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23 Posts authored by: charliekraus

We are days away from the annual National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference, one of the largest events dedicated to all things broadcasting. Being a Las Vegas show, the metrics are huge – 103,000 attendees from 150+ countries, 1,700 press, 1,500 exhibitors, 1 million square feet of exhibit space, and 700 educational sessions according to the show program guide.

                          

This is all a bit overwhelming from an attendee perspective, so I’ve scoped out the trends to watch will be, reviewed session descriptions to select which to attend, and looked at the exhibitor list and demo pavilions to plan my show floor activity. Keeping in mind my keen interested on online video experiences and my product marketing focus on Limelight’s video services, here are the areas I find of particular interest  at NAB this year:

 

Aerial Robotics and Drone Pavilion

Camera-carrying drones are in common usage for so many industries, delivering content from on high. The pavilion will have dynamic exhibitor demonstrations built to give an up-close look at the latest technology in action, and how broadcasters can best deploy aerial cameras to enhance the viewing options for their audience.

 

                           

                         

Cyber Security and Content Protection Pavilion

This pavilion will feature the leading companies securing digital assets today, and working to counter the increasingly more sophisticated cyber threats in the future. The broad range of video distribution technologies means more opportunities for theft of valuable content. 4K and HDR video will be prime targets for pirating, as this is premium content that subscribers pay more for, and will justify higher ad monetization fees.

 

Virtual and Augmented Reality Pavilion

The AR VR Pavilion will feature companies changing the way information is consumed. The latest AR and VR software and equipment will be available for demo and hands on experience. I expect big improvements in VR displays over what I experienced with last year’s underwhelming demos.

 

4K and HDR TV

4K broadcasting is gaining traction with sporting events, and some OTT services are making movie content available in 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR). The progress in HDR standards, as the multiple incompatible HDR schemes will slow market adoption of this game changing technology will be interesting.  Besides checking out the latest TVs, new developments in 4K broadcasting infrastructure – cameras, production equipment, network services, etc. will be center stage.

 

               

 

NAB Futures Park

This showcase features demonstrations of media developments in progress and products not yet available to the market from academic and commercial research labs in the US and around the world.

 

SPROCKIT and StartUp Loft                                                

Market-ready startups beginning to form partnerships are showcased In SPROCKIT, and the StartUp Loft  gathers newly created companies in the broadcast industry. Attendees can get a first look at their product and service offerings.

 

Limelight at the Show

We will be talking about new enhancements to video delivery services including:

  • DRM support for content protection
  • Low latency chunked streaming for live events
  • Live to VOD recording for subsequent use as VOD content
  • Live streaming from mobile devices directly to Limelight live streaming delivery

All these enhancements ensure the delivery of consistent high-quality digital experiences. Visit us to talk about these new video capabilities and our full video delivery solutions at the NAB show in the South Hall Upper booth #SU10714.

 

More to come

During NAB I will be blogging from the exhibit hall about significant findings and really cool demonstrations. After the show, I will blog a summary of impressions of the standout technologies and new trends on the horizon.   Stay tuned!

Hacking, debilitating DDoS attacks and data theft continue to escalate in frequency and scope.  In a blog on April 14, I discussed the challenges of ensuring websites and associated origins are protected from cyber threats. Today, I’m excited to reveal new online security capabilities and existing services to solve these challenges.

 

Solutions for Scalable Protection

Today Limelight introduced two new additions to our Cloud Security Services that enhance protection against attacks on websites and unauthorized access or theft of data. Deployed together with existing security services, the new enhancements provide a scalable approach to protecting web servers and applications:

 

  •      Limelight Security Alert provides active DDoS attack detection and alerting of malicious activity against websites and application domains. Customers’ content delivery services are configured to minimize the surface of attack exposed to the Internet and to ensure the defensive protection of Limelight’s network is deployed effectively. This service is available for free to Limelight Premier and Enterprise customers.

 

  •      Limelight WAF Express includes the Security Alert capabilities as well as simple-to-implement, efficient, effective, and affordable web application security for organizations that may not have implemented security measures due to cost. It offers protection from web application attacks using OWASP 10 Rules, rate limiting, and access control. WAF Express customers can upgrade to fully featured WAF protection which includes all Security Alert and WAF Express capabilities, and adds custom WAF filter rules, activity dashboards, and 24/7 Operations Center monitoring.

 

The above new services complement Limelight’s platform security measures and DDoS Attack Interceptor available to our CDN users:

  • Defensive Protection—Passive attack mitigation via our massive CDN 
  • SSL / HTTPS Delivery—Deliver digital assets securely via the largest SSL global footprint
  •       Geo Fencing—Control access based on geolocation
  •       MediaVault—Tokenization-based video streaming access control
  •       CORS Management—Allow multiple content sources while restricting sharing to designated origin
  •       IP Whitelisting and Blacklisting—Control access based on IP addresses
  •       DDoS Attack Interceptor—Detect and mitigate attacks against websites

 

To Learn More

Want to learn more about how Limelight’s Cloud Security Services can protect your business?  Defense details are available here.

One of the biggest challenges facing organizations today is ensuring websites and associated origins are protected from cyberattacks.  The frequency and sophistication of attacks are increasing as well as the duration. Yet many organizations do not have the security protections in place to defend themselves. Typically this is due to budget constraints or the perception that they haven’t been impacted by attacks. In this blog, top challenges will be identified, to be followed early next week with the unveiling of new security solutions that solve these challenges.

 

Top Challenges

There are numerous challenges to keep E-commerce sites available for business and secure from cyber threats such as theft of consumer data:

  •      DDoS Attacks – These are the biggest threats against web server infrastructure. Over 50% of organizations experienced an attack in the past year according to the Bluecoat cyber threat defense report. The top verticals that come under attack are financial institutions and online retailing. The availability of hacking tools such as the Marai botnet, which is in the public domain and comes with a database of compromised IoT devices, makes launching an attack too easy.     Web Application Attacks – The goal of web app attacks is not to make websites unavailable, but to breach security measures and gain access to consumer data such as credit card data. Another motive is to compromise web apps and demand ransom money to unlock the apps.
  •      Theft of Content – Unauthorized access to licensed content or intellectual property can result in theft of VOD files and violations of content licensing agreements.
  •       Performance – Many security measures can negatively impact the performance of user’s interactions with web applications. Sacrificing performance for security is not an acceptable strategy.
  •      Site Access – Controlling access to your website is a key defensive measure – but how do you keep bad actors out, while welcoming authorized guests?

 

Stay Tuned

Early next week I will reveal exciting new security capabilities that address all these challenges. Don’t miss it! See you back here shortly.

This week kicks off the most exciting time of the year, for college basketball fans, with the 2017 NCAA men’s Division 1 tournament set to swing into action. As in previous years, new options to watch games, including the ability tune into more games, are part of broadcaster’s efforts to step up with innovative ways to satisfy viewers. However it challenges video infrastructures.

 

Following in the path of last year’s tournament coverage, the popular March Madness app delivers fan friendly features, including streaming every game for free. CBS and Turner will provide live streaming access across a record 15 different platforms, including Fire, Roku, Xbox, Apple TV, and Amazon’s Alexa. For a complete guide to game streaming options, read this c|net article. Access to sports and other live events is a significant concern for Millennial males, with 20 percent saying they would not cut the cord until more live content becomes available online, compared to just eight percent of the population as a whole. An important addition to online viewing options for sports is ESPN’s streaming support. On the broadcast TV side – TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV provide exclusive live, national coverage of all 67 NCAA Tournament games across the 4 networks. All these options mean viewers can watch more games than any previous March Madness. Instead of one game every four hours, you can even catch the games of smaller less known college teams on one of the many streaming options.

 

Alexa, what’s the score of the UConn game?

Amazon Alexa will answer questions related to scores and games. Alexa users also have the option of listening to the radio broadcasts of the games on the device. Westwood One, the largest American radio network, holds radio play-by-play rights for the men’s NCAA tournament, and will broadcast all 67 games on more than 500 affiliated stations, SiriusXM satellite, streaming online, and on mobile platforms.

 

All of these coverage options across media platforms follow a pattern established in the earliest days of radio, that sports broadcasting is traditionally at the forefront of media technology advancement, with high profile sports events being the first programming to use new capabilities. With March Madness, we’re seeing coverage expansion to more streaming channels than ever before, including use of the Alexa voice assist device. As 2017 rolls out, expect to see other new media formats used to give sports audiences a “just like being there” experience. Content delivery networks (CDNs) are poised and ready to deliver the video and audio streaming, so bring it on. Let the games begin.

Directing users to the websites, files, games, images and other types of content they are trying to reach as fast as possible is vital to provide the best user experience. Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) have been the go to solution for rapidly connecting users to content for over the past decade. Complex data manipulation of user queries by website and application servers are another part of the decision-making process of completing the user connection to specific content. Burdening web servers or application servers with this compute functionality can slow down responses to users.

 

Limelight ARC Light is a new Limelight CDN capability which speeds up  the connection of users to content, and delivery to specific user needs.  ARC Light allows the CDN to use data in user requests to make decisions by using computed edge policies to facilitate real time modifications of client requests and origin responses. Business benefits include speeding users to correct websites for faster transaction completion and enhancing content access security, improving user’s quality of experience, and enhancing brand reputation. The business benefits and capabilities of ARC Light apply to website and any type of content. The complex data manipulations required to perform these actions will be offloaded from your application infrastructure, reducing the latency in this decision process, helping to increase efficiency, and lower the complexity of managing the application or website. The Limelight Advanced Services Team powers the rapid development and deployment of ARC Light computed edge policies, reducing deployment time of complex business logic to the edge from months to days.

 

To better understand the capabilities of ARC Light and the business benefits derived from them, some example use cases include:

  •      Origin Selection: By Geographical Location - A mobile device manufacturer has a software update to push to all devices via a CDN. To deliver the update, the CDN will capture the Geo information and pass it the ARC Light, which will send devices located in China to Chinese origins, devices located in North America to North American origins, etc.
  •      Redirection: Content By Geography - A publishing company has content with licensing restrictions based on location of users. They have content that can only be accessed by users from the US or Australia. When users request content, ARC Light uses Geo lookup data to verify location of the user. Confirmed US-based users are granted access to US content, a user from Australia would be redirected to the library of content available to Australians. Visitors outside the US and Australia are blocked from access.
  •      Request Modification: Language By Geography - An e-commerce company publishes its website in multiple languages. When a visitor from China navigates to the e-commerce site, the geolocation of the visitor is detected, and ARC Light executes a policy to add a query string to indicate the Chinese language version of the site should be utilized. 

 

More to Come

These are a small sample of the Edge Policy Actions that speed users to content that ARC Light can perform. Over the following several weeks, a series of blog posts, each specific to a different ARC Light use case, will expose the variety of tasks that can be performed, improving user experience, enhancing brand reputations, increasing return website visits, and driving increased revenue. See you back here shortly for the next in the ARC Light series of blogs.

There are multiple benefits to knowing where web visitors are coming from. For an ecommerce web site, knowing where potential customers are allows pre-population of country code on forms, displaying different languages, and presenting regional specific content. OTT video services may have licensed content that has limits on where it can be viewed, and geolocation information provides a way to enforce the restrictions. For those of you not familiar with geolocation, it is the matching of an IP address to a geographical location. This third in the series of security technology blogs (the previous two covered DDoS Attack Interception and WAF), will focus on geolocation as it pertains to protecting and accessing content.

 

Where you can get an IP-based geolocation database?

 

There are a several commercially available geolocation databases. Ip2location, MaxMind, and IPligence offer fee-based databases that can be easily integrated into web applications. Most geolocation database vendors offer APIs and example codes in multiple programming languages to retrieve geolocation data from the database.

 

There are also freely available geolocation databases. Some vendors offering commercial geolocation database also offer a Lite or Community edition that provides IP-to-Country mappings. Ip2Country.net and Webhosting.info offer free IP-to-Country databases that can be integrated into web applications.

 

 

How accurate is IP-based geolocation?

Accuracy of geolocation database varies depending on which database you use. According to IPlocation.net, for IP-to-country databases, some vendors claim to offer 98% to 99% accuracy, although typical Ip2Country database accuracy is more like 95%. For IP-to-Region or City, the range is anywhere from 50% to 75% if neighboring cities are included. Considering that there is no official source of IP-to-Region information, 50+% accuracy is pretty good.

 

How Content Delivery Networks use Geolocation data

The primary use of geolocation data by CDNs is to control access to website origins based on user location. In the case of the Limelight CDN, our integrated geolocation database has accuracy down to postal codes and latitude/longitude. For example, a media company live streaming a sports event may have regional blackout restrictions in their licensing agreement. Using geolocation data, the CDN will block access to the streams for users in the blackout region. Most licensed video on-demand content comes with regional viewing restrictions, so delivery CDNs will use the same method as in the live streaming example to enforce the agreements. A very important additional service CDNs perform as part of enforcing regional viewing restrictions, is allowing or denying access if an end user is utilizing a known Anonymizer service. An anonymizer allows a user to disguise their location to gain access to blacked-out content.

 

More to Come

The next blog in this series will cover securing content in motion with HTTPS. Also, there will be more to come about events that may occur related to security issues.  See you here next week!

There are multiple benefits to knowing where web visitors are coming from. For an ecommerce web site, knowing where potential customers are allows pre-population of country code on forms, displaying different languages, and presenting regional specific content. OTT video services may have licensed content that has limits on where it can be viewed, and geolocation information provides a way to enforce the restrictions. For those of you not familiar with geolocation is the matching of an IP address to a geographical location. This third in the series of security technology blogs, will focus on geolocation as it pertains to protecting and accessing content.

 

Where you can get an IP-based geolocation database?

 

There are a several commercially available geolocation databases. Ip2location, MaxMind, and IPligence offer fee-based databases that can be easily integrated into web applications. Most geolocation database vendors offer APIs and example codes in multiple programming languages to retrieve geolocation data from the database.

 

There are also freely available geolocation databases. Some vendors offering commercial geolocation database also offer a Lite or Community edition that provides IP-to-Country mappings. Ip2Country.net and Webhosting.info offer free IP-to-Country databases that can be integrated into web applications.

 

 

How accurate is IP-based geolocation?

Accuracy of geolocation database varies depending on which database you use. According to IPlocation.net, for IP-to-country databases, some vendors claim to offer 98% to 99% accuracy, although typical Ip2Country database accuracy is more like 95%. For IP-to-Region or City, the range is anywhere from 50% to 75% if neighboring cities are included. Considering that there is no official source of IP-to-Region information, 50+% accuracy is pretty good.

 

How Content Delivery Networks use Geolocation data

The primary use of geolocation data by CDNs is to control access to website origins based on user location. In the case of Limelight, geolocation capability is integrated into our CDN. The database we use gives us location accuracy down to postal codes and latitude/longitude. For example, a media company live streaming a sports event may have regional blackout restrictions in their licensing agreement. Using geolocation data, the CDN will block access to the streams for users in the blackout region. Most licensed video on-demand content comes with regional viewing restrictions, so delivery CDNs will use the same method as in the live streaming example to enforce the agreements. A very important additional service CDNs perform as part of enforcing regional viewing restrictions, is allowing or denying access if an end user is utilizing a known Anonymizer service. An anonymizer allows a user to disguise their location to gain access to blacked-out content.

 

More to Come

The next blog in this series will cover securing content in motion with HTTPS. Also, there will be more to come about events that may occur related to security issues.  See you here next week!

A highly anticipated halftime performance from Lady Gaga, followed by the largest point deficit comeback and only overtime game in Super Bowl history drew 111.3 million viewers and 48.8 rating – the third-highest metered rating in the game’s history according to FoxSports. Adding in 600K viewers on Fox Deportes and 1.7 million streams on Fox Sports Go raises the total to 113.6 million. For Fox, the game was the network’s highest metered market rating ever.

 

The Super Bowl first exceeded the 100 million viewer mark in 2010, and since then there has been steady growth with minor fluctuations, as shown by data in Variety from the past several Super Bowls:

 

  •       2017 – 48.8 overnight rating with a 70 share and 111.3 million viewers (Lady Gaga’s halftime performance generated a 50 rating)
  •       2016 – 49 overnight rating with a 73 share and 111.9 million viewers
  •       2015 – 49.7 overnight rating and 114.5 million viewers (All-time most watched), spiking to 120.8 million in the fourth quarter as the score tightened.
  •       2010 – 106.5 million viewers

 

It’s important to note that the 3% drop in this year’s rating compared to 2015 is encouraging as NFL ratings over that same period dropped 10%.

 

Overall, about 60% of game traffic we delivered in the US was to the East coast. The top regions included Chicago, greater NY/New England, Washington DC, Atlanta, and Los Angeles.

 

More to Come

Stay tuned, as more detailed regional data becomes available in the next day or I’ll post new insights on viewership of the game.

Mike Milligan and I just finished presenting the live webinar, The State of Online Video: The Consumer Is in Control where we revealed key findings from the report and also discussed strategies organizations can implement to deliver great online video experiences to their audiences.

We received so many great questions from webinar attendees that we didn’t have time to address them all, so we are continuing the conversation right here on Limelight Connect!  To join in on the conversation, send us a question by using the “Comments” field for this post, and we’ll reply right away.

And in case you missed the webinar or want to see it again, it is available to watch on-demand. View now.

Significant changes have taken place since NFL Media began live coverage of Super Bowl festivities in 2004.  At the time there was a mere 14 hours of programming for the week. This year’s Super Bowl week features more than 80 hours of live coverage on NFL Network, plus SuperBowl.com, NFL Mobile, and social media providing an unlimited variety of content for fans around the world. Large sports events continue to be where new video technology is showcased, and the tradition continues with this year’s game.

                            

360 Replay Technology

                                                           

Intel’s “Be the Player” feature is probably the most innovative new technology as it enables virtual views from any location on the field, giving fans a view close to that of a player. To accomplish this, Intel installed 38 5K cameras high above the field at NRG Stadium in Houston, bolted onto the building’s roof structure. The visual data is fed to servers that digitally reconstruct the 3D images of the game. Control of the views will be via a pilot taking requests from Fox broadcasters. Someday in the future fans will be able to control their own virtual camera, seeing plays and the field from any angle.

 

Audience Expected Watching Methods

 

                                          

                          

It’s expected that about 16% of US fans will watch via live-streaming video apps, according to a survey conducted by Survata, with results reported in an article in Variety. Fox Sports Go apps will deliver free live-streaming of the game and halftime show. 71% of respondents plan to watch the game at home on Fox on TV with a pay-TV subscription. Because in the US NFL games are only available on smartphones of Verizon Wireless customers, only 2% of respondents plan to watch on mobile. 7% said they will watch at a bar.

                           

                                          

Breaking out data from millennials reveals they will stream the game via apps or online, and 57% will watch at home on TV. Super Bowl ads continue to be popular, with 43% of respondents likely to rewatch their favorite commercials online.

 

Delivering the Highest Quality Video

 

Fox will deploy multiple CDNs for delivery – and will observe the performance across the CDNs looking at rebuffering rates and stream start times and errors. The traffic split between the CDNs will be managed in real-time.

A Super Bowl streaming first will be custom digital ad insertions for 170 of Fox affiliates. Most spots will be the same for broadcast and online, specifically the pricey national ads, however online viewers will see some ads unique to digital, and in some markets, ads specific to an affiliate.

 

More to Come

 

After the game, I will provide actual viewing metrics and insights in my next blog. Enjoy the game and see you here next week!

Are your web applications protected from cyber threats? Theft of consumer data from popular websites was featured prominently in the news in 2016. Yahoo! announced that it had yet another massive attack with data from more than 1 billion user accounts compromised, making it the largest breach in history. This blog is the second of a series covering protection of your content, applications, and access to them, and will discuss the state of web application threats and defense strategies.

 

Most observers expect the frequency of cyber-attacks to increase during 2017, part of the reason being the ease by which attacks against web applications can be launched. The application layer is hard to defend, being exposed to the outside world. This is because in order for an application to function, it must be accessible over Ports 80 (HTTP) and 443 (HTTPS). For a good discussion and demonstration of how the most common web application attacks are performed, read the article and watch the embedded videos from SecurityIntelligence.

 

Defending Against Web Application Attacks

 

There are two fundamental ways to protect against attacks: On premise Web Application Firewall (WAF) network nodes, and cloud-based protection. On premise hardware based WAF network nodes deployed between the internet and an organization’s network, have been a popular solution. These devices contain software that can detect the signatures of attacks, and only pass legitimate traffic through to the network. Because all traffic to a website must pass through the WAF so it can detect and block attacks, there is a significant impact on performance of web applications. The reality is on premise WAF nodes are almost passé.

 

What is rapidly becoming the go to solution is cloud-based defense. This is implemented by locating WAF nodes between origin servers and a global Content Delivery Network (CDN), which does the heavy work of content caching, web acceleration, and delivery of static content to websites. Web app attacks are dynamic, so this is the only traffic the CDN forwards to the WAF nodes. This minimizes the performance impact of WAF protection, and locks down IP traffic, as the WAF only accepts traffic from the CDN. The WAF detects attacks by filtering traffic according to rules from the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) ten most critical application security risks. In addition, a security operations centers monitors dark Internet blogs and industry bulletin boards for new threats. When a new vulnerability is identified, an operations center creates a new security rule and pushes it to all WAF nodes. Even “zero-day” attacks can be closed prior to app vendor patches. The scalable cloud-based architecture results in a low total cost of protection of WAF services.

 

Best Practices Right Now

It will take time for the necessary application security vulnerabilities to be patched. In the meantime there are steps organizations can take to protect themselves.

  •      Implement the latest state of the art web application cyber-attack defenses. This means at the very least cloud-based protection integrated with a CDN.
  •      Make sure all web application patches are installed. If you have custom web applications, understand how the popular cyber-attacks are architected as described in the article from SecurityIntelligence, and that your applications are designed to prevent these attacks.

More to Come

The next blog in this series will cover securing content in motion with HTTPS. Also, as part of this series will be updates on events that may occur related to security issues.  See you here next week!

Limelight is making you an offer you can’t refuse – free traffic delivery and cloud storage! You know your customer’s expectations when watching video, visiting your website, or downloading new software – it has to be flawless. If you’ve tried to deliver your digital content yourself, or have just thought about doing so, survey after survey reveals the same concerns – scale and Quality of Experience (QoE). Addressing those concerns quickly leads to a CapEx investment discussion for infrastructure you would need to deploy to not only reach your customers, but to support many device specific formats, and position content near them.

 

If using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) hasn’t been a consideration, or you haven’t experienced the best digital content delivery services with your current CDN – try Limelight. Now it’s as simple and painless as possible to have your customers enjoy rapid web page loading, broadcast quality video on their devices, and fast software downloads. Limelight is offering free content delivery and integrated cloud storage so you can experience what the world’s largest private CDN can do for your brand and business.

 

Enough suspense – here’s the deal:

Get up to 500TB of storage and 100TB of traffic–FREE!

Improve user experiences and reduce costs with content delivery solutions from Limelight

Provide your audience with the best possible experience

  • Limelight’s Content Delivery Network (CDN) and integrated distributed storage are ranked among the highest performing in the world, which means your digital content is always delivered at the best possible quality.

Deliver content wherever your audience is, on whatever device they choose

  • Limelight is one of the world’s largest CDNs, with multi-terabytes of capacity and more than 80 POPs around the world, ensuring instant global accessibility to your content. Plus, Limelight can seamlessly format your content for optimal viewing on a range of devices.

Have peace of mind 24/7/365

  • With constant monitoring from Limelight’s world-class Network Operations Center and unrestricted access to live technical support, be assured that delivery of your content is in the very best hands.

   OTT promo2.png

  Promotion details are available on our website here.

Organizations interested in distributing live video streams need to make decisions about how much of the process to handle themselves vs. offloading to service providers. A starting point would be to examine what other companies have done to successfully transition to publishing their own content. As a hypothetical example we will look at a company that produces and packages on-demand and live streaming videos, and distributes them via YouTube.

The popularity of YouTube as a go-to site for on-demand and live video is unquestioned. Of the broad spectrum of content hosted on this site, a particularly useful genre is workout at home video. For the organizations producing content in this space, leveraging YouTube’s infrastructure is an easy way to distribute exercise videos to viewers, but at the risk of having them enticed by all the on-page content, and click away from your video. For video producers with a large and growing audience, protecting their brand and keeping users engaged is of paramount importance. A good way to accomplish this is to distribute the videos directly to subscribers, but most companies lack the infrastructure to broadly reach subscribers everywhere.

Introduction to MMD Live

Fortunately, Limelight’s Multi-device Media Delivery Live (MMD Live) provides the infrastructure to take in their live streaming feed and make it available for their website. We are going to explore new capabilities now available with MMD Live that enable live streaming with the flawless viewing experience demanded by audiences. We will limit the discussion to formatting streams for various viewing devices and distributing them globally.

MMD Live simplifies the workflow for delivery of live streaming content in the face of many challenges. Among them is supporting the variety of devices users consume video on, from Smart TVs, to laptops, mobile screens, and game consoles, as well as a company’s mobile app, Roku channel and their syndication partners. To address this, MMD Live supports transcoding to multiple bitrates and formats from a single live stream, and transmuxing into the popular formats HLS, HDS, MSS, RTMP and RTSP. Offloading stream transcoding and transmuxing to cloud-based services eliminates CapEx expenditure for on-site compute resources and management of the workflow.

Easy Delivery

Production tools have become sophisticated and inexpensive, so our fitness video company would have a straightforward path to producing their own OTT channel. Mixing live streaming with pre-produced video to create a 24/7 channel is easily within a small company’s capacity. Distribution to a geographically and device diverse audience is where MMD Live provides a cost effective service that the company cannot easily reproduce.

To simplify the process of generating the correct format stream for every user device, MMD Live lets you send a single bitrate RTMP stream to the Limelight ingest servers, and the stream will be trancoded and transmuxed into multiple bitrates of playback formats HLS, HDS, MSS, RTMP, and RTSP. The converted stream is sent to edge delivery servers located across our global network and allow viewers to access the live stream on any device within seconds, no matter where they are. If viewers are watching using the Limelight live video player, their experience will be optimized as the video player autoselects format and bitrate for the device and the current connection speed. If you use your own video player, the playback URLs provided will allow access to multiple bitrate streams so your player can optimize the viewing experience in the same way the Limelight video player does.

More Features

In addition to making worldwide delivery to multiple devices, here’s what’s new in MMD Live:

 

    • A new MMD Live Transmux slot—Sophisticated content providers can publish multiple bitrates of their live stream to MMD Live for multi-format delivery.
    • Control Self Service User Interface—Access to the Limelight Control Portal gives you direct access for you to configure slots, copy them, delete slots, and view slot detail and reports.
    • MediaVault—Server side authentication service secures live streams from unauthorized access.
    • Integrated Live Player—The SmartEmbed live video player for websites autoselects for device, browser, and connection speed.

Business benefits

The new capabilities make MMD Live a more powerful platform enhancement for delivering live video streams to global audiences, with numerous business benefits. Stream delivery is simplified by automatic on-the-fly format conversion during live streaming with delivery directly to users. Protect content from unauthorized access to enforce licensing restrictions. MMD integration with the Limelight CDN provides instant global scale to get your content to audience devices anywhere.

If you have any questions about MMD Live or the new capabilities, please contact your account manager. They are, as always, here to help you succeed.

Limelight is enabling enhanced access security to the Control Portal in the form of Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) on Oct. 27, 2015. Why the change? Security of our systems and customer accounts is a primary concern to us – and adding 2FA is the next logical step in providing an improved and simple to use solution for customers, as well as to keep up with industry best security practices and customer requests to add this additional security layer.

 

Two-Factor Authentication is a common industry practice used to secure important data.  The technology provides identification of users by means of a combination of two different components. In the case of gaining access to the Limelight Control Portal, the user experience the first time after 2FA is enabled is to be presented with the 2FA Get Started screen:

 

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Limelight has chosen the industry best-in-class tool, Google Authenticator, to enable 2FA on smartphones for this purpose. The steps from this point are to download the app appropriate for your mobile device and add a Limelight account following the instructions in the authenticator app. An easy way to do this is to use the scan the barcode option which will automatically add Limelight. Now you just obtain a security code for Control and enter the token in the security code field, click verify, and the login screen will be displayed. Subsequent logins to Control will be just a matter of entering your username and password and then the six-digit token. This is important because only you have your phone and this code to complete the login process – so this is super secure!

 

In addition to responding to customer requests for additional security, we are adding 2FA in preparation for increased customer self-service, making it critical to ensure only authorized users have access to the Limelight Control portal.

This blog is the fourth in a series describing the use cases and business benefits of the Media and Broadcasting Solution phases. Focused on content playback to any of the devices your audience is using,  the playback phase includes the video player, user authentication, and video analytics.

 

Your live or on-demand video content is delivered to the edge of the CDN ready for your audience to request it. You are well aware of some of the challenges inherent in this final phase of reaching your audience. How do you ensure all the devices receive the proper video format, users are properly authenticated to gain access to content, and you will gather the actionable video analytics required for monetization?

 

Happily, Limelight’s video workflow includes the functionality to address these challenges:

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The Media and Broadcasters Solution Playback phase includes our off-the-shelf player for RTMP and HTTP playback, enabling fast time-to-audience for your content. The player is customizable so you can apply your branding look and feel. Smart device detection happens with the player, so the CDN edge delivers the proper formatted video. The player also gathers key video analytics with detailed reports to help you understand how content is consumed, so you will know what videos are being viewed, for how long, by how many viewers, and more. We preserve all advertising analytics and integrate with Nielson, Comscore, and Omniture. URL tokenization provides multiple methods of blocking unauthorized access including URL start and expiration time and IP address ranges. To ensure delivery sites are always available, DDoS attack interceptor and Web Application Firewall mitigate attacks at all layers.

 

There are solid business benefits for leveraging a CDN and an integrated player to handle video playback. These include increased audience engagement due to the broadcast quality experience, secured content with protected and available delivery sites, with video analytics for monetization.

 

More details about the Limelight Orchestrate for Media and Broadcasters are available here.