Today we are announcing:

  • IIS Smooth Streaming, a new adaptive streaming technology evolved from work done for the web distribution NBC Olympics.
  • Akamai is launching a preview of a new service called “Akamai AdaptiveEdge Streaming for Microsoft Silverlight” that will enable HD video experiences on the web (see http://www.smoothHD.com for more info).

As part of the announcement we will be shipping support for IIS Smooth Streaming in Expression Encoder 2 SP1 including the ability to simultaneously encode to multiple bitrates required to enable an adaptive streaming scheme, support for outputting to the new file format as well as support for the format in our Silverlight 2 player skins.

In simple terms, adaptive streaming is an approach that enables video playback to adapt, in real time, to changing network conditions and PC load and be able to offer the appropriate bitrate at any particular instant.  The IIS Smooth Streaming implementation offers various optimizations that make deployment and management of such a scheme simpler and more cost effective.  IIS Smooth Streaming will be an upcoming feature of the IIS Media Pack.

Expression Encoder 2 SP1 will be available real soon now.. when it drops, we’ll be following up with more info on the new features and how to create IIS Smooth Streaming content.  In the meantime you can check out the demos over at http://www.smoothHD.com.