Saturday, September 11, 2010

HTML5, Silverlight and Flash

Whilst many talk of HTML5 being the way ahead they forget the reasons why the likes of Adobe’s Flash and Microsoft’s Silverlight platforms have attracted their own followings. HTML5 will be the future base that is a fact but will not replace the need for Flash or Silverlight.

Silverlights 5.1 new tools enables creators to provide full surround-sound with a video stream, decode the stream and allow users to experience the full 6-channel output. Now that many devices will already be capable of handling the enhanced audio. BSkyB's Sky Player and Netflix both utilise the Silverlight patform for streaming and surround-sound could offer obvious benefit when streaming to HTPCs or internet-enabled TVs.

Corporate IT have previous objected to video video-based applications, arguing that they are complex and expensive to deploy, need a high bandwidth which could impact other critical services such as email. Adobe have now introduced Flash Media Server 4 with several feature which could make video a standard for corporate networks and address these concerns.
HTTP Dynamic Streaming, enables video files to be stored in any available Web cache locations, which means that they require less bandwidth to deliver them to individual users and allows applications to be scaled to service a larger numbers of users.
IP Multicast uses routers to broadcast a video stream to multiple clients across a corporate network. Corporate updates and messages can be delivered as video all of its employees across everywhere at the same time.

Peer-Assisted Delivery addresses’ large-scale video delivery through peer-to-peer networking such that when a user requests a video, the server will identify client with available bandwidth to receive the transmission which in turn can then pass it to other clients until it reaches the user. Thereby spreading the load.

With both Microsoft and Adobe gunning to build media platforms and Google wanting to establish Android as the mobile platform of choice it hard to see how Apple can continue to play the role of King Canute over these platforms.

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