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Hello Limelight Connect members.

 

Q: I only have MP4 files for my video library. How can I use MMD On Demand to power my VOD service for adaptive bitrate HLS and DASH delivery? 

 

A: MMD OD (On Demand) has a powerful feature for VOD service providers who have MP4 versions of their video assets and do not want to encode them into various formats with separate manifests. Through a simple URL formation consisting of the various bitrate versions of the MP4s, you can have MMD OD dynamically create HLS, DASH, HDS and MSS manifests and ABR (Adaptive Bit Rate) streaming. This saves you the hassle of encoding your files to different bitrates and storage costs for the encodings and manifests you would have to create. Contact your Account Representative to find out more. 


Have a question or comment? Add to the conversation by commenting below or emailing me atkweinberger@llnw.com.

Keith Weinberger, Limelight’s Director of Product Management, Video, manages the features and roadmap for live streaming video transcoding, video on demand and online video platform products: MMD Live, MMD OD, Video Player and OVP.

Hello Limelight Connect members. 

 


Q: Will your new HTML5 Player support your Player API?


A: Yes, our new Smart Embed contains the HTML5 Player and supports the Player API functions. The Player API (https://support.limelight.com/public/video/en/Default.htm#Video/Video%20-%20Platform/player_api.htm%3FTocPath%3DAPI%2520Guides) is a powerful suite of player user experience functions, configuration options and events that can be used to control the embedded player from your web page. Easily programmed using JavaScript, this API gives developers countless options for the creation of unique, fully integrated viewing experiences. 

 

Have a question or comment? Add to the conversation by commenting below or emailing me atkweinberger@llnw.com.

 

Keith Weinberger, Limelight’s Director of Product Management, Video, manages the features and roadmap for live streaming video transcoding, video on demand and online video platform products: MMD Live, MMD OD, Video Player and OVP.

Hello Limelight Connect members. 

 

Q: Can I add MediaVault to an existing MMD Live slot?


A: MediaVault is a powerful tool to help you protect your streams from misuse. Adding MediaVault to MMD Live streams is easy, just a click to enable it's done. But, slots must be set up from the start with MediaVault. If you have a slot already set up, just copy your slot and then enable MediaVault in the copy before you save.

 

 

Have a question or comment? Add to the conversation by commenting below or emailing me atkweinberger@llnw.com.

 

Keith Weinberger, Limelight’s Director of Product Management, Video, manages the features and roadmap for live streaming video transcoding, video on demand and online video platform products: MMD Live, MMD OD, Video Player and OVP.

ablanchard

Safe for the Holidays

Posted by ablanchard Nov 18, 2016

November is a good time to pause and appreciate all the work behind the scenes Limelight customers have done to prepare for the holidays. Anticipating the holiday rush, retail and entertainment customers have worked hard on their websites, re-configuring and adapting them to being an important front door.  Video-on-demand sites have cached and stored multiple copies of the most popular movies.  Game publishers have prepared their multi-cdn configurations for massive traffic flows that begin in November and continue throughout December.   Much of this preparation started back in January-- with account reviews and planning sessions where customers worked with their Limelight rep to identify online trends that would impact their coming year.  

Planning ahead, however, means more than just configuring for friendly online traffic.   Especially for retail, entertainment, and financial sites, there is a real “Grinch” out there in the form of cyber threats, particularly web application and DDoS attacks.   You may recall the original Grinch slithered down chimneys and stole presents, food, and decorations put out for the holidays.  Like the Grinch, a web application attack can sneak in and target customer records, stealing them in minutes or less, then whoosh up the chimney with customer data that has taken all year to collect.  However, unlike the Grinch, Web Application attacks sometimes leave no trace they have stolen from you, and - they can happen all year round.  Data breaches, which occur in almost 40% of web app attacks, are expensive to recover from, plus lead to serious customer churn after the fact.  Research shows that the size and value of data breaches is growing year over year. 

 

That’s why in August, Limelight announced its Web Application Firewall solution (WAF) that can block multiple types of application attacks. It protects against well-known “Grinches” out there, as well as villains specific to your industry.  Limelight’s WAF solution allows you to customize your detection rules to block unique, specific threats.  In addition, our DDoS Attack Interceptor, announced last year, absorbs and scrubs botnet attacks. And here’s the real holiday news: they are both easy to implement and extremely cost effective.

 

Following the August announcement, on November 10, Limelight hosted a webinar: Key Strategies and Best Practices To Proactively Protect Digital Assets and Apps .  You can watch this online for a 5000 ft view of practical steps to protect content, using resources and capabilities that are within easy technical and financial reach of any CDN customer.  Not only does it cover the ability to turn on a Web Application Firewall, it covers existing security suite features in the Limelight CDN that can protect your content and control website access.  For a total summary, read our recently updated whitepaper: Limelight, 10 Ways to Protect Your Digital Content, 2016.

 

“Every Who Down in Who-Ville liked Christmas a lot.  But the Grinch who lived just north of Who-Ville… did NOT”

                                                                                                         from How The Grinch Stole Christmas, by Dr. Seuss

 

Sophisticated, highly interactive websites are what we help customers build and run every day.  But increasingly, our business will be helping those same customers protect all the valuable customer experience data they collect as a function of having a fabulous website.   Read more, and we look forward to planning with you in 2017.

Announcing the New SmartEmbed and New HTML5 Player

We are proud to announce that our latest version of our SmartEmbed is completely rebuilt, with market leading technology and updated features and functionality. In anticipation of modern browsers moving away from browser plugins, and Flash in particular, we have adopted HTML5 playback as the primary way to show video. And, by basing our HTML5 player on open source, we can provide you with ongoing improvements made by the open source community. All this is included in your Limelight service and is available today.

 

"Smart-what?"

As part of the broad set of video solutions we offer here at Limelight, we have always been asked by customers to provide them with a simple way to play back the videos they host and stream with us. Our SmartEmbed is the result of those requests, and it has been a solid performer for video playback in the time when digital video was dominated by desktop browsers.

 

The power of the SmartEmbed is that by placing this simple bit of code on your website, you can offer your visitors a single video or playlist of videos that will work on all browsers and operating systems. The "smarts" lay in the browser and OS detection logic that understands what your visitor is using to view your site, and then pulling down the right player and the right encoding format to give them the best possible viewing experience.

 

Popular browsers are starting to move away from supporting Flash (see my blog post Flash in the Limelight), and Limelight is providing you a way to move with them. The legacy SmartEmbed used the browser's Flash player primarily. Our new SmartEmbed uses no browser plugins and skips Flash altogether. Still intelligent in understanding your visitor's device and OS, now it pulls down our new HTML5 player which has better compatibility with both desktop and mobile browsers. Both legacy and new SmartEmbeds are available in the Media Library so you can plan your transition to fit your schedule.

 

OK, So What's New?

We put in months of effort to ensure the new SmartEmbed and new Player support all the great features you have become accustomed to: Analytics, Ad Playback, Content Restrictions, Channel and Audio Only Playback, Player API, etc.

 

But what's exciting is what's new.

 

Extensibility Through Player Plugins

Not to be confused with browser plugins, Player Plugins are simple javascript code snippets that you add to the HTML5 player to produce new functionality. Do you want display social sharing buttons hovering over the video? How about building your own set of custom hotkeys to control player functions? Or display a call to action after your video finishes? Once you have the new player in place, there's no end to the creativity you can apply to your playback experience using the Player Plugins. Contact your Account Manager for more information on how to play!

 

Better Accessibility Support

Accessibility for hearing and sight impaired is important to Limelight, and critical to certain customers. By leveraging an open source player, we get the advantage of a whole community of developers dedicated to making the player more compliant with current standards. While this is an ongoing effort, our new player gives us a giant leap forward and a path to even better improvements.

 

Multiple Embeds On a Single Page

Under the category of "Boring but Important," we have seen many situations where placing multiple SmartEmbeds on a single page has been confusing and just plain didn’t work. Our new SmartEmbed was built from the ground up to support multiple embeds per page.

 

Focus on Security

The world is moving to SSL, and our new SmartEmbed is ready. The same SmartEmbed can be used on both HTTP and HTTPS pages, and all communications between the player and our backend for media access and analytics is done using HTTPS. In addition, we have added an Opt Out feature to suppress the collection of analytics data, should your local regulations or privacy policy require it.

 

Available Now

There's no time like the present. Go into the Media Library and look for the "Limelight HTML Player" under the Embed Tab. Pull down the embed for a single video or a channel. Put it on your website and give it a go. Then plan your transition to using the new SmartEmbed across all your webpages. Get ready for a better, and smarter, experience.

Hello Limelight Connect members. 

 

Q: Does the Limelight Player support 360 degree videos?

 

A: Yes!

 

Our Limelight SmartEmbed and HTML5 Player V2.0 has the ability for Customers to add their own plugins. Limelight doesn’t endorse or create plugins at this time, but the open architecture of the Player gives Customers the flexibility to use plugins they create or that can be found in the open source community. 

 

For details, contact your Account Manager. 

 

 

Have a question or comment? Add to the conversation by commenting below or emailing me atkweinberger@llnw.com.

 

Keith Weinberger, Limelight’s Director of Product Management, Video, manages the features and roadmap for live streaming video transcoding, video on demand and online video platform products: MMD Live, MMD OD, Video Player and OVP.

Hello, Limelight Connect members.

 

This week we have a question about the Transmux slot type of MMD Live.

 
Q: Do I have to publish all bitrates that I configured to a Transmux slot?
A: Yes. Transmux slots give you the flexibility to define the bitrates you want to publish and the order they will appear in the output chunked streaming manifests. However, if you do not publish all the bitrates that were configured for the Transmux slot, the playback will not function correctly.

  

Have a question or comment? Add to the conversation by commenting below or emailing me atkweinberger@llnw.com.

 

 

Keith Weinberger, Limelight’s Director of Product Management, Video, manages the features and roadmap for live streaming video transcoding, video on demand and online video platform products: MMD Live, MMD OD, Video Player and OVP.

Hello, Limelight Connect members.

 

This week we have a question about file types for MMD On Demand.

 

Q: Can MMD OD take an M4V file as input?
A: MMD OD supports multiple input formats. These include: 


ISMV (Microsoft’s Smooth Streaming)
TS (MPEG Transport Stream)
MP4 (MPEG-4)

 

Also, MMD On Demand supports the H.264 video CODEC and the AAC audio CODEC.

 

Even though M4V files are similar to MP4, MMD OD currently doesn't support the M4V format. You can package an audio only stream in MP4, however, and it will stream perfectly.
 
 

Have a question or comment? Add to the conversation by commenting below or emailing me atkweinberger@llnw.com.

 

 

Keith Weinberger, Limelight’s Director of Product Management, Video, manages the features and roadmap for live streaming video transcoding, video on demand and online video platform products: MMD Live, MMD OD, Video Player and OVP.

Live Streaming over the Internet is dynamic and continuously expanding, with more content and business models to deliver content coming to the market every day. It’s important to have the right tools that your business needs to make your service efficient, universal and protected. Here at Limelight, Video solutions are based on meeting your needs, giving you the flexibility to meet your business goals in the ways you need.

 

Our MMD Live product delivers your live streaming channels from a single input stream to multiple formats, multiple bitrates and multiple devices to your viewers all over the world. We make it easy to combine your real-time encoding and delivery while giving you the flexibility and options to make the service fit your needs. Version 2.1 of MMD Live has continued that tradition by expanding the number of options available for you to deliver your service. 

 

Introducing DASH for MMD Live

MPEG DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) was developed by the Moving Picture Expert Group (MPEG) to make a more efficient standard for delivering media to multiple devices using a common standard. Major companies such as Microsoft, Netflix and Adobe, over 50 in all, collaborated to create the standard that first became available in 2012. DASH has been growing and improving over the last few years and is quickly becoming a popular way to playback video on multiple browsers and devices. DASH has gained strong traction with OTT providers, including Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu among others delivering their content in this format.

 

MMD Live v2.1 introduces support for DASH output for all live video streams. DASH is included as a standard output for all MMD Live slots, along with other HTTP chunked streaming formats HLS, HDS and MSS. Having DASH as an included option for playback provides you the flexibility to devise a player strategy that best fits your business. 

 

More Content Protection Options – HLS and Tokenization Options

Securing content is ever present on our customer’s minds and Limelight continues to add options to help. This latest version of MMD Live adds two additional ways to protect your content. First, all playback URLs output by MMD Live will be playable over HTTPS. Using SSL to encrypt delivery of video chunked streaming not only secures your video as it travels over the public Internet, but it also prepares you for the coming time when browsers and search engines begin to favor sites that deliver content over SSL. 

 

V2.1 also provides additional flexibility in your use of Limelight’s tokenization technology. All of the playback URLs in MMD Live have the capability to be tokenized with unique shared secrets. There are also options for the depth of the tokenization on each of your live streams. Contact your Account Manager for details. 

 

Adapting to Local Connections – Custom Profile Ordering

ABR (Adaptive Bit Rate) streaming is a major advantage of chunked streaming over HTTP, allowing video players to shift to different bitrate encodings of a stream based on the user’s connection speed. However, our customers have different audiences, and want to adjust their live streams to fit the majority of their audiences’ connection quality. 

 

MMD Live v2.1 allows you to set the order of the bitrates delivered through the chunked streaming outputs. Have an audience with primarily low connection speeds? Make a lower bitrate appear first in the manifest. Or just want a specific bitrate ordering to appear for your player? Use MMD Live to set the exact order of the bitrates, including where the audio only rendition will appear. 

 

Your Business First

MMD Live v2.1 continues our dedication to meeting the needs of your business with the features, functions and ease of use that you need. Have more for us to do? Let us know and we’ll get right on it!

 

Keith Weinberger, Limelight’s Director of Product Management, Video, manages the features and roadmap for live streaming video transcoding, video on demand and online video platform products: MMD Live, MMD OD, Video Player and OVP.

 

(Banner Photo: Grand Prismatic Spring - Yellowstone National Park)

Hello, Limelight Connect members.

 

This week we have a question about adding user accounts to access the Online Video Platform. 

 

Q: How can I add more users to my Online Video Platform account?
A: Adding users to your account is easy. Simply click on "Settings" -> "Account" -> "Manage Users" to see a list of current user accounts. You can add a user by clicking the "Create New User" button and filling in the user information. Each user must have a unique email address - upon creation of the account the user will be emailed their temporary password. Every level of OVP account is allowed a certain number of user accounts - if you need more users than your level is allowed, contact your Account Manager.

 

Have a question or comment? Add to the conversation by commenting below or emailing me at kweinberger@llnw.com.

 

 

Keith Weinberger, Limelight’s Director of Product Management, Video, manages the features and roadmap for live streaming video transcoding, video on demand and online video platform products: MMD Live, MMD OD, Video Player and OVP.

Hello, Limelight Connect members. I’m Keith Weinberger, Limelight’s Director of Product Management, Video. In this role, I manage the features and roadmap for our live streaming video transcoding, video on demand and online video platform products: MMD Live, MMD OD, our Video Player and OVP.

 

Our video products have a multitude of options, and though our documentation is world class, there are still unique questions that come up from time to time about specific customer use cases. I love getting these questions because they illustrate the different ways our products are used in our customers' businesses.

 

These questions typically come in from specific customers and account teams, but I'm launching this blog series so I can share the questions, and answers, more broadly. If the question is asked by someone, generally that means there are several others who have the same question but have not had time to reach out for an answer. With this series the answers can come to you. To keep things simple, each Wednesday I’ll publish a new Q&A in a quick to read format within the Limelight Blog, which you can subscribe to and search to find answers.  

 

To start off the series, I’d like to start with a question about our MMD Live product. I encourage you to add to the conversation each week with comments within the question. Or you can send me comments or new questions to answer via email at kweinberger@llnw.com. 

 

Welcome, and here we go: 

 

Q: Does MMD Live have support for CORS (Cross-Origin Resource Sharing)?

A: CORS (Cross-Origin Resource Sharing) is enabled by default for all MMD Live output URLs.  The header: "Access-Control-Allow-Origin: *" is included in all playback URL response headers. 

nhoch

IBC Has it All

Posted by nhoch Sep 23, 2016

In the beginning of this month we’ve travelled to Amsterdam to attend the biggest broadcast and media show in Europe: IBC.

 

With bags of team spirit we started IBC on Friday morning, Sept 9 at our brand new stand, all in lime green.

 

 

Talking to visitors and walking through the massive exhibition with 14 different halls we could definitely see some consistent themes:

 

Long live OTT

Broadcasters and video providers of all shapes and sizes are launching hybrid platforms with some element of OTT/streaming delivery, whether live or on-demand/catch-up.
Everyone wants to be close(r) to the consumer, which is driving the growth in OTT platforms. Combined with more mature technology and business models, direct-to-consumer services are proliferating, even though there are still many challenges to resolve.

 

Security 

It was apparent that OTT provides a great opportunity for broadcasters and multi-channel TV providers reach a broader audience who want to watch video on a wider and wider variety of devices. However, digital video has to be protected from piracy and theft. People visiting our stand were keen to know not only how to protect websites from incoming attacks, but also how to protect video streams from unauthorized use.

 

Transcoding

OTT providers know they need to reach the wide variety of devices that their audience use to consume content. Creating workflows to transcode video to all the necessary formats can be complex to configure and manage. Providers are looking to companies such as Limelight to simplify the transcoding and delivery of these necessary formats.


From speaking with other exhibitors, it appears there’s a continued lack of standardisation of video formats across multiple devices. This is not just a short term issue, but will continue to be relevant in the future. Solutions to challenge of transcoding (MMD-OD and MMD-Live) were positively well received by companies we spoke to.

 

HTML Players

There’s a movement by browsers to manage a slow deprecation of Flash. OTT providers who have used primarily Flash encoded videos are seeking out an alternative for their websites. An HTML5 player is the path forward for providers to deliver their content to all browsers and all devices. 

 

Virtual Reality 

It was hard to escape virtual and augmented reality and 360 degree video, both across most halls and especially in the Future Zone, where users strapped into VR glasses were screaming over excitedly at a rides simulator.

That said, trends like 8k, VR, Green Screen (specifically for Virtual Studios) were exciting to see, whereas the real buzz was around 4k and 360° videos.

 

 

And we must not forget to mention, our prize draw to win a GoPro camera, this got lots of attention:  slip on one of our lime green T-shirts, smile and upload the photo to your Twitter account #LLNW. Yesterday we announced the lucky winner. He was thrilled and tweeted: “That smile was easy, facing the magnificent team of llnw!”

 

In total there were over 55,700 attendees over six IBC days from more than 160 countries. It was a new IBC record. The exhibition featured over 1,800 exhibitors, including 249 companies at their first IBC.


Our guys loved the show and we are already planning for next year.

You might have heard talk about the demise of Flash for video playback, and wonder how that affects your video content hosted on the Limelight Video Platform. As a valued Limelight customer, we want you to have the most up to date information so you can plan and act in preparation for what’s to come.

 

First, some facts. If you have heard rumors that Chrome and Firefox will block all Flash content, to paraphrase Mark Twain, “the report of Flash’s death was an exaggeration.” The Chrome and Firefox blogs (references below) describe how Flash will be phased out of the browsers over a planned schedule, not cut off dramatically.

 

In the Google Chrome blog, the change in Google Chrome regarding the Flash plugin will take place in two phases. Chrome version 53, out in September 2016, will block Flash content that does not show video. This kind of Flash content is generally used for advertising tracking, and is not related to video playback.

 

Some time in December, Chrome version 55 will be released. This version will block Flash content of all kinds, except on websites that are primarily Flash content. That’s good news for users of the LVP Media Library, which is primarily Flash. However, on sites that mix HTML and Flash, end users will be asked to click to load the content. Firefox is following the same path and roughly the same timeline. Internet Explore and Microsoft Edge both continue to support Flash.

 

If you have a site that is not “primarily Flash content,” your player and your content will continue to be playable at least until December 2016. Beyond that it will at a minimum require a click from users to play your content.

 

 

In anticipation of these changes, we highly recommend you begin your migration planning away from the Flash player. Limelight has all the encoding tools you need plus a brand new video player designed specifically to work using the modern HTML5 media playback standards.

 

Here’s a recommended series of steps you can take to ensure a smooth transition to a post-Flash world:

 

  1. Set your encoding profile to include HLS and DASH, in addition to Flash, for your new content. If you are only encoding your content in Flash, eventually you will need to change strategy and we recommend changing now. A combination of HLS and DASH encodings at different bitrates will give you the broadest coverage of browsers and devices. Your users will be able to view your content on whatever device they happen to be on. (Note: if you don’t know how to set your encoding profile, contact your Account Manager for assistance.)
  2. Plan the conversion of your existing content to HLS and DASH. If you have a library of content that is encoded for Flash playback, you will need to convert it to HLS and DASH for the post-Flash world. Large libraries will take time to convert, so plan and start early. Work with your Account Manager to determine the best method to convert your content.
  3. Begin the conversion of your player to an HTML5 compatible player. There are several popular players on the market to choose from. Some are free to use, open source players, and others are available to enhanced features and support from commercial companies. And of course, you can use Limelight’s new Smart Embed (coming soon). You want to be sure your content is ready (see steps 1 and 2) before changing your player.
  4. Plan to start testing the new Limelight Smart Embed when it becomes available. The new version of the Smart Embed skips Flash altogether, instead calling for DASH and HLS encodings depending on the user’s browser and device. We will continue to support our Flash based embed in the foreseeable future, for those who need it. You will find both in the Media Library under the “Embed Code” tab.

 

December may seem far away, but given how fast the browsers automatically update their user base, it is best to start planning now for your move away from Flash. Thank you for being a Limelight customer – let us know how we can make this transition smooth for you.

 

References: 

Chrome Blog – “Flash and Chrome” Tuesday, August 9, 2016

https://chrome.googleblog.com/2016/08/flash-and-chrome.html

 

Mozilla Blog – “Reducing Adobe Flash Usage in Firefox”, July 20, 2016

https://blog.mozilla.org/futurereleases/2016/07/20/reducing-adobe-flash-usage-in-firefox/

 

Microsoft Edge Developer Blog – “Putting Users in Control of Flash” April 7, 2016

https://blogs.windows.com/msedgedev/2016/04/07/putting-users-in-control-of-flash/#XpiW6LE7Dsk5G7fx.97

athompson

HTTP/2 and You

Posted by athompson Sep 20, 2016

There’s been a new iPhone released every year since 2007, sometimes two per year. In that same timeframe, there’ve been 17 iOS releases. This has enabled us to be connected to the web 24/7/365. Forever. I wonder what my phone is doing as I’m typing this…sigh.

 

Yet the protocol used to exchange communications over the web, HTTP, didn't change one bit from 1997 to 2015. Last year HTTP/2 was standardized and it brought a much-needed facelift to how we communicate on the Internet. However, it's adoption has been slow (for reasons we'll get to in another post).

 

HTTP/2 aims to help improve the performance of our web. For people who live their life down to the millisecond, you can rejoice. Here are a couple of ways it’s making things quicker for us.

 

HTTP/2 removes the need for front-end acceleration/optimization technologies

 

In 2012 there were a number of companies (Strangeloop, Aptimize, Blaze & AcceloWeb) that all focused on optimizing the loading of web pages to get content to end users more quickly. Google open-sourced a now-deprecated protocol, SPDY that had the same goal. It was a hot market at the time and each one them got acquired (Strangeloop was acquired by Radware, Aptimize by Riverbed, Blaze by Akamai, and AcceloWeb by Limelight Networks). Native to HTTP/2 is a lot of the core functionality of these front-end acceleration products like Image Spriting, Concatenating Java script & CSS files, Domain Sharding, and Inlining Assets.

 

Multiple assets can use a single TCP connection

 

In HTTP, it was a 1:1 relationship. For web pages that have 100+ assets per page that means 100+ TCP connections needed to be opened. With images, java script and CSS all being used more, latency will go down as you can access that content over 1 TCP connection shaving milliseconds off load times.

 

As more and more sites are built on top of HTTP/2 I’m excited to see the potential performance gains we experience in the clicks to come. 

 

This post was originally published by Andrew on LinkedIn. 

We are excited to share with you that today we announced our new Limelight Web Application Firewall (WAF), a cloud-based security service that detects and stops application attacks in real time, protecting websites and web applications from common threats and specialized attacks. The service is integrated with our global CDN, providing a secure, distributed architecture that delivers cost-effective protection for web applications without sacrificing performance for security.

For more details you can read a datasheet here or press release herehttp://investors.limelightnetworks.com/press-release/limelight-networks-adds-web-application-firewall-service-security-solutions-portfolio