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Planning to Stream video to Phones?

February 25th, 2010

Well, think again. I have been researching and speaking to some of the best minds and have concluded that creating a VOD or Video On Demand page that will stream on every type of smart phone will be a real challenge.

For example, as of the date of this post, the IPhone is one of the most popular phones with an ever increasing viewership, a close 2nd (depending on the demographics) to Blackberries .

The IPhone does not support flash, but will play a Quicktime video from it. Next you go to the Black Berry, on Verizon’s platform and they want 3gg video formats.  Most broswers will support MP4 and the IPhone  will play most but not all videos and plays best with Quicktime as a file using the Iphone’s player. As a layman, it is hard to parse out all these variables and frankly I am ok with looking at this from the clouds and it is messy on the ground. (so to speak)

I think that IPhone will have to come to the party by Summer when Flash Player 10x comes out. Steve Jobs cannot stand Adobes arrogance and their buggy Flash tool, but I do not see Apple coming up with a player of their own that will be adopted in the next year like Flash. Flash was a slow adoption, and still has people arguing over why use it and will HTML  5  take it’s place. HTML 5 does not have the adoption and you cannot monitize it like you can Flash. I just posted another article on Flash vs HTML 5.

Add to that, TMobil and other services that have different codecs and browser handling techniques…Nothing is standardized. Every phone needs some kind of player.

In a perfect phone PDA ITouch world, in theory, a company that wants to stream to all phone, one needs to to have files in many formats sitting on a server, and when that file is called, the server “sniffs or figures out what format” the phone needs and serves it up….  Most companies either straddling one side of the fence or straddling it to satisfy its viewers.

Maybe you have seen YouTube’s HTML5 demo which claiming good but is found to be be unsatisfactory and slow.

We are still in the Wild West when it comes to streaming and platform-player adoption. It is pretty messed up if you ask me.

3-5-2010 update -

I was talking with one of our partners at www.DigitalRapids.com about the IPhone and streaming challenges. The challenge is to try and serve up the video live or VOD stream and Digital Rapids has been working on this with Adobe, whom we all love.

None of the stream boxes out today will allow you to stream to an IPhone, and I use IPhone as an example because of its popularity and it’s Flash challenges. Even if the Apple opened it to Flash, there are streaming delivery challenges. Digital Rapids has come up with a box they call the “ABR” box, which uses the Adobe’s “Adaptive system” (just learned this word today) technique of streaming to the many different codecs and platforms on the market today. In one move, this streaming piece of hardware solves most of your cross-phone-platform viewing challenges.

Did I mention it was around $16,000.

E

Mobile Devices, Mobile Devices Web Design


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