The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

Archive for May 3rd, 2010

People watching more long form on smartphones than expected.

The stations would transmit to phones over the airwaves, much like Flo TV, a unit of Qualcomm, which has invested about $1 billion in mobile video distribution. The service sends channels like ESPN, Fox News and MTV to phones.

“Putting the concepts of mobility and watching video together is a natural, and we’re seeing it really grow right now,” said Flo TV’s president, Bill Stone.

Mr. Stone says the average Flo user watches 30 minutes of video a day. So far, though, few people are ponying up $10 a month or more for the service.

But that is not stopping other media companies from trying to charge for walled gardens of content. Beginning later this year, Bitbop, a product of the News Corporation’s Fox Mobile Group, will stream TV episodes to smartphones for $9.99 a month.

Flash is a platform, H.264 is a codec. One cannot kill the other. Dan Raburn explains the difference.

As I tried to do with my “What’s the difference between a codec, and a container or wrapper” article from mid 2009, it’s not a question of H.264 vs Flash because since November 2007 Flash has played H.264 MP4 files – the same files used in Apple’s mobile devices (although Flash can play more variations on H.264 than Apple’s devices, btw).

Dan explains that Flash brings a lot more to the table – DRM, interactivity, etc – that is not available with a plain HTML5 video tag playback. This is provided at the CSS/Javascript level outside of Flash.

So the real debate with H.264 has nothing to do with Flash, but rather with the browsers that support and play back video. Microsoft has said they will only support H.264 in IE9, but we have to remember that IE6 still has close to 10% market share and the browser is nine years old. Looking at my own traffic stats for my blog, nearly 15% of my traffic each month comes from viewers using IE6. Like it or not, that’s reality. So the idea that H.264 video playback in a browser that supports HTML5 is somehow going to work for all viewers overnight is simply not the case. How many Internet viewers will have an HTML5 compatible browser in the next two years? Not as many as some seem to think.

The article is definitely worth a detailed read.

Enable CUDA for Adobe Mercury Engine on unsupported cards?

The fact that Adobe has made this as easy as it is – by simply editing an entry in a text file – suggests they don’t really oppose users doing this on unsupported cards. It’s my understanding that Adobe have supported a relatively small number of CUDA-capable cards so they could be thoroughly tested and to have fewer variables during development. Not sure how you do this on a Mac though.

Remember this is UNSUPPORTED. You are on your own with problems! And you can’t go blaming Adobe for any crashing or other problems on an unsupported configuration. But you can test, and if there are problems, just reverse the change to the text file.

May 2010
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