Akamai to stream HD video to a wide range of computing devices

Akamai Technologies has announced a high-definition global streaming platform that can deliver a variety of playback formats to many different receiving devices.

The supported formats include Adobe’s Flash technology, Microsoft’s Silverlight and Apple’s iPhone. The new system will use 50,000 servers located in 750 cities around the world.

The Akamai platform will also allow online viewers to customize their experience, such as pausing and rewinding with a response times under a second, and time shift between live and on-demand content, said Akamai president and CEO Paul Sagan.

“We can deliver interactive, DVR-like experiences with real-time analytics,” he said. “TV quality is now possible online at HD bit rates with clips encoded at 3.Mb/s.”

About two-thirds of consumers that Akamai delivers content to have a broadband connection of at least 2Mb/s, while a quarter of the consumers it serves have connections of 5Mb/s or faster.

The new network provides HTTP adaptive bit rate streaming, which seamlessly adjusts to fluctuations in available bandwidth; an open, standards-based video player; and authentication for the Flash, Silverlight and iPhone environments to ensure that only authorized players can access content.