Face the fact: After a production is done, your completed project must be quickly and easily streamed in all the main flavors of Web video. Choosing a single, flexible system that automates much of this operation will accomplish that quickly while saving money compared to a piecemeal approach.
That’s just what Squeeze Server 1.5–the just announced version of Sorenson’s enterprise transcoding app–is designed to solve.
One, okay three, important capabilities highlight the flexible nature of Version 1.5, especially if you distribute a lot of video over the growing swath of multiple devices. How’s that? Well, performance has been optimized for all three leading adaptive bitrate streaming platforms: Adobe Dynamic Streaming; Apple HTTP Adaptive Streaming; and Microsoft Smooth Streaming. Just to be clear: this enhanced, behind-the-firewall version of Squeeze Server is set to run from your own house servers, and not an outside service, so its fast, optimized code is what’s needed to keep a tight handle on post workflows.
How fast you can prep video for output is key too; with so many ways to set up files for web streaming, smart template offerings from a vendor also helps you stay on schedule. To that end, Sorenson says they have garnered hundreds of intelligent video encoding presets from “top industry experts” to give you the best choices for parameters that have been tweaked to optimize video file playback. These include all the standards you need to work with on a regular basis, such as MXF, Flash, h.264 and web-M. Each of these, of course, have been configured to run speedily on all the major devices in your life: smartphones, tablets, PCs, set-top boxes and connected TVs.
There’s lots more to like. Sorenson’s implementation of adaptive bitrate management automatically transcodes each individual video file into multiple, chunked segments in an array of bitrates. These segments are then organized into a folder and delivered from there for playback. H.264 encoding gains GPU acceleration, so this processor-intensive operations joins the trend to employing today’s powerful graphics chipsets to free up the system’s CPU. Squeeze Server 1.5, says Sorenson, now offers easier integration with Windows-based cloud environments like Microsoft Azure as well as Amazon Web Services.
Another announcement at the IBC convention by Adobe is relevant here: for the first time, Adobe’s Flash Media Server 4.5 adds the ability to send content to Apple iPad/iPhone/iPod touch devices via HTTP Live Streaming (a.k.a. HLS). That’s right: Adobe has moved back from its often contentious way with Apple over the existence of Flash on Apple devices to now enable Flash content to be repackaged and streamed to iOS devices, which of course do not support Flash Player directly.
Using Adobe Flash Media Server 4.5 in conjunction with Sorenson’s Squeeze Server 1.5 means that media publishers now have a single, simple workflow for delivering content using the same stream to Flash-enabled devices or to the Apple iPhone and iPad. By repackaging video content in real-time to change the protocol to match the target device, iOS devices will get most of the advantages of Flash video support, without the processor degradation and battery life cost that Apple complains about. If you’re interested in reading more about this, you might start with this blog posting from Adobe’s Kevin Towes on the product announcement.
For more information and pricing on Sorenson Squeeze Server 1.5, visit their website. Check out this page on Sorenson’s site for more specific news on Squeeze Server 1.5, including a number of videos that explain how the whole thing works.
–Dan Ochiva also contributed to this story.