Microsoft Media Platform: Flexible Workflows, Broad Reach.

As online media demand continues to explode and consumers expect access to their media anytime on any device, the processes involved in creating and distributing content have become more complex and expensive. The variety of business models, platforms, devices, and media delivery scenarios required can present a daunting challenge for most content providers.

Microsoft Media Platform solves these challenges by offering key functions such as media format conversion, content protection, live and on-demand adaptive streaming over HTTP, monetization, analytics and content management in the form of both products and services. Microsoft Media Platform has been adopted by major broadcasters and content providers around the world, and it has been proven successful for delivering live streaming events at massive scale as well as building popular on-demand video services.

Flexible Workflow

On-Premises Workflows

Microsoft Media Platform relies on a range of products to encode, convert, protect and deliver media content in private clouds and on-premises deployments.

On Premises Workflow Private Clouds

IIS Media Services is a Windows Server® component that delivers content over the Internet and private HTTP networks using Smooth Streaming, a standards-based HTTP adaptive streaming technology that can be consumed across Windows, Mac, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android devices.

Expression Encoder is a streamlined video production tool for encoding and delivering content in a variety of codecs and formats, including H.264, VC-1, WMV, WMA, AAC, MP4, and Smooth Streaming.

PlayReady is an industry-approved content access and protection technology available on a wide array of computers and mobile devices. It has recently become one of the approved DRM technologies in DECE UltraViolet™.

IIS Transform Manager is an extensible media transform engine that easily enables "Watch Folder" job submission, queuing, management, integrated media format conversion, and batch-encryption of media files.

Modern media workflows require a combination of on-premises processes and cloud-based services. Until recently, most content creation processes have utilized on-site tools and infrastructure while utilizing the cloud only for publishing and distribution. Now, due to ubiquitous global connectivity and scalable datacenters, end-to-end cloud-based workflows are not only viable, but advantageous.

Cloud-Based Workflows

Combining core components of the Microsoft Media Platform with built-in 3rd party products from leading solution providers, Windows Azure Media Services enable anyone to build custom media workflows in the cloud. Whether you’re a corporate media department delivering on-demand training or a major broadcaster streaming live global events, Windows Azure provides easy and flexible media services that scale according to demand.

Azure Media Services

Features and Benefits

Windows Azure Media Services include:

  • Ingest
  • Encoding and Format Conversion
  • Content Protection
  • On-Demand Streaming
  • Live Streaming
  • Analytics

Broad Reach

Microsoft provides an assortment of client Software Development Kits and Player Frameworks to support playback of media content served from Windows Azure Media Services or on-premises IIS Media Services deployments. These SDKs and frameworks are for developers who want to build Media Services applications that offer compelling user experiences across a range of devices and platforms. Depending on the device(s) the content owner needs to build an experience for, there are options for SDKs and player frameworks available from Microsoft and other third-party partners.

Multiple Development Kits
Windows 8

Metro-style applications in Windows 8 offer developers access to modern OS features such as touch-screen gestures and the simplicity of app deployment through the Windows Store. Metro-style streaming media apps can be built using the following free SDK and framework, leveraging any of the supported development languages and constructs like HTML5, Javascript, XAML, C# and C++:

Internet Browsers (Windows and Mac OS)

Developers can build rich streaming media applications in the browser by leveraging the power and flexibility of Microsoft Silverlight. Support for Adobe Flash application development will be available in the future.

Microsoft Silverlight
Windows Phone

Microsoft offers a free SDK and framework that can be used to build premium video applications for Windows Phone OS.

Apple iOS Devices

Microsoft licenses an SDK that can be used to build premium video applications for Apple iOS-based devices such as iPhone, iPod and iPad.

  • Smooth Streaming SDK for iOS Devices with PlayReady
Android Devices

Several Microsoft partners ship SDKs for the Android platform that enable playback of Smooth Streaming content on Android devices. Please visit the Microsoft Media Platform Partners page for a list of partners.

Xbox

Xbox LIVE applications based on the Xbox LIVE Application Development Kit (ADK) can consume media content served from Windows Azure Media Services and IIS Media Services deployments. The ADK, which is available to Xbox partners, includes:

  • Smooth Streaming Client for Xbox LIVE ADK
  • Microsoft Media Platform: Player Framework for Xbox LIVE ADK
Embedded / Other Devices

Devices like connected TVs, Set Top Boxes, Blu-Ray players, Over-The-Top TV Boxes and many mobile devices typically have custom app development frameworks and custom media pipelines. Microsoft licenses C++ source code porting kits that allow partners add Smooth Streaming and PlayReady support to their custom platforms.

Open Source Frameworks

Microsoft Media Platform frameworks are open source projects from Microsoft that augment the functionality of the core Media Platform:

Player Framework enables developers to quickly deploy a robust, scalable, customizable media player across operating systems and devices.

Video Editor simplifies the editing and publishing process of media assets, enabling real-time, time-code-accurate, browser-based video editing.

Content Manager provides content management system capabilities and workflow management for creating live and on-demand IIS Smooth Streaming events, managing, transcoding and publishing media, and ad insertion.