Basic FAQs

 

What is HTTP Dynamic Streaming?
 
HTTP Dynamic Streaming enables high-quality (H.264 or VP6), network-efficient HTTP streaming for media delivery that is tightly integrated with Adobe® Access software for robust content protection in the Adobe Flash® Player 10.1 or later and Adobe AIR® 2 or later runtimes. This open format solution allows online publishers to leverage existing network and cache infrastructures to efficiently deliver media content to the Adobe Flash Platform. Adobe Media Server software will continue to be a great option for streaming, multiway communication, as well as advanced interactive experiences such as quick start times and quick seeking. Like Adobe Media Server, HTTP Dynamic Streaming supports quality of service (QoS) monitoring, adaptive bitrate streaming, and DVR functionality. The HTTP Dynamic Streaming workflow includes content preparation tools, fragmented MP4 files that are HTTP cache‐friendly, a playback framework (Open Source Media Framework, or OSMF), and options for protected streaming powered by Adobe Access, continuing to make the Flash Platform the choice for reliable delivery of protected, high-quality playback experiences.
 
What is the difference between HTTP Dynamic Streaming and regular progressive download over HTTP?
 
HTTP Dynamic Streaming utilizes the same HTTP server technology used to delivery progressive downloaded video. The new technology is different because it adds:
 
Multibitrate support — ability to shift quality depending on bandwidth and computer power. HTTP progressive delivery consumes more bandwidth because it's not intelligent enough to throttle the delivery (for example, a 30-minute video will be fully downloaded whether the user watches it or not).
● Seeking within the video — ability to move around within a long-format video without downloading it first.
● Bandwidth control — ability to manage download bandwidth to not disrupt other applications
● Support for live streaming with DVR and real-time protection using Adobe Access
 
To deliver a streaming experience over HTTP, media assets need to go through a fragmentation process that can also apply content protection (called fragmenting), and a special module installed in the HTTP server is required. The player can be built using OSMF, just like progressive download.
 
What is the difference between HTTP Dynamic Streaming and the Dynamic Streaming feature in Adobe Media Server?
 
HTTP Dynamic Streaming builds on the success of streaming delivery through Adobe Media Server. This new technology matches the quality of service, rendering quality, buffer controls, and other important aspects of media delivery required to deliver a great experience to the end user. Adobe Media Server provides a high-performance, turnkey delivery server that can protect and deliver any content with a very simple publishing workflow, with support for multibitrate delivery. HTTP allows the publisher and delivery network to customize and optimize the publishing workflow to maximize capacity and reach, using standard network and caching infrastructures.
 
What versions of Flash Player and AIR are required?
 
HTTP Dynamic Streaming requires Flash Player 10.1 or later or Adobe AIR 2 or later. For fastest deployment, Adobe recommends using OSMF, which is currently supported on Flash Player 10.1 (future support for AIR is planned).
 
Will the viewing experience be different for end users?
 
No — unless they're in a location outside the reach of Adobe Media Server, or behind a firewall that doesn't allow RTMP delivery, then they should receive a significantly improved experience. Multibitrate switching will respond just as it does with Dynamic Streaming on Adobe Media Server triggered by expected frame rate and/or bandwidth changes (good or bad).
 
Will developers need to change their media player code?
 
If developers use OSMF today to develop their media players, then there should be limited impact; however, if developers are creating media players without OSMF, there will be a significant impact — as most of the stream logic occurs in ActionScript® at the client. Adobe recommends all developers consider OSMF for developing media players.
 
Will the workflow be different for live publishers/content owners?
 
Existing Adobe Media Server/RTMP workflows are fully supported. For content protection, an Adobe Access license will be required to encrypt the live streams. Customers can use third-party live encoders to prepare for HTTP delivery, or contact Adobe for additional options.
 
Will the workflow be different for video on demand publishers/content owners?
 
A new file format is required (F4F). This new file format is based on the standards-based MP4 fragment format. Reencoding is required only for adaptive bit rate experiences where keyframes are not aligned. Recorded content delivered with HTTP Dynamic Streaming will need to go through a new packaging and protection process.
 
Who will use HTTP Dynamic Streaming?
 
HTTP Dynamic Streaming is designed for online publishers that deliver to large audiences requiring high capacity and scalability to meet traffic peaks or those customers with high-quality video leveraging the benefits and reach of the Adobe Flash Platform.
 
Why would I consider HTTP Dynamic Streaming?
 
HTTP Dynamic Streaming expands the capacity available to media publishers because content delivery networks (CDNs) can leverage more of their network to bring the content closer to the end user, which will help reduce disruptions due to network performance. HTTP delivery also enables content to be cached outside the CDN, helping to reduce delivery costs.
 
What are the key benefits of HTTP Dynamic Streaming?
 
Adobe provides a full-featured HTTP delivery solution with the greatest reach of any media delivery platform.
 
Reach — Flash Player is a cross-platform browser plug-in that delivers breakthrough online experiences to over 99% of Internet users.
● Open standards — HTTP Dynamic Streaming is built on standards and deployed using standard HTTP servers (Apache), standard media format (MP4 fragment) using standard codecs (H.264/AAC), open APIs (Flash Player), and an open source framework for building media players (OSMF). The file format will also be published, enabling advanced use cases of the format.
● Live publishing options — HTTP Dynamic Streaming supports a separate process for packaging and protecting live content — allowing any RTMP stream to be easily converted to a file format that can be delivered through HTTP.
● Interactivity — On the Flash Platform, media delivery can be synchronized with real-time interactivity and robust logging, all within the same application. Flash Player is also used by over 70% of web games, making it easy to add even more social and interactive experiences to media.
● Content protection — With Adobe Access support in Flash Player 10.1, Adobe can offer a robust, protected solution for content delivery and monetization.
 
How can I use HTTP Dynamic Streaming in my existing media player application?
 
The best way to implement HTTP Dynamic Streaming within a media player is to use OSMF. OSMF has made it simple to provide a seamless user experience, including parsing manifest files, handling URL requests, integrating Adobe Access protection, utilizing multibitrate delivery, implementing DVR, monitoring quality of service (QoS) metrics, and so on. OSMF has been developed by Adobe and leading experts in the community.
 

Pricing, editions, and upgrading

 
What does HTTP Dynamic Streaming cost?
 
The VOD File Packager will be available as a free download. You can download the tools. The Live Packager will be available for purchase — find out more.
 

Installation, deployment, and platforms

 
How does HTTP Dynamic Streaming work within OSMF and Flash Player 10.1?
 
Media playback is started by requesting and parsing a manifest file (F4M). The manifest file contains four main parts:
 
● The bootstrap information — describing the makeup of the file format, allowing OSMF to form URLs to start requesting the media
● The DRM license server location — which OSMF can use to prefetch a license file from the Adobe Access license server
● The metadata of the stream
● The bitrates associated with the stream — so OSMF can switch between bitrates
 
OSMF will use the information from the manifest file to generate the URLs and begin filling a buffer using new APIs inside Flash Player 10.1. OSMF will also fetch any required DRM keys and use them for playback, also using new APIs in Flash Player 10.1.
 
During playback, OSMF is responsible for managing fragment requests, monitoring QoS, and switching bitrates if needed.
 
Will I need to make any changes to my web server to deliver content via HTTP Dynamic Streaming?
 
HTTP streaming can be achieved using standard Apache server software and caching infrastructures. To make this easy to implement, Adobe provides an HTTP module for 32-bit Apache web server (Windows® or Linux®) that can be used for HTTP Dynamic Streaming.
 
Does HTTP Dynamic Streaming support HD video?
 
Yes, you can deliver video up to 1080p to the Adobe Flash Platform. HD video can be delivered with bitrates from 700kbps up to and beyond 6Mbps. Like other Flash Player supported delivery methods, HTTP Dynamic Streaming supports H.264 video and VP6 codecs required for the highest quality video on the platform.