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Netrock 2011 - live from LuxemburgOver the past three days we've been streaming Netrock live from Luxemburg. Netrock is a free festival created in 2010 to support the music-scene in Luxemburg.

What makes it special is that its audience is entirely virtual. Which seems a bit strange in theory, but turned out to work great in practice. Viewers could cheer on their favourite bands by clicking on 'handclap', 'whistle' or 'scream' symbols and could post comments for the bands on the stage, resulting in a very festival-like atmosphere.

 

 

21
Sep

The Belgian government recently launched an initiative to stimulate the Eco-label, a European logo for products and services that are kinder to the environment. The campaign site comes with an online contest in which 10.000 Eco-label products are given away as prizes. The site itself shows a greenhouse full of flower plants, which is being streamed live around the clock. Players get to answer three question, including a tiebreaker.Ecolabel campaign by the Belgian government Each week, 2.500 winners are presented with their own flower pot from the greenhouse. Each winner can then watch his own flower start to bloom and is assigned one of the prizes depending on the flower's color.

Antwerp agency These Days, who created the campaign, contacted Rambla to set up two simultaneous live streams from the greenhouse - so the campaign site could switch between them. The streams are broadcasted by Axis IP cameras and delivered via the Rambla CDN. At regular intervals the greenhouse is also being photographed by a multitude of camera's, with the resulting pictures being cut up into more than 10.000 different images. These images are uploaded to the CDN, allowing the winners to closely monitor the budding of their plants. Finally, Rambla also made server-side recordings of the preparations, so they could later be turned into a making-off video.

 

12
Sep

ABtv livestream - BeirutAt the start of a new concert season the Ancienne Belgique (AB) announced the further expansion of ABtv, their online platform for live and on-demand concerts, sessions and reports. Among the new features are a bigger livestream screen and support for smartphones.

The AB also announced their first livestream of the season: on September 14th, the sold out concert of American band Beirut can be watched for free on ABtv. For the complete announcement, see the ABtv blog.

 

8
Sep

QMusic looking for sidechickFor its popular daily morning show Ornelis & Rogiers Showtime, Belgian radio station QMusic is trying to cast a sidekick - or rather 'sidechick' as they are looking for a female touch. Instead of hiring a job agency, QMusic is giving its listeners the opportunity to apply for the job by auditioning in front of a webcam.

The webcam streams are recorded by a dedicated Wowza Media Server, and used for the first screening round on September 10. After further practical radio tests, the winner will be presented with a full-time job offer. Interested? Read more about it on the QMusic blog.

 

1
Sep
Wowza

The W3C recently issued a Last Call announcement for HTML5, moving the standard one step closer to the finishing line (currently set in 2014). In the meantime, HTML5 has been gaining traction on the web with growing support by browsers and devices alike. According to a recent study by ABI Research, more than 2.1 billion mobile devices will have HTML5 browsers by 2016.

HTML5 video: H.264 and webm

HTML5 video tag : supported formatsAn important aspect of HTML5 is the support for embedded multimedia, including video, audio, and dynamic graphics. Various HTML5 video players have emerged and the list of features is growing steadily. However, the lack of a common video codec for all browsers remains a huge problem, which is not likely to disappear in the near future. Apple (Safari) and Microsoft (IE) have committed to support the H.264 video codec, while Google (Chrome), Mozilla (Firefox) and Opera are bolstering the VP8 codec (as part of a WebM container) instead. The latter group is also supporting the Theora codec and Ogg container format, sometimes depending on the browser version. For more information concerning both formats and the surrounding issues, see this article from our State of Play series.

To avoid your HTML5 videos not playing in some browsers or on some devices, you can currently still use H.264 with a fallback to Flash. However, this solution has a number of drawbacks (e.g. lack of a unified architecture, Flash overhead on devices) and may not be future proof. Another option, which leaves your HTML5 code intact for all browsers and devices, is to encode your videos into Mp4 (H.264), WebM (VP8) and Ogg (Theora). Rambla Transcoding Service (RATS) supports these video formats and has an API that allows for a quick integration into your custom environment.

Auto-Publish BOTH FORMATS Easily

If you need a simple and transparent solution that requires no development effort, our hotfolder system may be what you're looking for. All you have to do is upload your video to your own private FTP directory (= the so-called 'hotfolder'). The hotfolder takes care of the rest:

  • It encodes your video into Mp4, WebM and Ogg format (dimensions, bitrates... can be configured).
  • It optimizes the encoded videos for online delivery.
  • It publishes the .mp4, .webm and .ogg video's side-by-side on the Rambla CDN (you can determine the exact location by creating sub-directories inside your hotfolder).
  • It provides you with a notification or report.

GETTING STARTED

Every Rambla user account has a default hotfolder which is suited for this purpose. To configure your default hotfolder for HTML5: log in to the RATS web-application and select the 'user' menu, then choose 'html5' as your default format-group. Your hotfolder is now ready to start encoding your videos into WebM and mp4 formats and publish them on the CDN. In order to use it, just upload your video files to 'ftp.enc01.rambla.be', logging in with your hotfolder credentials (= your user name followed by the "-enc" suffix and your user password).

For more information or help, see our hotfolder guide or contact us.

18
Aug
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