With the imminent Windows Media end of life and Silverlight media player deprecation, it’s time to start vetting your options and craft a plan for moving to the most suitable multicast alternative.

VBrick product and technology experts, Dan Bagley and Brian Dreyer, recently hosted a live discussion for enterprise streaming users about available multicast alternatives to Windows Media and Silverlight. They hashed out your options moving forward – the good, the bad, the ugly – and helped shed light on some common misconceptions about video in the enterprise.

Watch the Webinar Here:

We also received some interesting questions from our audience that are worth sharing.

Q: Who are the main players offering multicast intermediates for HTML5, and how do they compare to an ECDN in terms of cost and scalability?

We have generally seen Java Applets and similar agents being used to convert IP multicast for playback in HTML5 players. While this works in theory, the security implications of loading Java Applets on every playback machine are at least as concerning as in P2P solutions.

Q: When will a flash-less player be offered?

VBrick fully supports flash-less HTML5 for unicast streams on all major platforms today. Once standards-based HTML5 multicast options are available, VBrick will support these as well.

Q: What is the strategy for low bandwidth large enterprise environments? (Example 1500 location under 5mbs locations)

If existing WAN optimization technologies have been deployed, VBrick can be designed in such a way to take advantage of those deployments. If no WAN optimization is in place, a deployment of the Distributed Media Engine (DME) is another option.

Q: What quality/method is used for the public broadcast?

This is entirely up to the host’s configuration. VBrick generally recommends an adaptive stream between 500kbps – 2mbps for internet broadcasting via a public CDN such as Akamai.

Q: What is the end-to-end latency of flash multicast?

There are a lot of factors that affect latency so don’t ever believe exact numbers, but in general, flash multicast latency will be in the 5 second range compared to HLS which is typically 30 seconds or more.

Q: What happens if a network glitch takes multicast down on a section of my network?

The VBrick eCDN always has both multicast and unicast versions of the stream available, so if for any reason the multicast stream isn’t available, the Rev player automatically switches to a unicast version – even if the problem happens in the middle of a live event.

Q: The users at my company are running a wide range of OS and browser versions – can we still use HTML 5?

That’s the challenge of HMTL 5 today – some browsers’ versions can and some can’t play HTML 5 video — but with VBrick, you can still get started with HTML 5 today because the DME (eCDN) makes several protocols of the video available and Rev automatically selects the best way for each viewer to get the video based on the browser they are running.

Q: How is the VBrick eCDN deployed?

Rev is in the cloud and DME is available as OVA, Hyper-V, or hardware appliance.

Have additional questions? Please contact our experts at 855.582.4410.