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Preview: Flash Video Optimizations and Tools

Flash Video Optimizations and Tools

A Blog dedicated to Flash Video Technology, optimizations and tools


H265 – part I : Technical Overview


In this article I analyze the main features of HEVC compared to AVC...

Future of video: 4K, DASH, HEVC


I must admit, I’m feeling very guilty. This is the only new post in more than 1 year. 2013 has been wonderful from a professional point of view and I have had very few moments, if any, to dedicate to the blog. But for 2014 there are too many interesting trends that I can’t neglect anymore and so I want to return speaking about video encoding, streaming and OTT technologies...

FFmpeg – the swiss army knife of Internet Streaming – part VI


Transcoding is not a static matter, it is dynamic because you may have in input a very wide range of content’s types and you may have to set encoding parameters accordingly (This is particularly true for user generated contents)...

Netflix - meditations on a video streaming giant


Netflix, during June, reached the record level of 1 Billion hours streamed in a month. It is an incredibly huge level of bandwidth, an impetuous and growing stream of bits that makes of Netflix one of the TOP10 Internet bandwidth consumer. But how much does it cost to NetFlix this huge stream ?...

FFmpeg – the swiss army knife of Internet Streaming – part V


After almost one year from the starting post of this series dedicated to FFmpeg I have found some time to catch-up with this topic and revise/refresh the series. In this year a lot of things happened on the FFmpeg side (and not only), so I have corrected a lot of small errors and changes in syntax of commonly used commands. So this is also a good opportunity for you to refresh your knowledge about FFmpeg and the current state-of-the-art...

Adobe Media Server announced


Adobe has announced that the new Adobe Media Server 5 (formerly Flash Media Server) will be available soon. The main novelty is the support of content protection con native iOS apps...

Market repositioning of Flash begins


I have already talked (perhaps too much) about the Future of Flash in my last post. There I didn’t hide my perplexities about the Market position of Flash compared to alternative technologies. After the drop of Flash Player for Mobile there was a strong decline in confidence for Flash platform. But now the scenario is beginning to emerge sharply and even if I continue to not agree with the method and procedures used by Adobe, I begin to understand the purpose...

What about the future of Flash ?


A long time passed since my last post on this blog. I have been very busy in an important video streaming project but this is not the only reason for my absence. I have also wanted to wait and take all the necessary time to analyze, ponder and digest the infamous Flash affair...

My presentation at MAX2011 is available on Adobe TV


Finally the recording of my presentation at MAX2011 (Encoding for performance on multiple devices) is available on Adobe TV. You can also download the pdf version here. My using of FFmpeg for repurposing the streams of FMS has attracted quite a lot of interest and attention. I’m planning to extend the series of article dedicated to FFmpeg and also to transform it in a permanent knowledge-base on FFmpeg and related best-practices...

New apps for Playbook: Virgin, RMC and 105 Radio XL and TV


Finally the applications I have developed with Flex and AIR for Playbook are officially in the RIM AppWorld market. They are 6 media apps developed for Finelco, the owner of the biggest radio network in Italy. The first 3 are dedicated to 5 music web TV channels (app names : Radio 105 TV, Radio Monte Carlo TV, Virgin Radio TV). The other 3 offer a complete multimedia experience with:...

Bandwidth is running out. Let’s save the bandwidth


The global bandwidth consumption is growing every day and one of the main causes is the explosion of bandwidth hungry Internet services based on Video On Demand (VOD) or live streaming. Youtube is accounted for a considerable portion of the whole Internet bandwidth usage, but also Hulu and NetFlix are first class consumers. One of the cause of this abnormal consumption (apart from the high popularity) is the low level of optimization used in video encoding: for example Youtube encodes 480p video @1Mbit/s, 720p @2.1Mbit/s and 1080p @3.5Mbit/s which are rather high values. But also NetFlix, BBC and Hulu use conservatives settings. You may observe that NetFlix and Hulu use adaptive streaming to offer different quality levels depending by network conditions but such techniques are aimed at improving the QoS and not reduce the bandwidth consumption, so it's very important to offer a quality/bitrate ratio as high as possible and not underestimate all the consequences of an un-optimized encoding....

FFmpeg – the swiss army knife of Internet Streaming – part IV - Conclusion


This is the fourth and last part of a short series dedicated to FFmpeg. In this conclusive article I will focus on the support for RTMP that makes FFmpeg an excellent tool for enhancing the capabilities of the Adobe Flash Streaming Ecosystem. FFmpeg introduced a strong support for RTMP streaming with the release 0.5 by the inclusion of the librtmp (rtmpdump) core. An RTMP stream can be used both as an input and/or as an output in a command line...

FFmpeg – the swiss army knife of Internet Streaming – part III


This is the third part of a series dedicated to FFmpeg. Here you find the first and second part. In this article we will look more closely at the parameters you need to know to encode to H.264. FFmpeg uses x264 library to encode to H.264. x264 offers a very wide set of parameters and therefore an accurate control over compression. However you have to know that FFmpeg applies a parameter name re-mapping and doesn’t offer the whole set of x264 options....

FFmpeg – the swiss army knife of Internet Streaming – part II


This is the second part of a small series about FFmpeg (you can find here the intro). After the short introduction of the previous post, now it’s time to see FFmpeg in action. This post is dedicated to the most important parameters and end with an example of transcoding to H.264. FFmpeg supports hundreds of AV formats and codecs as input and output (for a complete list type ffmpeg -formats and ffmpeg -codecs) but you know that nowadays the most important output format is without doubt H.264...

I'll speak about Encoding at MAX 2011


This is my fourth partecipation to Adobe MAX as a speaker. I'll be in Los Angeles in October to speak about what I know most: encode video at best for every device. Every edition I have had very good feedbacks from the audience so I thank you all and this year I want to follow a request I have had often from many attendees: how to get the max out of FFmpeg ? So let’s take a look at the abstract of my session this year ...

FFmpeg – the swiss army knife of Internet Streaming – part I


With this post I want to start a small series dedicated to FFmpeg. I have already talked about it 6 years ago when this tool was still young but in these 6 years it has evolved widely and now it is a really useful “swiss army knife” for Internet streaming. I could define FFmpeg also as one of the pilllars of Internet Video. Sites like YouTube, Vimeo, Google video and the entire trend of UGC would not exist without FFmpeg. It is an exceptionally flexible tool that can be very useful for who works in the streaming business and most of all it is open source and free...

Mobile development with AIR and Flex 4.5.1


Recently I have made a very pleasant experience developing a set of mobile applications for the BlackBerry Playbook using Adobe Flex 4.5.1. In the past I have been critical of Adobe because I believed that Flex for Mobile was not sufficiently smooth on devices and the workflow not efficient, but after this project I had to think again. The main application is not very complex but has given to me the opportunity to evaluate in a real scenario the efficiency of the framework and the performance level on multiple devices...

A dream comes true: H.264 encoding into Flash Player 11


Yes. A dream comes true. After almost 9 years the Flash Player will have a new video codec. Sorenson’s Spark is about to retire, finally. But let’s recap the whole story starting, obviously, from the beginning...

Flash Camp in Milan


In a few weeks (20-21 May) will start in Milan a Flash Camp dedicated to Mobile App development with the Flash Platform. The camp is hosted by whymca, a mobile developer conference that covers several mobile platforms and development tools. This year, thanks to the efforts of my friend Andrea Trento, an entire conference track will be dedicated to mobile development using the Flash Platform. I’m one of the crew (4 Adobe Community Professionals + 1 Evangelist) that will speak at the Camp...

AIR 2.6 for iOS and video playback


If you work with audio and video streaming, one of the worst limitation of AIR 2.6 for iOS is that it is not possible to stream video encoded in H.264 (and audio in AAC) inside your AIR application. AIR 2.6 for iOS supports NetConnection and NetStream but can decode only Spark, VP6, MP3, NellyMoser and Speex formats. So no H.264 and no AAC (don’t ask me why). This is a real problem. Who is using today VP6 for video streaming or MP3 for audio ? ...

More informations about Flash Player 11, AIR 2.7 and above


In a recent post I summarized the informations that it’s possible to find in Internet about the features that will be implemented in the next releases of Flash Player (not necessarily 11, maybe 10.x) and AIR. At the Flash Camp Brazil, Arno Gourdol (Adobe Flash Runtime Team) has provided a lot of additional informations about what we will able to see in the near feature ...

A Flash Streaming Success Story


work with Flash Media Server since the very first release (2003) and in the last 8 years I have designed several streaming infrastructures, developed interactive programs, optimizations, services and provided consultancy for companies that wanted to leverage the flexibility and the power of Flash streaming. In the late 2008 I was contacted as a FMS and streaming expert by Adobe Italy to help Finelco Group replacing Windows Media with Flash technologies for audio streaming...

What's new in Flash Player 11


We all already know about the wonderful 3D API (Molehill) implemented in Flash Player 11. But what about other features ? Reading interviews and blogposts it is possible to derive some informations...

FlashPlayer 10.2 is coming on Android


Adobe announced today, during the Mobile World Congress, that Flash Player 10.2 will be available soon for Android Devices. This is very important because FP 10.2 introduced the Stage Video object which offers a direct control over hardware acceleration in video deconding. In my opinion the worst point of weekness of FP10.1 for Android is the performance of video deconding so I’m very happy of having Stage Video ASAP...

The NAB Show 2011


I’m every day more and more involved in matters related to the TV of the future, therefore this year I’m planning to attend the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The 2011 edition of NAB Show, coming up April 9-14 in Las Vegas, is the world’s largest event for video, audio and digital media professionals. This year show will feature a lot of products, technology pavilions and educational sessions specifically focused on online video...

Flash to HTM5 fallback


After the debate around what it’s better at serving video between Flash and HTML5 I have found a lot of code in the Internet on how to serve video in HTML5 with a Flash fall back. Independently by the fact that the debate is far from being concluded, I think that it’s a nonsense to check first for HTML5 and then for Flash instead of the contrary. Let’s follow this simple reasoning...

BBC iPlayer and Flash Player, 3 years of love story


In the late December 2007 BBC released the Flash based iPlayer creating the concept of catch-up TV and starting one of the most important Success Story in video distribution over the Internet. The service has had a very rapid adoption rate and is now incredibly popular in UK with over 140 million video requests recorded in November 2010. Being a...

Testing StageVideo in Flash Player 10.2


Adobe has launched the public beta of Flash Player 10.2. This minor update offers us a limited but very important set of improvements. From my point of view the most important is StageVideo. In this blog post I'll test the improvement in performance over 4 different machines.

H.264 Encoding Strategies for all screens is on AdobeTV


The recording of my presentation at MAX2010 is finally on Adobe TV and here you find the pdf...

AIR on TV and the StageVideo Object


One of the most important new technologies presented at AdobeMAX 2010 is in my opinion “AIR for TV”. Flash Player is now present on multiple screens ranging from desktop to mobile passing by tablet and set-top-boxes. The TV screen is always been one of the most desired and the availability of Flash on TVs and STBs is a strategic move. We already knew that Flash will be supported by Google TV and by Sony connected tv but the big new is that starting from now, every connected tv by Samsung (probably the most important tv producer) will support flash and AIR for TV. Not only, in a short time frame we will seen on the market several bluray readers and stb all flash enabled. Wow, the world of applications for the living room is one of the most promising and “rich”. The income generated by the traditional TV world is still huge and the kind of interactity that a connected tv can assure can only enhance the business giving tailored advertising at a generally untargeted media. In this scenario Flash is the perfect mate for ...

H.264 for Image Compression in Flash


Recently Google has presented the WebP initiative. The initiative proposes a substitute of JPEG for image compression using the intra frame compression technique of the WebM project (Codec VP8). Not everybody know it but also H.264 is very good at encoding still picture and differently from WebM or WebP the 97% of PC are already capable to decode it (someone has said Flash Player ?)...

Flash + H.264 = H.264 Squared – Part III (END)


In the last post I have explained my vision about an ultra optimized video encoding workflow with video enhancements done inside the Flash Player at run-time. I want to conclude this serie with some additional informations on how to restore video details and film grain....

Flash + H.264 = H.264 Squared – Part II


Finally I have found the time to write the second part of my article on how to enhance video playback using Flash. But let’s start from the beginning. Do you remember this recent experiment, where I showed a near-HD* video encoded at only 250Kbit/s ? A lot of people congratulated with me for the quality / bitrate ratio while someone else complained about the fact that the final result is far from beeing canonical HD. Yes, it is not HD anymore but how could it be at a 1/20th of the original (already compressed) bitrate ? The rational of such experiments is not to reach a trasparent encoding at mad bitrates but find a balance between quality and bitrate where quality needs to be satisfactory for a web delivery scenario and the bitrate needs to be as low as possible...