobe Access DRM, live support, and adaptive streaming. Adobe is fully committed to further develop and support Adobe AIR on Android. Adobe AIR does not rely on the in-browser Flash Player and is not impacted by the unpublish change.  Popular AIR video application examples include WatchESPN, iTV, and Snagfilms.

To learn more about Adobe AIR based video delivery, read the Adobe AIR mobile video delivery guide.

(Portions of this page are reproduced from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License.)

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Adobe Media Server 5 Professional and Adobe Access 4 Now Available

In May, Adobe introduced Adobe Media Server 5 and Adobe Access 4, along with Primetime Simulcast. Today, we’ve made Adobe Media Server 5 Professional available through Adobe, selected resellers, and Amazon Web Services. This initial release, when combined with Adobe Access 4, allows media companies to stream protected, studio-grade content using a single digital rights management (DRM) workflow across desktops, connected TVs, tablets and smartphones, including iOS and Android devices. Adobe Media Server 5 offers expanded streaming protocol support for publishers to reach the broadest possible audience via HLS, HDS and RTMP. In addition, Adobe committed to supporting MPEG DASH in the future.

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Dynamic and offline preparation of premium video content to be streamed using HTTP and protected with Adobe Access helps simplify workflows and lower storage costs for secure delivery of video to multiple screens. Also available today, the Adobe Access library for Apple iOS allows premium video developers to build the same trusted Adobe DRM capability they use for their desktop apps directly into their apps for distribution on Apple’s App Store.

Adobe Media Server 5 Professional is initially available on Linux with the remainder of the Adobe Media Server product family and supported platforms expected to ship this fall. See more information about Adobe’s premium video offeringsDownload Adobe Media Server and Adobe Access tools.

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Primetime Simulcast Helps Bridge TV and Digital Ads

We all sense it, and the numbers support it. By the end of 2014, 200MM U.S. Internet users (76%) will regularly watch video online (source: eMarketer). Further, the number of mobile videos viewed by consumers has already grown at an impressive clip in the last year, and is forecasted to increase 160% in 2012 (source: Nielsen).

Audiences are increasingly viewing TV content on more devices, but broadcasters and network operators are challenged to evolve their business models fast enough. Media company customers tell us every day about their frustrations attempting to deliver and monetize content through IP-connected devices. Device fragmentation, multiple streaming protocols, different encryption methods, difficulty in inserting mid-stream ads, and the need to build players for multiple devices all contribute to higher-than necessary operating costs and a poor viewing experience for video audiences.

Today, in an industry-first, we announced Primetime Simulcast as a new advancement to Project Primetime. As media companies broadcast their linear content, Primetime Simulcast provides a single end-to-end workflow that enables them to simultaneously deliver that same content to connected devices everywhere while seamlessly replacing ads in the broadcast stream with dynamically inserted ads across desktop, iOS, and Android platforms. With this announcement, we also unveiled Adobe Media Server 5 and Adobe Access 4 to give media companies a single video publishing and DRM workflow that reaches 98 percent of desktops and all iOS, Android and connected TV devices. In addition, Adobe unveiled the next version of Adobe Auditude to more easily insert and measure online video ads.

As media companies deliver on the multi-screen promise to their audiences, Adobe is proud to help them increase revenue and decrease operating costs so that they can build effective businesses in digital video and improve the viewer experience. To explain Primetime Simulcast further, Ashley Still, director of product management at Adobe, walks you through the latest move forward for Project Primetime and demonstrates how these improvements allow media companies to advance professional video for publishers, advertisers and consumers.

If you’re at the Cable Show and want to see a live demo of Project Primetime or HLS Streaming with Adobe Media Server 5 and Access 4, stop by and see us at Elemental’s booth #2253.

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Flash Media Server 4.5.2 Released with Robust HTTP Streaming Failover

Version 4.5.2 of Flash Media Server is now available. Besides numerous bug fixes, it includes a major improvement – robust HDS/HLS failover for origins.

packagecluster_wide31It’s not simply a “good-to-have”, but a “must-have” feature for reliable HTTP streaming deployments. The key issues it addresses are liveness and dropout situations.

Liveness is a server-side situation in which a packager advertises a stale bootstrap (that is, a stale view of a live stream).

Dropout is a server-side situation in which a packager has gaps in its bootstrap (that is, gaps in its fragment list).

Flash Media Server 4.5.2 introduces the following new features to address this:

FMS4.0-mnemonic1Best-effort fetch

Best-effort fetch enables the OSMF and iOS video players to continue playback as normally as possible in the presence of short-term liveness and dropout problems on the server-side.

The OSMF 2.0 player adds client-side robustness by supporting best-effort fetch. Specifically, when best-effort fetch is enabled on the server, OSMF 2.0 attempts fetches for fragments that have not been advertised in the bootstrap, but are expected to be present.

For iOS Video players, FMS 4.5.2 enables best-effort fetch for HLS as well.

Control plane application

To implement HTTP Streaming failover, it’s now possible to write a client application that manages the state of events and streams by using a set of REST-based control plane APIs. Control plane is a router term and in effect, that is what your client application does through these APIs.

You can find more detailed information in the FMS failover documentation.

HTTP failover is an absolutely critical improvement for more reliable workflows, therefore Flash Media Server 4.5.2 is an exciting new release for everyone with HTTP streaming deployments.

Download the Flash Media Server 4.5.2 upgrade.

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