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  • Akamai Talks iPhone HD Video Streaming

    Image via Akamai


    In an announcement that is every bit as exciting to content developers as it is to mobile customers, content delivery network Akamai is behind a new streaming platform (based on its global network of HTTP servers) capable of delivering HD online video to the iPhone. Its also compatible with Adobe's Flash technology as well as Microsoft's Silverlight.

    For the iPhone, however, the prospect of high-def live streaming video or on-demand content is particularly welcome news. Promising to deliver "interactive, DVR-like experiences with real-time analytics," Akamai unveiled the new service in a promotional Webcast on Tuesday.

    From PC World:

    Consumers will be able to watch HD Network content on PCs in the Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight formats, but also on the iPhone, said Akamai President and CEO Paul Sagan. He gave few details about the iPhone offering, including which mobile operators or third-party content providers might use it. But if Akamai's infrastructure can deliver high-quality live video to the popular handsets and AT&T's 3G network can handle the strain, it could be a boon to iPhone users.
    Although Adobe and Apple haven't had the best of working relationships in the digital world, Akamai works very well with Adobe, as illustrated by their ability to optimize Flash Media delivery on Akamai's network - a development that could benefit Apple customers for many years to come. And even though the on-demand streaming functionality was not demonstrated on the iPhone during the webcast, it was cool to see how the streaming video service will work.

    In what I can best liken to Comcast's on-demand functionality, Akamai HD network provides the broad range of controls one could possibly ever need: pause, play, playback, etc. Best of all, if you're watching something live, there will only be a few brief seconds of delay time, nothing substantial.

    Akamai has been developing its content delivery network for about 10 years, setting up its servers close to customers rather than in large central data centers. The company has servers in about 1,000 locations in 750 cities around the world, feeding video and other network-intensive content directly into the "last-mile" infrastructure that goes to users' homes and offices, Sagan said. Akamai has a network connection of 2Mb per second (Mbps) or faster to two-thirds of consumers in the U.S. and 5Mbps or greater to more than a one quarter of the population, he said.
    It is estimated that Akamai has deployed approximately 50,000 servers in ISP networks littered around the world to make this advancement possible. Indeed, its a big step forward for a company with equally lofty goals, particularly in trying to lure the entertainment industry into embracing the platform and subsequently distributing massive amounts of HD content. "Our HD Network has been designed for large-scale broadcasters and studios," said Akamai CEO Paul Sagan. "Our goal is to meet and surpass the needs of the film and television industries? TV is now possible online at HD bitrates."
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Akamai Talks iPhone HD Video Streaming started by Michael Essany View original post