Smooth Streaming – What, Why, When, Where, and How

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):

  1. A Brief History of Multi-Bitrate Streaming
  2. The Birth of Smooth Streaming
  3. Smooth Streaming Architecture
  4. Encoding for Smooth Streaming (coming soon!)

If you haven't already done so, please check out the proof-of-concept Smooth Streaming site at


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