Since we announced our new IIS Smooth Streaming extension last October with Akamai, we've been spending a lot of time engaging with very-interested customers and partners. In the course of these discussions, we hear a lot of frequently asked questions about Smooth Streaming, usually along these lines:
- What is Smooth Streaming?
- Can I use my existing Windows Media content with Smooth Streaming?
- How is Smooth Streaming different from MBR [multiple-bit-rate] streaming?
- Will Smooth Streaming work with Silverlight?
- Is Smooth Streaming based on traditional streaming, or progressive download?
- Does Smooth Streaming use proprietary streaming protocols?
- Why is Microsoft shifting towards standards-based media delivery?
- How do I create Smooth Streaming content?
- Do I need to set up Windows Media Services to use Smooth Streaming?
- What kind of support will Smooth Streaming have for H.264 content?
- How does Smooth Streaming work?
- Is Smooth Streaming more scalable than traditional streaming?
- Are there cost advantages to using Smooth Streaming?
If you are wondering about the answers to any or all of these questions, then I highly recommend you read a new four-part Smooth Streaming blog series by Alex Zambelli, Microsoft technical evangelist. Topics include (in order):
- A Brief History of Multi-Bitrate Streaming
- The Birth of Smooth Streaming
- Smooth Streaming Architecture
- Encoding for Smooth Streaming (coming soon!)
If you haven't already done so, please check out the proof-of-concept Smooth Streaming site at SmoothHD.com.