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The choice of broadcasting format for viewing in browser

So, we have the task to choose broadcasting format. And this must be such a format, which allows to watch broadcast in browser. With the account of that fact, the choice is rather small - it will be either Windows Media format, or Flash, or Apple formats. Further we will choose such format, which the majority of users will be able to watch without additional difficulties.

Windows Media.

We have already developed stream repeater in Windows Media format earlier, the last couple of years it carries out broadcasting on the website successfully. Broadcast in this format has one important disadvantage video stream cant be watched on most mobile devices, which market is increasing in a rapid rate. There are relatively few mobile devices on Windows platform, and in all the rest the stream does not play. The result - this format is not appropriate for us.

Apple formats.

Quick Time. TV channels, which were carrying out broadcasting in this format, could be met in the network about 5 years ago. However, when I tried to watch them, broadcasts worked rather ugly, constantly hung or broke off. After a while, visiting the same sites, I noticed that all television companies, carrying out broadcasting in this format, replaced it to Windows Media, or to Flash. Now, it seems, we must try hard in order to find working broadcast in this format. Plus, users should additionally install plug-in software, which practically no one has natively. The result reject this format as well.

Mpeg-TS is used for broadcasting on Apple mobile devices. But, as it does not play on other mobile devices, as well as in browsers on stationary computers, the format is also not appropriate.

Actually, only Flash is remained. The format is well known, also the plug-in installed in all devices, plays on all mobile devices (with the exception of Apple), supports up-to-date audio and video formats - H.264 and AAC, so our choice is made - we will make broadcasting for viewing in the Flash player. At that time, when I made the choice of format, I didn't know yet, that flash stops its support in OS Linux and on Android platform. Although even if I knew, my choice would not have changed anyway there is no alternative. Plus, old versions of the flash player continue to work fine on Android, and in Linux as well. Even now I do not know, in what format it is suggested, for example, to watch live streaming in future versions of Android. With a pseudo streaming video (i.e. when you watch a previously recorded file through browser, like on youtube) it is clear this is html5 and mp4. But which one is for live streaming? Mpeg-Dash? Although Adobe plans to add support of this standard to Flash until the end of 2012, but I haven't heard yet about plans to implant its support directly in browsers. Also I haven't heard about what format will be using in html5 for live streaming. Of course it is possible that I haven't heard that, because was looking for poorly. But, anyway, while it is absolutely not extended, we will make broadcasting for viewing in flash player.

So, we are moving to the next stage - choosing among formats, which are supported by flash players Video streaming formats supported by the Flash player.

Igor, October 2012.

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