Infographic: People really hate video buffering

Tired of those interruptions with spinning wheels and progress bars while you’re watching online video? You aren’t alone: Videos without buffering are watched twice as long as videos with unwelcome breaks, and viewers are 54 percent less likely to return if they experience video buffering.

Move Gets Streaming Patent; Are Adobe & Apple Hosed?

Move Networks was just granted a patent for its HTTP-based adaptive streaming technology, which could make its intellectual property more valuable. The patent also means that it could pose a threat to Adobe, Microsoft, Apple and others that have rolled out similar technology of their own.

Elemental Live Shakes Up the Economics of Video Streaming

Elemental Technologies today unveiled the latest version of its video encoding platform, aimed at giving video distributors a more efficient way to encode live and on-demand video streams. With a GPU-accelerated processing system and proprietary algorithms for video encoding, the new Elemental Live system is designed to lower the cost of streaming video to multiple platforms and devices.

Elemental Live can encode up to four simultaneous 1080p HD video feeds or eight simultaneous 720p streams in a single platform. That’s important for today’s media publishers, which are increasingly moving to adaptive bitrate technologies that require multiple encodes of a single feed. Encoding multiple versions of a stream at different bitrates allows the video to adjust to changing network conditions, showing the highest-quality stream available to an end user at any given time.

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Can SPOTi Take on Flash & Silverlight for Adaptive Streaming?

There’s a SPOTinew entrant in the video delivery business, a Madrid-based company called SPOTi that’s focused on tackling the management and distribution of high-quality, adaptive bitrate video streams to multiple platforms and devices. The main advantage of using SPOTi’s software, according to CEO Thierry Scelles, is the ability to lower costs for publishers against current streaming and progressive download technologies. By adapting to the bandwidth available to the end user, SPOTi can deliver the highest-quality stream while ensuring that customers aren’t paying for more bandwidth than they need.

The startup isn’t the only company offering this type of technology, of course; both Adobe (s ADBE) and Microsoft (s MSFT) have their own adaptive bitrate solutions. So what’s the advantage of using SPOTi, as opposed to the established players? For one thing, the startup says its adaptive bitrate technology is capable of working with the largest number of users.

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Report: Adobe to Support HTTP Streaming

In a major reversal, Adobe (s ADBE) may support HTTP streaming in the next version of its Flash Media Server, reports Contentinople, citing unnamed sources. A move to HTTP would bring Adobe into stride with others in the video infrastructure market, including Microsoft Silverlight (s MSFT), Move Networks and now Apple (s AAPL). However it would put a dent in Adobe’s proprietary streaming revenues.
Adobe’s RTMP streaming transfers files from a special server in a single linear stream (the RT stands for “real-time”). It has been the market standard, especially in cases where video hosts are worried about copyright infringement, but new HTTP streaming products are cheaper and more scalable. They divide videos into chunks and transfer them in a non-persistent stream using regular web infrastructure.
Though Adobe’s Flash is the online video standard, the way the company makes money off of online video is by selling Flash Media Servers, which premium content sites buy to stream video using RTMP streaming. HTTP streaming, however, doesn’t require all those specialized servers. Contentinople, whose sources say a FMS 4.0 beta with HTTP streaming could be out in beta at CES in January, proposes that Adobe may be angling to make up cannibalized revenue by increasing use of Flash, which would in turn drive sales of Flash creative and development tools.
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Apple’s Snow Leopard Will Bring Major Video Boosts

The early launch date of Apple’s (s AAPL) new Mac OS X Snow Leopard later this week (a $29 upgrade) means we Mac users will have access to improvements in video and capture playback very soon.
The new QuickTime X includes support for Apple’s HTTP live streaming protocol, which we’ve covered extensively since it was announced and released first for iPhones in June. The technology has already enabled some early live streams for baseball games and an Apple-produced Underworld concert.
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