Akamai today is touting its efforts to enable live and on-demand HD streaming through what it’s now calling the Akamai HD Network. The platform uses Akamai’s existing network of HTTP servers and provides Silverlight, iPhone and Flash (yes, Flash in HTTP is an option) video. It includes adaptive bitrate streaming, a less than 1-second delay on time-shifting, Akamai’s open HD player and authentication.
What I found especially cool about this announcement is that Akamai live-streamed its presentation, led by CEO Paul Sagan, using the same technology it was announcing. While the webcast surely wasn’t attended by the “prime-time scale audience” he promised the new HD network can handle, it did look fantastic. I was also able to quickly step back and repeat a sequence when I couldn’t quite make out what they said they’re doing to accommodate advertising opportunities on the HD network (answer: not much in particular).
Here are two screenshots from the webcast — the first one is a shot of that ubiquitous nature film used in HD demonstrations, and the second shows a moment when the stream switched to a lower-bitrate version to accommodate my network conditions.