Author Archive: Jens Loeffler

Jens Loeffler

About Jens Loeffler

Jens Loeffler is a senior technical evangelist on Adobe's Media Solutions product management team focusing on online video and services. Equipped with a media computer science degree, Jens started his career in the agency world and has been living and breathing online video and mobile for the last decade. Currently Jens provides thought leadership as a public speaker and panelist at numerous industry events, and maintains a well-recognized blog covering industry trends. When he isn't working on secret projects at Adobe, Jens compensates with long runs, hikes and walks with his furry companion, and is an excellent guide to judge the authenticity of German cuisine in NYC.

Making the Transition to HTML5 Video with Adobe Primetime

Transition to HTML5

Streaming TV providers face a big challenge: transitioning from Flash to HTML5 to reach as many screens as possible.

At Adobe, we understand this challenge. We’ve helped major media companies transition successfully to HTML5, and have a long history of delivering quality, reliability, and performance at scale. We ensure that even companies with the most sophisticated requirements can deliver HTML5 video everywhere it runs, including mobile and web browsers, as well as apps on Android, iOS, Smart TVs and connected TV devices such as Chromecast and Amazon Fire.

To help media companies migrate from Flash to HTML5, we’ve developed The Ultimate Technical Guide for the Flash-to-HTML5 Transition.

  • Part 1 addresses HTML5 basics, including how HTML5 video evolved from a basic industry standard with limited usefulness for broadcasters, to a mature stack that now addresses premium TV use cases.
  • Part 2 covers HTML5 security, including why we need DRM in HTML5 and the fundamentals of how it works.
  • Part 3 discusses HTML5 deployment best practices for multi-DRM, ad insertion, and cross-device optimizations.

Here, in Part 4, we conclude with eight ways that Adobe can help smooth the transition to HTML5 video.

1. Leverage the technical optimizations of an established video technology platform

If you go down the path of building your own HTML5 video player, you’ll quickly realize that solving for the problem of fragmentation across browsers, devices, and platforms is not the best use your developers’ time.

Adobe Primetime increases developer productivity by 59% by handling browser, device, and platform optimizations for you. It includes a smart heuristic engine that understands the capabilities of each playback environment and makes any adjustments needed to provide a seamless consumer experience. Primetime provides advanced streaming TV features, including hosted multi-DRM, ad insertion, a flexible UI framework, and analytics that work everywhere your viewers watch your content.

2. Get to market faster with an advanced UI framework

Our customers deploy rich, engaging viewer experiences quickly because Adobe Primetime includes a flexible UI framework that can be modified based on your needs. It supports advanced UI features such as multi-view, picture-in-picture, multi-language, and closed captions.

Advanced UI Framework

The Primetime UI framework also includes advanced advertising features to support seamless pre-, mid-, and post-rolls, VPAID ads, and advanced integrations with a broad range of rich media formats.

3. Solve for ad insertion into DRM-protected content

Adobe Primetime is addressing the challenge of ad insertion into protected content by supporting DRM and ad insertion in the player natively. Adobe Primetime can be used to insert ads into MPEG-DASH CENC and encrypted HLS streams, which addresses the majority of HTML5-compliant browsers. With Adobe Primetime, ad insertion into DASH content is handled almost exactly the same as ad insertion into HLS content. For example, creative repackaging and ad rules work for DASH just like they work for HLS, and Adobe Primetime manages the complexity of the nuanced differences between HLS and DASH.

Adobe Primetime will also be able to insert ads into DRM-protected DASH or HLS streams within the Common Media Application Format (CMAF) container format. CMAF is bringing the industry close to a truly unified DRM-protected format. CMAF has been designed to allow fMP4 segments used with MPEG-DASH to coexist with HLS, rather than competing with or supplanting HLS. Our white paper on CMAF covers this topic in more detail.

4. Drive revenue with viewability and advanced advertising integrations

Adobe Primetime works with its customers to enable the viewability and advanced advertising integrations that help drive ad revenue. Many of our customers request viewability integrations with companies like Moat because viewability data helps them optimize for viewability and sell their inventory at higher CPMs.

Other capabilities that we support include HTML5 VPAID advertising and other rich media formats. HTML5 VPAID support is a must-have for ad-supported streaming TV providers following on the heels of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)’s recommendation to eliminate Flash video ads by July 2017. Adobe Primetime fully supports HTML5 VPAID and Adobe participates actively in the IAB working group driving digital video technical standards. With a browser TVSDK and a native TVSDK for iOS and Android apps, Adobe Primetime provides companies that rely on VPAID with the tools needed to run ads on as many screens as possible.

5. Benefit from streaming video optimizations without doing any of the work

Adobe Primetime continuously works to reduce live latency, improve video startup times, and provide a seamless playback experience. For example, we’re currently working on delay-free live streaming with HTTP/2. We’ve successfully built innovations into our platform like Instant On, which reduces startup time to half a second or less. We’ve also built smart algorithms into our platform, including bitrate stabilization switching for unstable network connections. This work ensures that Adobe Primetime customers get the benefit of streaming video optimizations without allocating developer resources.

6. Use the measurement solutions that are the best for your business

Media companies and advertisers have suffered from a lack of standardized measurement for streaming TV since about 2010, when consumer demand for streaming really started to pick up. This lack of measurement has now been largely solved through innovations from Adobe, Nielsen, and comScore.

There are two ways to measure streaming TV today: via traditional or digital ratings. You’ll soon be able to read about these options and the products that make them possible in our upcoming “Digital Measurement for Streaming TV” white paper.

Regardless of which measurement option is utilized, there are two primary reasons why implementation is easier for Adobe’s media customers. First, Adobe Analytics for Video has released Adobe Certified Metrics, the now standard, certified video implementation through the Adobe SDK that can be used as the census input to audience measurement partners. This SDK fully integrates comScore and Nielsen measurement through the video enablement implementation stage in Adobe Analytics. Second, the Adobe Primetime TVSDK is pre-integrated to fully support the Adobe Certified Metrics SDK. With this, video measurement is enabled by configuration rather than code.

7. Boost viewer engagement with Adobe Primetime recommendations

Adobe Primetime customers can use viewing data from Adobe Analytics to offer personalized video recommendations to each viewer. This is done with Adobe Primetime recommendations, which helps streaming TV providers boost engagement.

Adobe Primetime recommendations has four key advantages. First, it makes the most relevant video recommendations for each viewer using a massive data repository and multiple industry-leading personalization algorithms. Second, it continuously optimizes the recommendations through the use of A/B and multivariate testing. Third, it provides an instant playback experience by telling the Adobe Primetime TVSDK which recommended videos to preload with Instant On. Fourth, it addresses the “cold-start” challenge by using existing analytics data to provide relevant recommendations when a user first engages with video content.

8. Maintain the broadest reach with a Flash fallback solution

HTML5 is the preferred video playback option for modern browsers, devices, and platforms, and all major desktop browsers have announced plans to default to HTML5 media playback, according to the IAB. However, consumers will continue to use legacy browsers that do not support HTML5 video for some time.

In legacy environments, Adobe Primetime customers benefit from our Flash video fallback solution. By delivering HTML5 video wherever possible and then reverting to Flash video everywhere else, Adobe Primetime provides the greatest possible reach in modern and legacy environments while supporting the same feature set across our HTML5 and Flash fallback solutions.

A smooth transition to HTML5 video with Adobe Primetime

If you’re leading an organization through its transition from Flash to HTML5, choose a path that allows you to move quickly and effectively. Adobe has anticipated and solved the challenges involved with the transition to HTML5, and we look forward to continuing to help industry participants adapt the latest and most robust open technology standards.

White Paper Download: Premium Video Content Protection Strategies with CMAF

To date, streaming video providers providers have had to support two container formats in order reach many device types, including Android and iOS devices, with protected video content.

In June, a new development being worked on by Apple, Adobe, and many others in MPEG (the Moving Picture Experts Group) is bringing streaming video providers one step closer to a single streaming format with DRM. The development is a container format called Common Media Application Format (CMAF).

CMAF allows streaming video providers to move from supporting two container formats, fragmented MP4 (fMP4) and transport stream (TS), to supporting one container format, CMAF. This drives big savings in storage and delivery costs.

Layers of modern HTTP streaming

A new white paper from our team educates streaming video providers about this new format. Readers will learn about:

  • What is required when streaming video providers use CMAF.
  • The nuances of Apple’s support for the new container format.
  • A lingering obstacle to having a single streaming format with DRM, which is that of multiple encryption modes.

Overall, CMAF is taking the streaming industry in the right direction and deserves close attention going forward. Download the “Premium Video Content Protection Strategies with Common Media Application Format” white paper today.

Sky TV New Zealand Launches Sky Go on iOS with Adobe Primetime

Sky TV NZ launched its new Sky Go application for iOS leveraging Adobe Primetime Player SDKs and Adobe Primetime Cloud DRM. The iOS app provides viewers with instant access to 10 premium live-streaming channels and the Android version is scheduled to be released later this year.

Sky TV App

Adobe Primetime DRM recently launched a cloud-based deployment option to complement the on-premises solution. All major studios have approved apps and services that use Adobe’s DECE-approved DRM, which provides an easy-to-deploy, end-to-end DRM solution integrated with the Adobe Primetime Player SDKs. Adobe now offers the ability to run the same DRM-protected video stream on all Adobe Primetime enabled platforms, including desktops (see demo), iOS, Android, Roku, and Xbox — with more to come. The single publishing and monetization workflow leads to significantly lower operational costs.

If you are located in New Zealand, please download the Sky Go application directly from the iOS App Store and let us know what you think. For more information on Adobe Primetime, visit this blog, follow us on Twitter, or check out the website.

Adobe Primetime 1.2 Adds Native HLS Support to Flash Player for Desktop

We are excited to showcase a new feature of Adobe Primetime: Native HLS support in Adobe Flash Player for desktop.

What does native HLS support mean? HLS playback in Adobe Flash Player for desktop provides best-in-class performance, with robust, Hollywood studio-mandated DRM support (Adobe Primetime DRM + PHLS), and AES-128 clear key protection for content protection compatibility.

The Adobe Primetime Player SDK with HLS support for Adobe Flash Player on desktops now supports VOD, live and linear simulcast use cases, with the following features:

  • Adobe Primetime DRM / Adobe Access, PHLS, AES-128 clear key

  • Decryption performed natively in Flash Player

  • Full hardware decoding and compositing

  • 608/708 and WebVTT Closed Captioning

  • Adjustable adaptive streaming

  • 100% dynamic ad insertion (no dual player)

  • Integration with Adobe Primetime ad decisioning or any VAST/VMAP-compatible third-party ad server

  • Support for Adobe Primetime Quality-of-Experience (QoE) monitoring

Besides getting a best-in-class video experience, Adobe Primetime now offers the ability to use the same DRM-protected, ad-supported content on every Adobe Primetime-enabled device, including iOS, Android, Roku, Xbox and more. A single workflow leads to lower storage costs, better caching efficiencies, and a more economical infrastructure.

videoplayer

Above is a demonstration of an adaptive 10 Mbps HLS stream with Adobe Primetime ad insertion, ad decisioning, DRM protection, and accessibility enabled with WebVTT-based closed captioning.

For more information about Adobe Primetime, visit http://www.adobe.com/primetime. The desktop online video experience has never been better.

 

Statement on Google Chrome Phasing Out the NPAPI Plug-In Interface

This week, the Google Chrome team announced it is phasing out the NPAPI plug-in interface, which has a direct impact on the functionality of major browsers plugins. Since it migrated from the NPAPI interface to the modern Pepper Plugin API (PPAPI), Adobe Flash Player is not affected by this change.

Video-specific functionality such as Adobe Primetime DRM (formerly Adobe Access) and Adobe Primetime Player SDKs are also not affected. There is no migration work required, as Chrome browser users have already been using the PPAPI version of Adobe Flash Player.

Chrome browser users will automatically receive new features and security updates due to the integration of Adobe Flash Player with Chrome, which permits seamless background updates.

For DRM-related questions or feedback, please visit the Adobe Primetime Community Forum.

Adobe Primetime Cloud DRM Service and Hardware DRM Support

Today, we announced two exciting new features to the Adobe Primetime DRM (formerly Adobe Access) offering. 1) Adobe Primetime Cloud DRM Service, and 2) Hardware DRM support on AMD chipsets. DRM is a critical component to enable premium content in early release windows on the web and across mobile devices. This means earlier access to better content for viewers.

Adobe Primetime Cloud DRM Service

The Primetime Cloud DRM Service makes Primetime DRM easy to deploy. A DRM server requires security knowledge and hardware to be properly installed in a data center environment to fulfill compliance and robustness requirements. DRM deployments now get significantly easier with our new Adobe Primetime Cloud DRM Service.

This new service is completely managed by Adobe, including robust security through hardware Security Modules (HSMs), redundancy, and scalable architecture are always up-to-date with the compliance and robustness rules. With the Adobe Primetime Cloud DRM Service, a customer doesn’t need to worry about content delivery because they are out of compliance. Instead, customers can focus on creating and distributing the most engaging content. 

The Adobe Primetime Cloud DRM Service also dramatically simplifies the DRM operations. Once subscribed, the only step required is local DRM packaging of the content. Adobe Primetime DRM supports desktop, Android, iOS, XBox, Roku and Digital Home devices, and provides broad reach with a single DRM workflow.

Hardware DRM Support on AMD Chipsets

Adobe and AMD partnered in bringing the next level of content protection to desktop computers with AMD APUs (Accelerated Processing Units) or discreet GPUs (Graphics Processing Units). Hardware DRM increases the level of DRM security and robustness. Adobe and AMD believe this is better for consumers, programmers and distributors.

AMD_E_RGBTo learn more about Adobe Primetime DRM, please visit our website.

Adobe Primetime and the Single Publishing Workflow

Today there are different video formats to target various platforms, which invariably lead to increased storage and delivery costs, redundant workflows, and reduced scale due to caching inefficiencies. Complex workflows boost operating costs, which can prevent reaching all potential users.

For example, if it’s required to deploy four DRMs, three streaming protocols, three ad insertion technologies to reach all devices and users, and the video playback itself on the devices is not consistent due to fragmentation, it can become too expensive to deploy and maintain. The compromise is to settle on a subset of devices, which will limit your reach.

Adobe Primetime, now generally available, is committed to helping programmers and distributors reach, monetize and activate audiences across screens. This is due to having a single publishing, protocol, DRM, CVAA-compliant closed captioning, and ad workflow to reach all users across all major devices.

To simplify delivery workflows, we are enhancing our protocol support with Adobe Primetime: 

  • Adobe Primetime Player will support HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), in addition to the existing HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS) on the desktop
  • HLS will be available on all Adobe Primetime Player mobile platforms
  • Support of  MPEG-Dash in the future

All platforms and protocols support all Adobe Primetime Player features, including:

  • Seamless Ad Insertion
  • Digital rights management (DRM)
  • Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) compliant closed captioning
  • Enhanced video analytics

Desktops / Android

Desktops and Android devices will both include a full HLS (v4) video stack. It will specifically address the video playback fragmentation challenges on Android with its low-level integration, and provide high-quality video playback on all Android 2.3 and 4.x devices with the Adobe Primetime Player.

iOS

Adobe Primetime uses the native HLS video stack on iOS. Adobe Primetime DRM and Ad Insertion are fully compliant with Apple’s video guidelines.

Other

Future mobile and digital home support will offer all Adobe Primetime features, and can be targeted with a single publishing workflow.

We are very excited to help simplify the publishing workflow with Adobe Primetime, and provide the best possible reach and user experience for the next generation of online video content.

New-Primetime-Logo

Examining Robust HLS and HDS Video Playback with Adobe Media Server 5

Adobe Media Server 5, a core component of Adobe’s Project Primetime, helps premium content publishers deliver HD quality video across platforms, including iOS and Android devices, to the largest possible audience with a streamlined workflow. We’re revolutionizing media delivery with support for consistent, protected streaming across any Internet-connect device — tablets, smartphones, connected TVs, and desktops.

With our video solutions like Adobe Media Server 5, we’re focused on enabling an optimal online video playback experience where the consumer gets what they want – when and how they want it. Related to this topic, we’ve published a technical article for video content publishers around HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS) and HTTP Live Streaming (HLS). The article examines today’s video playback architecture and server-side challenges, including back-end redundancy issues such as live-ness, where a packager advertises a stale view of live, and dropout, where a packager has gaps in its fragment list. We also provide users with a step-by-step guide to writing a basic varnish configuration script to configure a Varnish proxy for the failover solution. (Varnish Cache is a web application accelerator, occasionally referred to as a HTTP accelerator or a reverse HTTP proxy, that will significantly enhance your web performance).

Check out the article and let us know what you think!

AMS

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.

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

rover_mars-1024x567

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).

arch-nasa-jpl-curiosity

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]

marsimages

Simply amazing.

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