Over the past week, online video management platforms Brightcove, Ooyala and Delve Networks all announced that they support iPad, but now it looks like an encoding company is joining the fray. Cloud encoding firm Encoding.com has announced support for iPad and iPhone video delivery, joining the throngs of technology vendors clamoring for the business of media companies looking to reach users on the device.
Lack of support for Adobe Flash means that many web publishers, if they want to deliver video to the iPad, will need to do so either by building native iPad applications or by building HTML5-friendly video sites. Either way, for the best possible experience, publishers will need to re-encode existing video assets to support H.264 streaming and Apple’s multibitrate streaming technology. And to make it drop-dead simple for publishers to do so, Encoding.com has created presets for different devices, optimizing encoding jobs for the iPhone, iPad, and other mobile devices.
For the iPad, Encoding.com enables video publishers to deliver content using Apple’s multibitrate streaming, encoding their videos in the H.264 format into at least three different bit rates. Using multibitrate streaming, the stream adapts to network conditions, scaling up and down based on the amount of bandwidth available. Since iPad videos are streamed via HTTP, says they can be delivered from any commodity web server, without needing a specialized streaming server.
While the need to encode for yet another device might be a pain for media publishers, it’s welcome news for companies like Encoding.com, which thrive on industry chaos. In addition to the emergence of the iPad, the encoding war between H.264 and Ogg Theora for HTML5 video sites means that Encoding.com and other cloud encoding vendors will likely keep busy as video publishers seek to deliver videos to multiple platforms, browsers and devices.
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