04.23.2007 09:00 AM
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
ABC.com debuts high-res online video player

ABC last week became the first broadcaster to launch a broadband Web video player that closely resembles the viewing experience of HDTV.

ABC.com's new broadband player has two new display sizes: an HDTV-like, full-screen image and a smaller 240- x 136-pixel image. The Associated Press reported that the new player uses the technology of Move Networks, an online video delivery company based in American Fork, UT.

Move, which received $11.3 million last December from Disney's venture-capital arm, Steamboat Ventures, and Hummer Winblad, is also working with Fox, the CW, Televisa and E! Online to use its player technology as well. ABC is the first, however, to offer its video content in full-screen, the AP said.

Move's technology delivers video as a standard Web object, cached in small bits. This borrows some aspects of peer-to-peer, but is friendlier to ISPs.

Move doesn't use special media servers and adjusts the video quality based on available bandwidth. The streaming is made possible using a small applet that users must download to the browser.

The technology displays no buffering or stalling in a live stream. For the content owner, the system is cheaper, has detailed reporting and offers high-quality video.

Move's process of encoding video for multiple bandwidths and target platforms is managed through a single process called simulcoding. This process leverages hardware clustering and software pipelining to prepare video for on-demand or live distribution. Once available, the video can be delivered as an adaptive stream that upshifts and downshifts to match the current constraints of the computer's environment without pausing or buffering.

The Move Media transmission system can scale to millions of users because of the efficient use of existing Internet caches and related technologies. Move also provides its own Digital Right Management system as well as editing and publishing control for maximum viral effect.

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