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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Home Office... (Score 1) 287

by Manuka (#47942423) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

1300VA Smart-UPS, Dell T110, Dell R210, Dell Optiplex 790 (Plex media server), Couple of Dell CS23. Network is Motorola SBR, HP T5740 running pfSense, Aruba IAP-225 (802.11ac), HP 2915 10-port PoE switch, Ubiquiti PicoStation feeding into Ubiquiti toughswitch to remotely connect printer and Ooma for home phone. Office phone is Yealink T38G.

Also have a couple of servers offsite in real datacenters and on EC2 and Azure.

Comment: Re:starting to make sense (Score 1) 202

by Manuka (#47168939) Attached to: Netflix Ditches Silverlight For HTML5 On Macs

Who are you saying is "against" HTML5? DASH-IF? It's a complementary technology, not a competing one. There's no "contractual" issue here. Netflix hasn't switched to DASH until very recently because the technology hasn't been fully developed until very recently. There certainly wouldn't be a contractual obligation for members of the forum to use non-DASH technologies, that would be absurd.

DASH (which, since you're unclear on it, stands for Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) is an emerging industry standard way of transporting streaming media. As I mentioned earlier, HTML5 is not a streaming standard, it's a browser rendering standard. DASH is a streaming standard that is currently emerging, which uses HTML5 (and associated CSS and Javascript) to render the video in the browser. The members of DASH-IF are the ones developing and implementing the standard. Development of DASH is one of the main reasons Microsoft backed away from Silverlight. Other players in DASH-IF deal with transport (such as Akamai, Cisco) and encoding (Adobe, Dolby, DTS).

Comment: Re:"HTML5 video" doesn't actually exist. (Score 1) 202

by Manuka (#47165733) Attached to: Netflix Ditches Silverlight For HTML5 On Macs

Correct, in order to use RTMP, you must use Flash (as I mentioned in the original post - HTML5 doesn't preclude using a Flash object). There are players such as JWPlayer that do an excellent job of using HTML5 media objects if supported and falling back to Flash if they're not, in order to provide a seamless experience to the end user (but Android is still a mess).

DASH is going a long way towards fixing the mess, but it's still very early in that lifecycle. One of the really neat things about it is that the manifest makes available a list of what video and audio segments are available (and what codecs, bitrates, etc), and the client picks what it needs based on its capabilities. If a DASH manifest makes available a 2.0 stereo audio track at 128Kbps, a 5.1 surround track, a 7.1 surround track, and a 22.1 surround track (don't laugh, 22.1 is part of the upcoming 8K spec), along with a 4K video track and various resolutions and bitrates below that, it will pick whatever's appropriate for your hardware - playing on a mobile device over headphones? Player will pick whichever video track is appropriate for your screen/bandwidth and the 2.0 stereo. Output via HDMI from the same device? Switch the audio over to the surround. And so forth.

Comment: Re: you're smart but wrong (Score 1) 202

by Manuka (#47165663) Attached to: Netflix Ditches Silverlight For HTML5 On Macs

"HTML5" in the context of streaming simply refers to placing a media object on a page without benefit of external players such as Flash or Silverlight. The HTML5 spec quite intentionally does not specify codecs or transports in order to be flexible to upcoming technologies (which change awfully fast in the streaming world). Since HTML (and by extension Javascript) deals with rendering, not transport (that's done over HTTP), it's a technical impossibility to stream with HTML.

Comment: Re:silverlight bad, HTML5 good (Score 3, Informative) 202

by Manuka (#47165591) Attached to: Netflix Ditches Silverlight For HTML5 On Macs

Microsoft is a charter member of the DASH industry Forum (along with Adobe and Netflix and a few others) and is really pushing DASH (if the hype is to be believed, it's the Second Coming). That said, it has a lot of very useful technical benefits over silverlight or HLS.


Comment: Re: you're smart but wrong (Score 1) 202

by Manuka (#47165565) Attached to: Netflix Ditches Silverlight For HTML5 On Macs

The main reason they used silverlight is that of all the ways of streaming content, Silverlight has the most robust DRM support. It's been said that MPEG-DASH combines the best of HLS and Silverlight into an open protocol - namely, HLS' ease of use with Silverlight's robust DRM. HLS has decent DRM support as well, but it's still a proprietary Apple protocol (a "standard" in the Sony sense of the word: because they say it's a standard)

The goal of Computer Science is to build something that will last at least until we've finished building it.