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Old 01-26-2009, 12:58 PM   #211
fyodor
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Does anybody have trouble with mp4 videos not being upscaled or otherwise looking not as good as other content? I have some 480p mp4 videos and they seem to have more pixellation/blurriness than a lot of other SD content (SD channels, Amazon unbox downloads)?

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Old 01-26-2009, 01:29 PM   #212
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kearygriffin View Post
The other issue is that currently to stream MP4 to the tivo, the full index (moov atom) needs to be sent to the TiVo as part of the MP4 file, which is not available until the entire video has been transcoded.

One thing I have been wanting to play with, but can't seem to find the correct tools to test it, is to see if the TiVo supports h264/ac3 inside of a MPEG-PS stream. If it did, then it would be at least possible to transcode to h264(mp4) and stream to the TiVo. (My guess is that this wouldnt help with the bandwidth issues, as it would probably make h264 slow down like the current mpeg streams, but since you can get better quality at lower bit rates with h264, it may help somewhat)

Does anyone know of any tools to create a mpeg-ps with h264/ac3? (From what I've read I think it should be possible).
I'm not sure if mpeg-ps with H264 is even possible or within specs. Certainly mpeg-ts container allows for that but so far we've been unable to get mpeg-ts to be accepted by Tivo. I can see the motivation for this from the moov atom perspective, but the issue would still be transcoding to H264 video in real time which I don't think is practical on a general purpose computer no matter what the container.
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Old 01-26-2009, 01:38 PM   #213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kearygriffin View Post
The other issue is that currently to stream MP4 to the tivo, the full index (moov atom) needs to be sent to the TiVo as part of the MP4 file, which is not available until the entire video has been transcoded.

One thing I have been wanting to play with, but can't seem to find the correct tools to test it, is to see if the TiVo supports h264/ac3 inside of a MPEG-PS stream. If it did, then it would be at least possible to transcode to h264(mp4) and stream to the TiVo. (My guess is that this wouldnt help with the bandwidth issues, as it would probably make h264 slow down like the current mpeg streams, but since you can get better quality at lower bit rates with h264, it may help somewhat)

Does anyone know of any tools to create a mpeg-ps with h264/ac3? (From what I've read I think it should be possible).
Looks like VLC would do it, but who knows if it's going to work on the TiVo.
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Old 01-26-2009, 02:19 PM   #214
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Originally Posted by NA9D View Post
Hey one other comment on Streambaby. I've got a bunch of DVD rips that I'd like to play. Streambaby will see and play the .vob files fine, but it won't recognize the DVD folder as an entire DVD. And it also will not recognize .iso files.

Any way to make this work?
As coded right now, I don't think so. A DVD folder contains a bunch of files that define a bunch of streams (audio and video) which are expected to be parsed by a DVD playing tool.
An .iso file is even further out (that's basically a description of a CD or DVD layout put in a file and usually compressed). an .iso file is not a movie, but may contain a movie (like a .zip file might, or a .tar file might).

Both of these things 'could' be added and made to work, but it would be moving streambaby from a 'movie' streamer and into the realm of media viewers (like plex). -- I think it's best for now if that's not added.


THAT SAID: It's not too difficult for you to turn both those things into actual media files that can be streamed. Handbrake is a very nice streaming app that can take a DVD layout in a directory, let you select which audio and video streams you want, and re-encodes them into h264 mp4 files (or mkv or whatever).
If you instead prefer to not re-encoder (faster, no degradation of quality, but HUUUUGE files) you can use tools like mplayer or vlc to rip out the contents of the DVD and save them to an .mpg file. Keep in mind that this will generate a file without multiple streams, which may confuse some programs (I haven't tried it with streambaby). Here's how you would use mplayer if you have MPlayerOSX installed in /Applications (run this in Terminal.app):
Code:
/Applications/MPlayer\ OSX.app/Contents/Resources/External_Binaries/mplayer.app/Contents/MacOS/mplayer -dumpstream -dumpfile ~/Desktop/mymovie.mpg dvd://1 -dvd-device <FULL path to your movie>
If you are more comfortable with using friendly programs, and have VLC installed, you can also do the following:
  • run VLC
  • Select File...Quick Open File, and browse to the main folder (containing VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS)
  • might as well hit 'stop' to stop playing the film
  • Select File...Streaming Exporting Wizard, Transcode Save to File..
  • Pick the Existing movie you loaded
  • Don't transcode
  • You probably want MPEG PS here
  • Pick an output file
  • Hit finish, and wait

Anyways, as for your .iso file, double-clicking it will generally open the file as a 'mounted volume' and then you can read it like it was a folder to re-encode
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Old 01-26-2009, 02:27 PM   #215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NA9D View Post
Hey one other comment on Streambaby. I've got a bunch of DVD rips that I'd like to play. Streambaby will see and play the .vob files fine, but it won't recognize the DVD folder as an entire DVD. And it also will not recognize .iso files.

Any way to make this work?
Streambaby has option to play an entire folder (press "Play" on a folder) or if you press "FF" on a title in file browser mode it will setup a playlist of all files from the current cursor position down, so that works well for playing a group of .vob files.
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Old 01-26-2009, 03:32 PM   #216
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Not sure when I will get to it, but there was some discussion a while back on commercial skipping and supporting cut-lists. I tried to get comskip working but had a lot of difficulties. (Mainly because I run Linux, and I also couldn't get it run on my virtual-vista).

Anyway, if someone could post the first few lines of a cut file that would be great. Again, not sure when I will get to it, but figured I might as well collection the information.

I believe comskip supports multiple output formats, but I think I am going to interested in the videoredo format. I believe it uses timestamps as opposed to frames which is easier for me to deal with. (If I am wrong, and there is a better format that uses timestamps as opposed to frames, let me know)
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:31 PM   #217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kearygriffin View Post
Not sure when I will get to it, but there was some discussion a while back on commercial skipping and supporting cut-lists. I tried to get comskip working but had a lot of difficulties. (Mainly because I run Linux, and I also couldn't get it run on my virtual-vista).

Anyway, if someone could post the first few lines of a cut file that would be great. Again, not sure when I will get to it, but figured I might as well collection the information.

I believe comskip supports multiple output formats, but I think I am going to interested in the videoredo format. I believe it uses timestamps as opposed to frames which is easier for me to deal with. (If I am wrong, and there is a better format that uses timestamps as opposed to frames, let me know)
NOTE: I believe by default EDL file generation is enabled in comskip.ini. VideoRedo output you have to enable in comskip.ini.
EDL file syntax:
http://mediacoder.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/EDL
edl cut file (time is in seconds)
------------
Format is:
[begin second] [end second] [action]
action = 0 for skip, 1 for mute

Example:
201.40 510.64 0
1451.12 1522.04 0
3084.04 3240.80 0
4368.44 4691.64 0
5696.64 5696.68 0

VRD cut file sample
-------------------
<Cut>2012800000:5105200000
<Cut>14510000000:15219200000
<Cut>30839200000:32406800000
<Cut>43683200000:46915200000
<Cut>56965200000:56965600000
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:08 PM   #218
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Originally Posted by kearygriffin View Post
Does anyone know of any tools to create a mpeg-ps with h264/ac3? (From what I've read I think it should be possible).
vlc did let me use passthru to create an mpeg-ps with h264/ac3 from an mp4 that had those. However, the resulting file was broken (ffmpeg wouldn't see an audio stream). If I manually tried to re-encode to h264/ac3, it would not let me select mpeg-ps. I could select mpeg-ts though. Do you want me to make and upload an mpeg-ts with h.264/ac3 for testing?
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:52 PM   #219
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Originally Posted by Yoav View Post
vlc did let me use passthru to create an mpeg-ps with h264/ac3 from an mp4 that had those. However, the resulting file was broken (ffmpeg wouldn't see an audio stream). If I manually tried to re-encode to h264/ac3, it would not let me select mpeg-ps. I could select mpeg-ts though. Do you want me to make and upload an mpeg-ts with h.264/ac3 for testing?
Thanks Yoav, but so far no one has figured out how to stream a mpeg-ts (as opposed to ps) stream to the TiVo, so until/unless we pass that hurdle, it won't make sense to start playing with h264 in a TS stream.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:25 PM   #220
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Biggest streaming limitations to be overcome

So to sum things up, the biggest challenges remaining to make Tivo streaming option much more useful than it currently is:
1. Good quality HD mpeg2 streaming is currently not really practical since it can't keep up with real time.
WORKAROUND: Re-encode those videos to high quality mpeg4 container with H.264 video & AC3 audio. This cannot be done on the fly.

2. 1.1 GB buffer limitation.
WORKAROUND: Streambaby already works around this issue by starting a new stream at the buffer limit point, but it's not ideal to have to start a new stream for which a new buffer will have to build up. This sort of ties back to issue 1 where for high bit rate streams the buffer build up is not fast enough for real time playback.
There must be a solution to this issue as Tivo/Netflix does not suffer from this problem.

Anyone that can come up with good solutions to above major issues will take Tivo streaming to the next level.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:45 PM   #221
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Originally Posted by moyekj View Post
There must be a solution to this issue as Tivo/Netflix does not suffer from this problem.
So I've always been curious as to how netflix avoids the issue. I thought it might be because they adjust their bitrate to match the network connection AND are already on a slow connection...

I'm still trying to understand the buffer limitation... is the following a fair explanation of the 1.1G limit?:
Code:
           A                          B
  |--------------|--------------------------|
              right now
So if you're at the 'right now' point in a stream, A represents the area you can trivially rewind to, B is the area you can fast forward to that has already been downloaded but not yet seen, and anything outside requires the 'tiny image mode'.

Is the 1.1G limit on A+B? or just B? (I was hoping it's just B). If so, and the application knows where it's at (another if?). Would it not be possible to slow down the transfer so that B doesn't fill up to 1.1G (or even just send a sigstop / sigcont to ffmpeg to force it to pause once in a while)?
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:52 PM   #222
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Quote:
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Is the 1.1G limit on A+B? or just B? (I was hoping it's just B). If so, and the application knows where it's at (another if?). Would it not be possible to slow down the transfer so that B doesn't fill up to 1.1G (or even just send a sigstop / sigcont to ffmpeg to force it to pause once in a while)?
At least based on some tests I did streaming a file that is about 1.15G in size, it unfortunately appears to be a limit on A+B. I'd love to be wrong on that though (since most of my movie rips are in the 2G range).
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:46 PM   #223
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Yoav, the buffer limitation right now is pretty simple:
Once you open a stream and send it to Tivo it will only accept ~ 1.1 GB worth of data to be stored in it's stream buffer. Beyond that limit it will automatically close the stream. So if I understand your representation it's A+B as westside_guy replied above. Streambaby does know exactly what time point you are at while playing back a stream which is why the workaround to start a new stream once buffer endpoint is reached is possible. Problem is of course, as soon as you start a new stream the old buffer contents are thrown out and a new buffer starts to build up.
There was some interesting discussion in this thread that possibly you can have more than 1 stream at a time sent to a Tivo which if so could lead to some interesting possibilities (if nothing else it could be used to make a smooth/quick transition between streams) but I don't think it's been explored very much yet.
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:34 PM   #224
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I think there may be a problem with my Galleon instructions that prevent the transcoding from working. I haven't had a chance to play around with it yet though.
Well, I was able to send some .avi files through streambaby tonight (running under Galleon) and ffmpeg kicked off just fine.

I did get the "failed to open stream" message once when I tried a particular .wmv file. But when I tried a different one (again, .wmv), it worked as expected (ffmpeg kicked off):

Code:
root     15136 14576 86 20:29 ?        00:00:07 ffmpeg -ss 0.0 -i /mnt/media/Video/Home Movies/ffla_award.wmv -acodec ac3 -ac 2 -ab 192k -vcodec mpeg2video -f vob -sameq -async 1 -v 0 tcp://127.0.0.1:8500
I was able to send plain MPEG-2 across as well (no ffmpeg for those either).

edit: the .wmv I was having problems with turned out to be a bad file. The video stream is WVP2 for some reason and my ffmpeg can't handle it. So it wasn't streambaby's fault.
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:23 PM   #225
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Originally Posted by windracer View Post
Well, I was able to send some .avi files through streambaby tonight (running under Galleon) and ffmpeg kicked off just fine.

I did get the "failed to open stream" message once when I tried a particular .wmv file. But when I tried a different one (again, .wmv), it worked as expected (ffmpeg kicked off):

Code:
root     15136 14576 86 20:29 ?        00:00:07 ffmpeg -ss 0.0 -i /mnt/media/Video/Home Movies/ffla_award.wmv -acodec ac3 -ac 2 -ab 192k -vcodec mpeg2video -f vob -sameq -async 1 -v 0 tcp://127.0.0.1:8500
I was able to send plain MPEG-2 across as well (no ffmpeg for those either).

edit: the .wmv I was having problems with turned out to be a bad file. The video stream is WVP2 for some reason and my ffmpeg can't handle it. So it wasn't streambaby's fault.
I wonder why I get an incompatible video stream error with windows. I guess for some reason ffmpeg isnt transcoding with my setup on Galleon
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:32 PM   #226
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I wonder why I get an incompatible video stream error with windows. I guess for some reason ffmpeg isnt transcoding with my setup on Galleon
Perhaps in your Galleon setup ffmpeg is not in your path? I don't know exactly how Galleon setup is but perhaps in the master script that starts Galleon you should check or ensure that the right ffmpeg is included in PATH.
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:48 PM   #227
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Perhaps in your Galleon setup ffmpeg is not in your path? I don't know exactly how Galleon setup is but perhaps in the master script that starts Galleon you should check or ensure that the right ffmpeg is included in PATH.
I see Windracer has been able to activate transcoding thru Galleon. I wonder if my wrapper text differs from his. The classpaths seem to go thru the HME directory which contains ffmpeg.
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:01 PM   #228
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I see Windracer has been able to activate transcoding thru Galleon. I wonder if my wrapper text differs from his. The classpaths seem to go thru the HME directory which contains ffmpeg.
What if you try explicitly telling streambaby where your ffmpeg is located? It looks like you can add 'ffmpeg.path=' to the streambaby.ini file and point to where your ffmpeg.exe is.

My own ffmpeg is under /usr/bin, which is in my Linux path when Galleon starts, so that could be why my install can invoke ffmpeg but yours can't.
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:26 PM   #229
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did you move the streambaby ffmpeg folder over to the galleon.bin folder?
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:34 PM   #230
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did you move the streambaby ffmpeg folder over to the galleon.bin folder?
Actually, what I think may work is setting
lib.native=c:\path\to\streambaby\native
to wherever the native directory for streambaby is located. (Which contains the win32 ffmpeg libraries & executables)

It should automatically then look for both ffmpeg.exe and the libraries there.
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:03 PM   #231
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Actually, what I think may work is setting
lib.native=c:\path\to\streambaby\native
to wherever the native directory for streambaby is located. (Which contains the win32 ffmpeg libraries & executables)

It should automatically then look for both ffmpeg.exe and the libraries there.

Still no dice. Still getting incompatible video stream with following .ini settings

#
# ./streambaby --help for more configuration file options
#

dir.1=G:\videos
#dir.1.name=Someones videos
#dir.2=/media/disk
#dir.2.name=External Drive
# Ip address to bind to
# most people don't need to change this.
#ip=192.168.1.37
# port to use
port=7289
lib.native=C:\Program Files\streambaby-0.19a
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:04 PM   #232
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Originally Posted by ajayabb View Post
Still no dice. Still getting incompatible video stream with following .ini settings
..
..
lib.native=C:\Program Files\streambaby-0.19a
Try changing that line to read:
lib.native=C:\Program Files\streambaby-0.19a\native

And restarting.
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:08 PM   #233
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Originally Posted by kearygriffin View Post
Actually, what I think may work is setting
lib.native=c:\path\to\streambaby\native
to wherever the native directory for streambaby is located. (Which contains the win32 ffmpeg libraries & executables)

It should automatically then look for both ffmpeg.exe and the libraries there.
Thanks for pointing that out - I defined both the lib.native and the preview.cache directories and, having followed windracer's instructions, it works FLAWLESSLY now - just as if I was running the service independently (only now I can still use Galleon for ToGo!). I'm very happy. Now to give it a genuine long test-run with a full movie....

(FYI - I had copied both the cache and native directories to the root of Galleon as well in case it doesn't work in some other directory; I never tried pointing the ini file to a directory outside of Galleon)

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Old 01-26-2009, 11:10 PM   #234
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Originally Posted by kearygriffin View Post
Try changing that line to read:
lib.native=C:\Program Files\streambaby-0.19a\native

And restarting.
Ffmpeg still won't launch.
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:29 AM   #235
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did you move the streambaby ffmpeg folder over to the galleon.bin folder?
Nope ... because those files don't come with the Linux version (my native folder is empty).

Once you guys get it working on Windows, let me know the extra stuff and I'll update my post in this thread. Looks like the lib.native setting is working for vitocorleone but not ajayabb.
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:27 PM   #236
ajayabb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vitocorleone View Post
Thanks for pointing that out - I defined both the lib.native and the preview.cache directories and, having followed windracer's instructions, it works FLAWLESSLY now - just as if I was running the service independently (only now I can still use Galleon for ToGo!). I'm very happy. Now to give it a genuine long test-run with a full movie....

(FYI - I had copied both the cache and native directories to the root of Galleon as well in case it doesn't work in some other directory; I never tried pointing the ini file to a directory outside of Galleon)
Did you point preview.cache to the same directory as lib.native?
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Old 01-27-2009, 01:19 PM   #237
kearygriffin
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streambaby svn

I enabled google-code SVN access for people who want to follow along with the bleeding edge of streambaby development:
http://code.google.com/p/streambaby/source/checkout

I'm trying to use git locally and push/pull from google code SVN. I've never used git or svn before, so hopefully I'm doing things correctly. (I've been using mercurial for a couple of years, but I think the time has come to switch to git. So far the basics look very simple, and all I really need at this point are the basics).

The changelog file should always be main/changelog.txt listing the latest changes.

And for those of you who do try this, I'll try to explain the most controversial of the changes for the next revision:

I've changed the icons used for streambaby. I was a little worried about the license for the previous set of icons. Although the license said it was OK to use in open source software, it wasn't what I would call a real open source license. I wasn't sure if it was OK to mix the images with both the GPLed code, and I wasn't sure whether it was OK to host the icons on google code if they weren't one of the standard google-code licenses. The new icons are GPL/LGPL.

Having said that, I think the new icons look pretty good, and I've made it easier for people to change them if they wish. I'm hoping this will keep those people happy who don't like the new ones :-)
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Old 01-27-2009, 01:54 PM   #238
jmemmott
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moyekj View Post
There must be a solution to this issue as Tivo/Netflix does not suffer from this problem.
You may be looking at two different "streaming" modes, however. From the little I have looked into Netflix streams from the Silverlight/PlayReady DRM side, it appears that Netflix is using Windows Media Services rather than progressive downloads. The WMS server streams via Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) which provides two-way out of band communications to monitor quality and allow the client to invoke DVR like commands (stop, pause, reposition, ... ) on the server side. This also allows it to be designed not to allow or need more than about one minute or so of media data on the client. This chunk is small enough it can be processed entirely in memory and should never be committed to any permanent storage during the process according to Microsoft : no disk buffers at all!
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Old 01-27-2009, 01:54 PM   #239
Yoav
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kearygriffin View Post
I enabled google-code SVN access for people who want to follow along with the bleeding edge of streambaby development:
http://code.google.com/p/streambaby/source/checkout
You rock!
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:05 PM   #240
herbman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmemmott View Post
You may be looking at two different "streaming" modes, however. From the little I have looked into Netflix streams from the Silverlight/PlayReady DRM side, it appears that Netflix is using Windows Media Services rather than progressive downloads. The WMS server streams via Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) which provides two-way out of band communications to monitor quality and allow the client to invoke DVR like commands (stop, pause, reposition, ... ) on the server side. This also allows it to be designed not to allow or need more than about one minute or so of media data on the client. This chunk is small enough it can be processed entirely in memory and should never be committed to any permanent storage during the process according to Microsoft : no disk buffers at all!
Of course then, the question is... how to stream over RTSP/MMS instead of plain-jane HTTP? RTSP would be a better protocol for all streaming anyway.
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