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Mobile video streaming
is the practice of providing video to a mobile device through wireless digital signals. This fairly new kind of technology
has been applied to mobile phone and cell phone devices, as well as to some
other kinds of wireless devices that can receive digital broadband signals through
the air. Video streaming media is now quickly becoming part of what customers
expect from a mobile device, and electronics companies are racing to deliver a greater variety of traveling devices that will
showcase the ability to stream digital video.
The idea of mobile video streaming developed from digital connections to wired devices fairly
quickly, as the Internet and other connective technologies emerged in the 1990s. Providers of digital video began to offer
them through broadband connections. Wider broadband services helped to provide a better standard for video streaming. Eventually,
the improvement of digital video transfer meant it could be applied to less stable systems like wireless networks, which were
also conveniently becoming more stable through more finely tuned information delivery processes.
Mobile video streaming
has some of the same conventions that were always associated with receiving video through digital connection. One of these
is “buffering,” in which the digital display has to temporarily stop in order to help the receiving technology
catch up with receiving and ordering all of the digital data in the video production. Another has to do with formatting, where
videos and nonstandard formats may not have the same kinds of accessibility as video in established formats like MPEG-4, a common video format for mobile streaming.
Many of today’s digital service providers
use a 3G Network, a kind of certified wireless signal that provides helpful
standards for the wireless community as a whole. Customers can compare the 3G networks of competing mobile content providers, and choose the one they think will best accommodate their desired use of
mobile content, including TV or live video streaming. Companies are also developing 4G networks for the future, which would logically include better accommodation for mobile video streaming.
As various kinds of
technology have improved through the last several decades, the operational capacity of consumer electronics has exploded.
Mobile video streaming is a good example of this phenomenon, where full length movies and quality video content can now be
sent through wireless signal directly to an end user. Technicians and engineers continue to study the common uses of 3G and
4G networks to see how the current system can be improved for even better mobile video streaming and delivery in the future.
Online video has
changed the way we create, view and share video online today. And with the innovative technology on smartphones constantly
advancing, supporting video on mobile devices has become the new ‘next best thing’. The movement from online video
has now transitioned and exploded into mobile video. While
video sharing platforms like YouTube and Vimeo are still just as popular, users are now viewing online video on their mobile devices instead
of on their PCs. In fact, 75 percent of YouTube mobile video users say
that their mobile is the number one device they use to watch YouTube videos.
But the ability to watch video on a mobile device is only a small
part of what mobile video has to offer. More recent features that are being implemented in applications for smartphones include
creating video and mobile video chatting.
With smartphones like the iPhone and phones running on Android and Windows operating systems, it’s
effortless to create and share video using the basic features the phones offer. The first mobile-to-mobile video calling capability
was deployed by innovator Apple on the iPhone 4, and since, it seems more applications are being developed such as Skype Mobile,
Fring, which allow users to mobile video chat other smartphone users with compatible software and devices.
As 3G networks evolve worldwide, the rising
demand for mobile video services and the enormous growth of video online is creating new opportunities for mobile network
operators and application developers.
Companies that manufacture and provide equipment and technology to deploy mobile video are becoming more and more
in-demand as new ideas are rolled out. By providing video-enabled media servers and gateways that allow the creation of video
and other mobile interactivity applications, these companies can bring video to both their already successful voice applications
and to new video-only applications as well.
Mobile video can be viewed in a number of different formats including 3GPP, MPEG-4, RTSP
and Flash Lite, depending on what your mobile device supports. And as smartphones get “smarter” mobile video will
continue to advance as well to keep up with new technology.
While the future of mobile video is still unknown, we have to remember that
the concept is in its early stages and still has room to grow. 3D video in one concept in development that seems to be on
the horizon, however, with the rate that new mobile technology is being developed and rolled out, anything is possible.
Sorenson Media Survey Reveals MP4
Leads Wide Range of Formats Used for Web and Mobile Viewing, Increasingly Hands-On Role of Video Professionals Worldwide
69 Percent and 58 Percent of Respondents
Use MP4 as an End Video Format for the Web and Mobile Devices, Respectively; Others Showing Strong Support among Video Pros
Include Flash, QuickTime and Windows Media
QuickTime Reference Movie is Most Popular Input Format, but Others Have Broad Resonance Among Users
Video Professionals Play Increasingly
Hands-on Role in Addressing Growing Video Complexity in a Multi-Screen World
Sorenson Media today announced key
results of a survey that the company conducted among its diverse, global user base of hundreds of thousands of video professionals.
The survey reveals that MP4 leads a wide range of video formats used by video professionals for distribution on the web and
mobile devices – 69 percent of users employ it regularly for the web and 58 percent use it for mobile.
Sorenson Media develops leading video
encoding and workflow solutions; its client base comprises video professionals at agencies, post-production houses, enterprises,
educational institutions and myriad other organizations throughout the world. This extensive user base includes 70 of the
Fortune 100 companies and 60 percent of the broadcast station groups in the United States.
The majority of survey respondents selected more than one
format from the options provided, revealing a broad diversity among formats used for web and mobile deployment, with no runaway
standard emerging. The results included:
For web video, in addition to MP4, the following formats demonstrate strong support from video professionals: Flash
(54 percent); QuickTime (45 percent); and Windows Media (34 percent). The emerging WebM format was selected by only 5 percent
of respondents, underscoring its low adoption to date. For mobile video, MP4 adoption significantly outpaces all other
formats: Flash (16 percent); HTML5 (16 percent); Windows Media (9 percent); and WebM (3 percent).
In addition to the formats selected, 78 percent of respondents
indicated that they use the H.264 codec to encode their video content.
QuickTime Reference Movie was the preferred input choice with nearly 28 percent
of respondents. As with outputs, every major input format was represented, including .mov (25 percent), ProRes (10 percent),
AVI (9 percent), DNxHD (8 percent), MPEG-4 (7 percent), MPEG-2 (3 percent), FLV (2 percent) and WMV (2 percent).
“While some of the results confirmed
what we knew about how video professionals approach their work in this increasingly complex online video world, others were
enlightening, including how broad and varied the use cases and formats were across the board,” said Peter Csathy, president
and CEO of Sorenson Media. “Standardization in online video is still far from reality, which means doing it right can
get extremely complicated. It requires the best work of top professionals who can fully utilize and adapt solutions to the
many tasks, tools and processes that make up their video workflows.”
These diverse output and input formats highlight the increasing complexity of online
video and the imperative for video solutions that are optimized for hundreds of devices, and a multitude of use cases—such
as DVD, Blu-ray, online and mobile playback, including adaptive bitrate streaming. For instance, the survey also highlighted
remarkable diversity among platforms and environments for which video professionals are preparing their video content. 89
percent of respondents indicated that they encoded for the Web, followed in popularity by DVD (67 percent), mobile (46 percent),
corporate (45 percent) and broadcast (43 percent).
Another key insight revealed by the
survey is the fact that video professionals are increasingly active and proactive in their utilization of video solutions.
76 percent of the survey respondents use Sorenson Media’s Squeeze encoding products on a weekly or daily basis, while
68 percent of respondents modify the encoding presets (encoding “recipes”) in Squeeze to respond to their specific
needs and 11 percent create their own presets. Additionally, 25 percent of respondents export their presets for presumed sharing
of their customized presets and expertise. The majority of video professionals surveyed now perform multiple encodes concurrently,
demonstrating the increasing complexity of online video preparation.
“Despite the fact that we include nearly 200 presets—or encoding ‘recipes’—for
video output in the latest versions of Squeeze, video pros seem to be increasingly involved in tweaking and fine-tuning their
final product to their specifications and preferences,” Csathy added. “With more devices and formats entering
the market, overall complexity and the need to ‘dial in’ video quality and performance are increasing, not decreasing.
At the end of the day, video quality is essential—it is a reflection on the content, the brand and the message.”
One of the key aspects
being “Standardization in online video is still far from reality“, but with the multitude of variables
present (output devices, medium, etc), it’s hard to. Google tried to but is looking bad in this picture, with only 3%
of users adopting their WebM open-source format. With all the company bets in online video, we wonder how they will try to
overcome this in the near future.