At the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC) on November 18th, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Scott Guthrie announced support for adaptive streaming to the iPhone from the next release of IIS Media Services. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about this announcement:
Q: What did you announce at PDC about streaming to the Apple iPhone?
A: At PDC, Scott Guthrie announced that the next version of IIS Media Services will provide an option to take video content in the format for IIS Smooth Streaming (also known as the Protected Interoperable File Format, or PIFF) and provide an output option that will deliver the content in a format optimized for the Apple iPhone.
Q: Where can I see this for myself?
A: To see the iPhone adaptive streaming demo, use your iPhone browser to navigate to www.iis.net/iPhone.
Q: Do I need to encode new video content twice?
A: No. After you publish H.264 Baseline video content created in the IIS Smooth Streaming format, IIS Media Services takes care of any format conversions necessary to target both the Apple iPhone and clients that are able to directly consume the IIS Smooth Streaming Transport Protocol, such as Microsoft Silverlight.
Q: Do I need to re-encode my existing Smooth Streaming content?
A: Not necessarily. IIS Media Services 4 will use existing IIS Smooth Streaming content encoded with the H.264 Baseline video codec (for example, content created with Expression Encoder 3) and deliver it in a format optimized for the Apple iPhone.
Q: How does PIFF content differ from Smooth Streaming content?
A: There is no difference between PIFF (Protected Interoperable File Format) content and IIS Smooth Streaming content. The PIFF specification simply describes the file format used for IIS Smooth Streaming content.
Q: Will this feature have support for both Live and On-Demand video streaming?
A: Yes, support for streaming to the Apple iPhone will be incorporated in IIS Smooth Streaming for both live and on-demand content.
Q: Does this mean that the Apple iPhone now has Microsoft Silverlight support?
A: No. We are using the native H.264 video playback capabilities of Apple iPhone to enable this feature, and are not putting additional code or interpretive runtimes on the device.
Q: When can I get it?
A: This new feature will be included in the upcoming IIS Media Services 4 release. Release timelines will be announced at a later date.
Q: What are IIS Smooth Streaming and IIS Media Services?
A: IIS Smooth Streaming is a new HTTP-based streaming technology that adapts video quality for each end user in near-real-time to match their local bandwidth and video rendering capabilities. Because it uses HTTP, it scales massively across existing content delivery networks, and avoids common firewall issues. IIS Smooth Streaming is one of the features in IIS Media Services, a set of media extensions for Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.x, the Web server role in Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
Q: Where can I learn more?
A: See the Web sites for IIS Media Services and Microsoft Silverlight.