Microsoft Closes Down Silverlight Streaming
Microsoft has closed its two-year-old hosting service, Silverlight Streaming. Existing videos can still be retrieved for the time being, but new ones can no longer be uploaded. They have also discontinued the related publishing plug-in for Expression Encoder.
Silverlight Streaming, formally known as Microsoft® Silverlight™ Streaming by Windows Live™ Beta, was established in May of 2007 to promote Silverlight’s media capabilities. It offered free hosting for streaming videos that worked in conjunction with Silverlight.
Earlier this year Microsoft dropped another online service, PopFly. While neither service formally left its beta phase, a lot of time and energy was invested by people using these services. This brings into question Microsoft’s commitment to its other online offerings, especially the free ones under the Windows Live brand.
Windows Azure is expected to offer streaming video hosting, but it will not be a direct replacement for Silverlight Streaming. Unlike Silverlight Streaming, it will also be a paid offering.
For more information on the closing of this service and instructions on retrieving your files from it, consult the Live Services blog.
Video Optimization Webcasting & Bandwidth: how many viewers can you reach?
To estimate how many viewers you can reach during a webcast, consider some parlance:
One viewer: 1 click of a video player button at one location logged on
One viewer hour: 1 viewer connected for 1 hour
100 viewer hours: 100 viewers connected for 1 hour…
Typically webcasts will be offered at different bit rates or quality levels corresponding to different user’s internet connection speeds. Bit rate implies the rate at which bits (basic data units) are transferred. It denotes how much data is transmitted in a given amount of time. (bps / Kbps / Mbps…). Quality improves as more bits are used for each second of the playback. Video of 3000 Kbps will look better than one of say 1000Kbps. This is just like quality of a image is represented in resolution, for video (or audio) it is measured by the bit rate.