Category Archives: Streaming Video

VUDU Now Streaming on the iPad

++Originally posted on ForCarol.com++

If you have read our Movie Reviews on this blog, you may have run across the fact that we sometimes watch movies on “VUDU”.  As an engineer, and blogger, several years ago, I tested a new Internet-based streaming technology and LOVED IT!  That was VUDU (see my original blog post raving about it).

We own a VUDU box and it is the BEST…

Well word now comes that Wal-Mart (they bought VUDU a year or so ago) has released the ability for VUDU to work on your iPAD!  How cool is that?  All together now:  VERY COOL!!!

Here is the link to a Forbes article.

I’ll quote a bit of it below, if you are interested.

Walmart Launches Video Service for iPad

MarketNewsVideo.com , 08.10.11, 03:10 PM EDT

Walmart (WMT) said today it has launched its VUDU video-on-demand service for Apples (AAPL) iPad. The service will allow iPad users to rent or buy entertainment content and stream it over their iPad browser, without being obligated to sign up for a subscription, as they are with other services such as Netflix (NLFX).

Walmart said today it has launched its VUDU video-on-demand service for Apples iPad.

The service will allow iPad users to rent or buy entertainment content and stream it over their iPad browser, without being obligated to sign up for a subscription, as they are with other services such as Netflix ( NFLX - news -people ) .

VUDUs library includes more than 20,000 blockbusters, Hollywood classics, independent films and TV episodes.

VUDU movie purchases and rental can also be watched online at walmart.com or vudu.com, as well as on other consumer electronics devices like internet capable TVs, Blu-Ray players, and Sonys () PlayStation 3.

Drive Safe!  Never Forget.

Information Technology

The world is changing. Rapidly.

Bits are flying over the Internet at an unprecedented pace.

As my loyal reader…..you know my feelings about Cisco and video conferencing, but, it looks to me as though they are getting back to focusing on handling bits….a very good thing.  For everyone!

This commercial by Cisco is interesting.  I LOVE the part where they say that you do not need to be in the office to be productive.

DUH.   Telecommuting = Coworking = Telework

Comments?

Dare I say it?   Cisco rocks?   Ouch….that hurt…. :-)

Oh yeah…the bridge at the end is awesome…again, back to cisco’s roots.

VUDU Adds Glee and Modern Family

 (Our VUDU)

As my loyal reader….you know what I feel about VUDU (and here, and here).   Also see our movie reviews on ForCarol.com, a lot of what we watch is on VUDU.

Now that VUDU is embedded in new TV’s, Blu-Ray players, etc., you no longer need the separate box that we have.  There is also the ability to connect to Facebook, Twitter, and a zillion other features via the Internet.

It ain’t just movies anymore….

Although the user interface has gotten more bloated and harder to use (hint to VUDU designers) this is still the best streaming video service under the sun.  My hope is that is stays that way….note to Wal-Mart:  Hands off!  Let the VUDU folks do what they do better than anyone…

Anyway…on the TV side, the choices kinda stunk.  Until now.  NOW, I see this article that says they are adding “Glee” and “Modern Family”.

OK….this is GREAT news.  We LOVE “Modern Family”, and “Glee”…..well, it is ok too.  :-)

If you have not tried VUDU (’cause you are using Netflix streaming…which actually came after VUDU)…give it a try.

Now that we have Comcast Internet…we can watch HDX movies in real-time….the quality is awesome!

AT&T To Cap DSL Usage

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I was surfing this morning and came across this bit of disturbing news from the good folks at Mashable (and also at Broadband DSL Reports).

AT&T will cap DSL users to 150GB (I assume Bytes…not bits) and Uverse users to 250GB per month.  If you go over that cap more than 3 times you will be charged $10 for every 50GB over.

I sent an email to my favorites, VUDU, and they replied with some byte estimates for me.  Thank you VUDU!

For SD (standard definition which is great for us) you can estimate (depending on the length of the movie but for a typical 2 hour movie) about 1.5GB. For HD the estimate doubles to about 3GB, and for HDX (which is awesome by the way) 8GB.

Soooo, if I watched nothing but HDX movies, I would burn through the 150GB cap after watching 18.75 HDX movies.  Hmmmm, I would be happy with that, but, we use the Internet for sooo much more than movies…

I remember a year or two ago Comcast announcing the same kind of capping…what ever happened to that?  Is that still in effect?  Well, now, DSL users will be getting it.

What does this mean?

Well…..if you are like me, you are watching TV and Movies (all kinds….) via the Internet, or you are a heavy duty gamer or surfer, or you participate in video conferencing, web conferencing, video chat, etc.  The Internet provides a great transport mechanism.

Maybe that will be changing….?

We watch VUDU movies in HDX, HD, or SD all the time (4 to 5 times a month…see ForCarol.com for my short movie reviews).

If I am subject to capping…will that limit the number of movies I watch?  If so, I am not happy about that.

Livestream Video Streaming on Facebook

OK, this is cool.

A few seconds after I downloaded the free app “Livestream Podcaster” I was streaming live video from the AltamontCowork public computer to Facebook!

I have tried Justin TV and Ustream as our “Virtual Window” but both dropped the calls, after awhile, within a few minutes.  Hmmmm, I wonder if it was Comcast limiting me?

Sooo, I’m trying Livestream.  Looks like the same software as Justin TV and Ustream and I still have Comcast, so I’m pretty sure, one way or another, the calls will start dropping.  No matter, this is cool anyway.

One really nice feature is you can give a live presentation using slides and video and audio to a Facebook audience.  See picture below.

Sweeet.

Ads interrupt the video stream every few minutes.

I won’t be doing this long term, but, as a cool experiment (and blog entry), it was fun playing with it.

My Opinion

The world of video communication (either interactive or one way streaming) is moving at lightspeed right now and I am seeing nearly all the predictions, hopes, and dreams I had for this technology the past 20 years coming to fruition!   WhooHoo!

Great stuff!

Now all I need to do is find something that will come true now….so I can live to see it.

+++

Help us raise awareness of unsafe teen driving and the need for parents to enforce curfews.

Justin TV: A Quick Peek

I found a gold mine of lost blog entries!  Here is another…

+++

TracyVirtualOffice Justin TV Page

TracyVirtualOffice Justin TV Page

Rating:  4 WaterTowers (Internet streaming made easy)

Justin TV allows you to stream live video and audio over the Internet.  It took me all of two minutes to sign up and start streaming.

Very easy and very cool.   :-)

I can see tons of applications for this, and I’m sure there are thousands already on Justin TV.  For us at the TracyVirtualOffice and maybe other coworking locations or businesses / education, I can see Lectures being streamed, meetings being streamed (like the TweetUP we just hosted), and when I am at home…this is an efficient security system!  We can connect coworking locations worldwide as easy as 3.14.

Official announcement:  The TracyVirtualOffice now has it’s own LIVE  stream (8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, PST) that you can watch at two locations:

1. The TVO Web Page

2. Justin TV Web Page

Take a look…just don’t get bored!  ;-)

My New Slogan: “TracyVirtualOffice TV: As Exciting as Watching Corn Grow”

I will occasionally turn the web cam inward so you can see the TracyVirtualOffice in action, but, I’ll wait until we have a few more members.  Right now, we are as interesting as the parking lot.   ;-)

What Am I Using?

I am using the TracyVirtualOffice emachines computer, running Vista, with a Logitech 9000 web cam.  I have Comcast Business Internet with 2.5 Mbps upstream and 20 Mbps, or more, downstream and the Google Chrome browser.

The Justin TV application is running in “Good” mode (see picture below) and it automatically selected an upstream BW of about 450 kbps.  I see no slowing of the Internet at that bit rate which is good.

The video quality at the viewer end appears to be very good (Comments?).  Note that I have muted audio for privacy, but, when it was on it worked very well.

Features

As a viewer:

You can watch the video at the default size or make it full screen.  You can chat with other viewers and the broadcaster.   You see updated list of the number of viewers, the number of fans, and the number of views since broadcasting started.   And you can change the audio volume.  The embed and link codes are there if you want to use them.

As the owner:

Justin TV Control Panel

Justin TV Control Panel

You can record video.

I did that yesterday but I have not been able to find it.  Maybe because I am using Chrome?  The recording seems to work ok, but, it never shows up in the designated spot.  I’ll give Firefox and IE a try over the next few days and let you know what happens.

You can change the video quality

The default is “Good” but there is a “Best” as well.  Since “Good” is running at 450 kbps, I have not yet fired up the “Best”.  450 kbps is plenty good for me.  :-)

You can personalize your Justin TV page

I uploaded a properly sized (650 x 125 pixel) logo, changed the coloring, and uploaded a background picture of our mug.  It all worked out very nicely.   See the picture at the top.

You can embed the video on your web page

Justin TV provides links and embed code that you can copy.  The picture shows how it looks on my web page.

TracyVirtualOffice TV Web Page

TracyVirtualOffice TV Web Page

You can link to it here to give it a whirl.  You have to click on the arrow button to start the video.  Once it is running, you can change the audio (we are muted), view the video in full-screen, and stop the video.  There is a link to the Justin TV site below the video feed.

I just wonder what the this will do to the data transfer rate of the web site?  Does the video feed thru it?  Or does it get fed somehow thru Justin TV?

Here is a full screen shot from the web site feed:

 

Full Screen from TVO Web Site Feed

Full Screen from TVO Web Site Feed

Summary

Not to long ago streaming video over the Internet was a difficult process requiring specialized equipment and expertise.  Those days are gone!

Justin TV brings this capabilty to the average person while providing excellent quality video and audio.  And the price is right….it is free.  Justin TV is super easy to set up and use.

All in all……a  super app!  :-)

As for my new slogan…..”TracyVirtualOffice TV: As Exciting as Watching Corn Grow”!  Believe me, I have experience there, my Masters Degree Thesis (University of Kansas) was on “The Coherent Optical Determination of the Leaf Angle Distribution of Corn”.  Many many (wonderful) hours spent in the cornfields of Kansas.

VidyoCast

Vidyo has introduced a new line of products aimed at the broadcasting industry.

Since I am not an expert in that area, I will have to study the information contained in todays press release copied below.

Enjoy

Vidyo Introduces Cloud-Based Broadcast Suite at One-Tenth

The Cost of Satellite

“VidyoCast” Revolutionizes Broadcast Contribution and Transmission


Amsterdam, IBC, September 10, 2010
– Vidyo, Inc. today announced VidyoCast™, a suite of broadcast products and services that unlock the potential for TV networks and stations to employ cloud-based solutions, expanding field operations and production capabilities with enhanced flexibility and substantial cost savings over other approaches. VidyoCast offers an array of software and hardware to achieve SD/HD quality video transport, remote contribution, ENG, sports production, net return, Master Control back up and disaster recovery. VidyoCast seamlessly integrates into existing broadcast infrastructure and workflows. VidyoCast solutions are being demonstrated at the IBC conference in Amsterdam, September 10 –14, stand 1.F15.

“The VidyoCast suite allows broadcasters to accomplish easily and inexpensively what until now has been difficult and costly, and includes innovations the industry has never before seen,” said Jim O’Brien, General Manager, VidyoCast.  “Now news and sports organizations, as well as game show and reality TV producers, can easily manage and control tens or even hundreds of contribution feeds from all over the world at the same time.”

“Because Vidyo can deliver HD video transmission at optimal data rates and the lowest possible latency, conversations between anchors-reporters-interviewees-contributors-panel members are smooth and exceptionally natural,” said Ofer Shapiro, co-founder and CEO of Vidyo.  “This, when combined with advanced IP network control and innovative software control architecture, creates a high-value platform that dramatically lowers costs for broadcasters while increasing functionality and quality.”

The VidyoCast Breakthrough

VidyoCast introduces first-to-market encoders and decoders based on groundbreaking H.264 SVC (Scalable Video Coding) VidyoTechnology. The system makes multi-party live on-air discussions easy to accomplish: a revolutionary breakthrough in everyday news/sports operations.

The VidyoCast suite is comprised of:

  • VidyoContribution Seamless integration with feeds desk/media operations to acquire, manage and control multiple ad-hoc contribution feeds from any desktop/laptop/bureau.
  • VidyoCentral An efficient multi-camera, multi-view and control solution to support remote productions and centralized operations.
  • VidyoEncoder/Decoder – World-class broadcast quality low latency encoding and decoding based on H.264 SVC. VidyoEncoder/Decoder adds network-aware adaptive optimization to squeeze video quality through a given IP connection. Available point-to-point or in conjunction with an Enterprise-wide multi-cast control system.
  • VidyoNetReturn - A compact, rugged solution to receive return feeds from the production center back to field operations (e.g. satellite truck).
  • VidyoTransmission - Professional broadcasting encoders and decoders with SD/HD-SDI or analog interfaces for backhauls and feed distribution to/from local affiliate stations. Includes point-to-multi-point capability for TV network and sub-network distribution (e.g. Zone control.) Optional encryption.

  • VidyoContinuity - An affordable backup solution for mission-critical satellite and fiber feeds.
  • VidyoMCR – Cloud-based Master Control Backup, and, Zone Control. Provides traffic interface, schedule execution and, typically, path redundancy for MCR backup. Local, remote or data center origination capability.

VidyoCast is available immediately.  Broadcasters interested in scheduling an appointment or learning more about VidyoCast, please contact Vidyo at info@vidyocast.com or +1 201 289 8597. Visit us at IBC Amsterdam, Stand #1.F15, September 10-14, 2010.

About Vidyo

Vidyo is a pioneer and innovator in H.264-SVC technology; an established, award-winning leader in the telepresence/videoconferencing market.  Vidyo is now revolutionizing the broadcast industry with VidyoCast, a suite of products and services that offers video contribution and transmission, based on the same patented H.264-SVC-based technology, at one-tenth the cost of satellite. Learn more at www.vidyocast.com. Follow Vidyo on Twitter@VidyoCast.

Lifesize LIVE Streaming from InfoComm

Once again I am sitting at my AltamontCowork desk dreaming of the old days….

This video is being streamed at 1 Mbps (I am viewing it on my trusty old Toshiba Laptop vintage 2006 with Windows XP), wireless, using Chrome browser.  I have Comcast Business Internet with download of about 25 Mbps and up stream of about 2.5 Mbps.  Good enuf for all sorts of HD…

One word:  AWESOME !

I think it will be running today (June 10, 2010) and tomorrow….check it out..

Lifesize Video Center at Interop Vegas 2010

 

UPDATE:  Read my latest (Sept 2011) Overview of LifeSize products / services here.

I’ve been sitting here at AltamontCowork dreaming about the good old days of TeleCon and other conferences, including Interop.

Lucky for me, I can be at this years Interop Vegas 2010 without leaving my comfy chair, thanks to Lifesize Video Center.

Check out the pictures.   Here is a quick review (not knowing how hard it is to set-up I can ‘t give a full review, but, as a remote viewer here goes):

++  Video quality = Outstanding

++ Audio Quality (I know how dang hard it is to get good audio at a conference…) = Stupendous.

You can visit the Lifesize booth here, but, you better hurry, ’cause Interop is over soon.

Full-screen

Wal-Mart Buys VUDU

You may already know that I think the world of VUDU.

Here is the most recent blog entry written after we received our very own VUDU box (yeah..that was before they were embedded in TV’s and Blu-Ray players…and way before Wal-Mart).

I suppose you could say, I know how to pick ‘em!

Sure hope I am right about coworking and the Tracy Virtual Office :-)

What is the point of this entry (other than finally posting something new on my Technical Blog)?

Here is the latest Press Release sent to me by VUDU:

“”Walmart Announces Acquisition of Digital Entertainment Provider, VUDU

Company takes next step to enhance home entertainment
and information delivery options for consumers

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Feb. 22, 2010 — Walmart announced today a definitive agreement to acquire VUDU, Inc., a leading provider of digital technologies and services that enable the delivery of entertainment content directly to broadband high-definition TVs and Blu-ray players. The deal is expected to close within the next few weeks.

VUDU is a revolutionary service, built into a growing number of broadband-ready TVs and Blu-ray players, that delivers instant access to thousands of movies and TV shows directly through the television. Customers with broadband Internet access and an Internet-ready TV or Blu-ray player can rent or purchase movies, typically in high-definition, without needing a connected computer or cable/satellite service. New movies and features will be added continually, enabling customers to enjoy a product that continues to become more robust long after they have left the store.

“The real winner here is the customer,” said Eduardo Castro-Wright, vice chairman for Walmart. “Combining VUDU’s unique digital technology and service with Walmart’s retail expertise and scale will provide customers with unprecedented access to home entertainment options as they migrate to a digital environment.”

VUDU has licensing agreements with almost every major movie studio and dozens of independent and international distributors to offer approximately 16,000 movies, including the largest 1080p library of video on-demand movies available anywhere. Via their broadband Internet connection, users have the ability to rent or buy titles and begin viewing them instantly.

VUDU will continue developing entertainment and information delivery solutions such as VUDU Apps, a platform that delivers hundreds of streaming Internet applications and services to TVs and Blu-ray players with built-in Internet connectivity. VUDU has partnered with some of the leading names in Internet and media entertainment to offer applications on its platform including Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, The New York Times and The Associated Press.

“We are excited about the opportunity to take our company’s vision to the next level,” said Edward Lichty, VUDU executive vice president. “VUDU’s services and Apps platform will give Walmart a powerful new vehicle to offer customers the content they want in a way that expands the frontier of quality, value and convenience.”

VUDU, based in Santa Clara, Calif., will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walmart. The company is not disclosing financial terms of the agreement as the acquisition is not material to its first quarter earnings for fiscal year 2011.

About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), or “Walmart,” serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 8,400 retail units under 53 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2010 sales of $405 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. A leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity, Walmart ranked first among retailers in Fortune Magazine’s 2009 Most Admired Companies survey. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://www.walmartstores.com. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.””;
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