Akamai First to Offer Microsoft IIS7 Smooth Streaming to Customers
Leading global broadcasters provide high-quality video experiences today by delivering High Definition content using Akamai AdaptiveEdge Streaming for Microsoft Silverlight
CAMBRIDGE, MA . - Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the leader in powering rich media, dynamic transactions and enterprise applications online, today announced the availability of Akamai AdaptiveEdge Streaming for Microsoft Silverlight, the first service based on Microsoft Internet Information Services 7.0 (IIS7) Smooth Streaming technology, enabling a higher quality video experience for all viewers.
Akamai AdaptiveEdge Streaming for Microsoft Silverlight adapts stream quality based on a user’s connection speed -- so consumers with high bandwidth connections can experience true HD (720p+) quality streaming while consumers with lower connection speeds can receive the highest-quality video stream available for their levels of connectivity. At the same time, media companies’ online initiatives can benefit from unprecedented network scalability and availability using distributed HTTP-based Web servers across Akamai’s globally-distributed network. Akamai’s unique combination of technology and network scale is designed to enable consumers across the globe to enjoy a consistently high-quality video experience with faster start-up times and less buffering.
Since deploying the solution earlier this year, Akamai customers have been delivering HD-quality video and significantly improved viewing experiences. One of the immediate benefits many of these companies have experienced is an increase in viewing times.
“In response to the ever-growing demand for engaging online content, we’ve made a strong commitment to delivering the highest quality video streaming experience for our consumers,” said Stephan Argent, CTV’s Vice-President, Digital Media. “Experimenting with Akamai AdaptiveEdge Streaming will be an excellent learning initiative for us and is a reflection of our ongoing efforts to evolve the user experience to a new level.”
CTV is the largest broadcaster in Canada, and has worked with Akamai for years to deliver high quality online video. This week, CTV is launching a pilot extension of its industry-leading video player to showcase key titles available online in true HD via Akamai AdaptiveEdge Streaming in an effort to better understand audience reaction to higher-quality content. The CTV HD Beta Player will allow fans of some of CTV’s top original shows to watch in clear, HD streaming video format while enabling the broadcaster to solicit feedback from users.
“With its new service, Akamai AdaptiveEdge Streaming for Microsoft Silverlight, Akamai offers a scalable solution that brings true HD (720p+) video experiences to consumers worldwide,” said Eddie Amos, general manager of the Developer Division at Microsoft Corp. “AdaptiveEdge Streaming, powered by Smooth Streaming, an IIS Media Services extension, brings a simple-to-manage approach to adaptive streaming using HTTP-based Web servers.”
RAI, a public broadcaster in Italy, is building an online video portal RAI.tv, to offer a wide range of content from its media library, including full-length television shows and feature-length movies. By using Akamai AdaptiveEdge Streaming, RAI is able to seamlessly continue use of the Silverlight player, while offering its content in a much higher quality format. RAI projects that in the future, the majority of its online assets will be delivered using Akamai AdaptiveEdge streaming in an effort to increase audience size and differentiate from the competition through a higher-quality viewing experience.
According to Akamai data, during 2008, broadband penetration in Italy grew by nearly 50 percent with 74 percent of Internet connections connecting at speeds greater than 2 Mbps. Broadcasters like RAI can take advantage of this adoption by delivering a high bitrate experience to those users, while at the same time providing a differentiated experience to users on varying connection speeds.
“We are delighted to be the first to offer our customers a solution that fully integrates with the Microsoft IIS7 Smooth Streaming technology,” said Tim Napoleon, chief strategist, Digital Media at Akamai. “This solution is the result of Akamai and Microsoft coming together to help address the performance and quality issues associated with the online video viewing experience, such as buffering and slow start up times. We’ve received positive feedback from customers including that they’re seeing increased viewing times due to the higher quality viewing experience.”
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