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Akamai hd network_encoding_bp_i_phone_ipad
Akamai hd network_encoding_bp_i_phone_ipad
Akamai hd network_encoding_bp_i_phone_ipad
Akamai hd network_encoding_bp_i_phone_ipad
Akamai hd network_encoding_bp_i_phone_ipad
Akamai hd network_encoding_bp_i_phone_ipad
Akamai hd network_encoding_bp_i_phone_ipad
Akamai hd network_encoding_bp_i_phone_ipad
Akamai hd network_encoding_bp_i_phone_ipad
Akamai hd network_encoding_bp_i_phone_ipad
Akamai hd network_encoding_bp_i_phone_ipad
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  • 1. White PaperAkamai HD NetworkEncoding Best Practices for the iPhone and iPad
  • 2. Table of ContentsEXECUTIVE SUMMARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Step 1: Planning a Mobile Content Strategy 2 Step 2: Deciding on a Business Model 2 Step 3: Deciding on a Delivery Model 2VIDEO STREAMING FOR THE IPHONE® . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Video Support 3 Audio Support 3 Resolution 4 Delivery 4 User Experience 4IPHONE® AND IPAD® STREAMING CAPABILITIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Architecture Overview 5BEST PRACTICES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Video Encoding and Bitrates 6 Meeting Apple Guidelines for Content Delivery 7 Video On Demand – Content Preparation 7 Live Streaming 8 Content Origin 9 Ingest to NetStorage 9 Client Playback 9 HTML5 Video Support 9
  • 3. Encoding Best Practices for the iPhone and iPad 1Executive SummaryThe consumption of mobile content around the globe is growing rapidly, thanks to theintroduction of consumer-friendly connected devices, like the iPhone® and iPad®. Thesedevices expand the opportunity for content publishers to leverage the public internet (ratherthan closed-walled garden approach of carriers) to extend audience reach to new platforms.Video capabilities on mobile devices have increased significantly. According to a recent study,75% of worldwide data-capable handsets are able to download video clips, and almost 50%support streaming video. Apple’s iPhone® represents a large and growing share of this marketwhen measured by number of handhelds. But iPhone® users are much more active on thenetwork than others, generating a disproportionate amount of mobile web and applicationtraffic. With the introduction of the iPad®, this trend has continued as consumers leveragethis new device to consume a variety of rich media content such as video, audio, electronicbooks etc.The opportunity for mobile digital media and applications is growing. With 160 millioniOS devices sold to date, now is the time for your business to explore and plan a mobilecontent strategy.This guide focuses on recommendations for delivering content to the iPhone® and iPad®.This paper is intended as a best practices guide to optimizing video streaming contentto the iPhone and iPad OS, leveraging the Akamai HD Network for iPhone® and iPad®streaming solution.
  • 4. Encoding Best Practices for the iPhone and iPad 2Step 1: Planning a Mobile Content StrategyThe iPhone® has demonstrated that consumers are willing and able to download and viewa wide variety of content and applications on their handsets, a trend that is being reinforcedby the growing iPad® penetration within the consumer market. Windows of viewing opportunityon these devices range from two to three minute breaks, to an hour or more while commuting.With recent innovations, media business models for mobile devices have as much flexibilityas those delivered via more established methods. There are many opportunities for contentdistribution on mobile devices, that have enabled new business models, revenue streamsand delivery options.Step 2: Deciding on a Business ModelThere are three primary business models in today’s mobile content market:1. Free content: if the content provides direct support for a product or service, then you might distribute it for free.2. Paid for content: another model is to charge a fee directly to the customer for the content or the application. Variations on this include subscriptions, rental charges for viewing for a limited time, or an outright purchase.3. Advertising supported content: supporting content distribution with advertising is a frequently considered business model. Advertising options include banner ads, ‘pre-roll’ of ads before the main video or more complex integration such as graphics overlays on the video content.Choosing the appropriate business model for your content is the first step.Step 3: Deciding on a Delivery ModelAfter choosing your business model, the next step is content delivery. There are two main accesspoints for content on mobile devices that you should consider: mobile web and mobile apps.Video can be delivered via both of these mechanisms via the Akamai HD Network. Applicationsprovide an intimate environment where you can share content with your user, but often requireadditional effort to bring this experience to each mobile platform. Mobile web experiences,leveraging HTML5, can be accessed from most devices and can assert your brand’s presence.A few examples highlight these choices:Long-playing videos, such as movies or full TV episodes, have typically been downloaded tothe handset and stored until the user is ready to play them. This involved a two-step process thatgoes first to a desktop and then to the handset when docked (for example, via iTunes). With theavailability of Wi-Fi enabled smartphones and faster wireless 3G data speeds, direct to handsetstreaming delivery over standard web protocols is becoming increasingly popular for full TV epi-sodes. In this model, the video begins to play as soon as enough content has been buffered.Short videos and time-sensitive video clips, such as sports or news highlights, are often deliveredby streaming, which means they begin to play as soon as enough content has been received.These typically have to fit into brief windows of opportunity, with selection, download, addisplay (if any), and main video completed in less than two or three minutes.Simulcast of live sports, news and events to mobile handsets requires special considerationsaround scalability and performance of the delivery mechanism. Prior to the release of the 3.0OS, live streaming required a custom proprietary solution. The iPhone®/iPad® OS now has built-insupport for live video streaming that dynamically adapts to available bandwidth, optimizes fullscreen video playback and increases battery life.
  • 5. Encoding Best Practices for the iPhone and iPad 3Video Streaming for the iPhone® and iPad®The video and audio capabilities of iOS devices are geared towards creating and providingthe best media experience on a mobile device. The iOS devices support several videoformats for progressive download playback, including H.264 and MPEG-4, in .m4v,.mp4, and .mov file formats.Video SupportiPhone®Full-screen video playback of movie files with the .mov, .mp4, .m4v, and .3gp filenameextensions, using the following compression standards:• H.264 video, up to 720p, 30 frames per second, Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats• MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formatsAkamai recommends the use of H.264 encoding in an MP4 container file for iPhone®video content. This combination has excellent compatibility and delivers higher qualityat lower bitrates than MPEG-4.iPad®• Support for 1024 by 768 pixels with Dock Connector to VGA Adapter; 576p and 480p with Apple Component AV Cable; 576i and 480i with Apple Composite AV Cable• H.264 video up to 720p, 30 frames per second, Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats;• MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats.Audio SupportiPhone® and iPad®• Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz• Audio formats supported: HE-AAC (V1 and V2), AAC (8 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (8 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV• User-configurable maximum volume limit
  • 6. Encoding Best Practices for the iPhone and iPad 4ResolutionThe native video display format of the iPhone® 4 is 960 x 640 pixels. When viewed sidewaysthe aspect ratio of the screen is 3:2, which is slightly wider than standard TV, and narrowerthan widescreen/HDTV. The native video display format of the iPad® is 1024x768.Comparing Video Resolution Comparing Video Aspect Ratio HDTV 1920x1080 Widescreen/HDTV 16:9 Standard TV 720x480 Standard TV 4:3 iPad 1024x768 iPad 4:3 iPhone 960x480 iPhone 3:2This means that images in unmodified standard-aspect videos will appear slightly squashed(shorter and wider). Widescreen videos will either display with black bars on the top andbottom, or the picture will have the left and right sides clippedVideo content in unmodified standard-aspect videos will appear slightly squashed (shorterand wider). Widescreen video will either display with black bars on the top and bottom,or the picture will have the left and right sides clipped.DeliveryAll media delivery to iOS devices is over the Akamai HD Network, a HTTP based network.Connectivity is available through EDGE, 3G, and Wi-Fi networks – optimal encodingtakes available bandwidth into account, with 2 to 4 bit-rates that are optimized todifferent connections.User ExperienceThe iPhone® OS uses its built-in Media Player application to play media; even when videois embedded in a webpage. Video automatically expands to the size of the screen androtates when the user changes orientation. The controls automatically hide when theyare not in use and appear when the user taps the screen.With the iPad®, video is by default played within a window in the browser/application.The user can choose to playback in full screen mode or not, at their discretion.
  • 7. Encoding Best Practices for the iPhone and iPad 5iPhone® and iPad® Streaming CapabilitiesToday you can send streaming audio and video over HTTP from an ordinary web serverfor playback on iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch®, or other devices, such as desktop computers,without the limitations of progressive download.The streaming protocol, made available in 2009, supports multiple bitrates and automaticallyswitches to the optimal bit-rate based on network conditions for a smooth quality playbackexperience. The goal here is to reduce the amount of rebuffering events, and time spentrebuffering, that has traditionally plagued video playback experience particularly for livestreaming. This implementation also provides for media encryption and user authenticationover HTTPS, allowing publishers to protect their work.Architecture OverviewFor live streaming content, the encoder (or a separate segmenter process) will produce H.264/AAC content in a sequence of small content segments, in MPEG-2 TS format (.ts). For videoon demand, the Akamai HD Network dynamically performs the packaging and segmentingof video files in the network. Server Delivery Media Live Encoder Akamai Akamai HD Net Storage Network Stream OR Segmenter VOD Customer Wi-Fi Web Servers iPhone or iPad “In the Network” packaging and segmenting Wireless CarrierArchitecture diagram for delivery of live and VOD streaming content to iOS devices.Media is delivered to iOS devices via the Akamai HD Network, over 3G or Wi-Fi networks.
  • 8. Encoding Best Practices for the iPhone and iPad 6Best Practices The following audio and video formats are supported:Video Encoding and Bitrates • Video: H.264 Baseline Profile Level 3.0Users accessing content on the iPhone®, iPad® or iPod • Audio: HE-AAC or AAC-LC up to 48 kHz, stereotouch® have widely varying download speeds depending audio or MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3) 8 kHzon whether they are accessing the content over Edge, to 48 kHz, stereo audio3G or Wi-Fi. These settings are applicable to both live Note that the bitrates are general suggestions, andand video on demand content. can vary depending on target audience, content subjectThe figure below contains recommended encoding settings matter, and specific encoder behavior.for streaming content using Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming H.264 Encoding should be single-pass Baseline Profile,specification. These settings apply to both live and pre- frame re-ordering disabled. Key frames are suggestedrecorded streaming videos. every 5 seconds, ideally an even divisor of the chosenThe settings are grouped according to whether the segment length.content is intended to be streamed over the Cellular or Wi-Fi network, whether the content is for iPhone®,iPod touch® or iPad®, and whether the content is 4:3or 16:9 aspect ratio.iPhone® and iPod touch® Total Video Audio Audio Keyframe Restrict Dimensions Frame Rate* Bit Rate Bit Rate Bit Rate Sample Rate Profile to: Aspect 16:9 Cell 480x320 N/A 64 N/A 40 22.05 N/A N/A Cell 400x224 10 150 110 40 22.05 30 Baseline, 3.0 Cell 400x224 12-15 240 200 40 22.05 45 Baseline, 3.0 Wi-Fi 400x224 29.97 440 400 40 22.05 90 Baseline, 3.0 Wi-Fi 400x224 29.97 640 600 40 22.05 90 Baseline, 3.0 Aspect 4:3 Cell 480x320 N/A 64 N/A 40 22.05 N/A N/A Cell 400x300 10 150 110 40 22.05 30 Baseline, 3.0 Cell 400x300 12-15 240 200 40 22.05 45 Baseline, 3.0 Wi-Fi 400x300 29.97 440 400 40 22.05 90 Baseline, 3.0 Wi-Fi 400x300 29.97 640 600 40 22.05 90 Baseline, 3.0iPad® Total Video Audio Audio Keyframe Restrict Dimensions Frame Rate* Bit Rate Bit Rate Bit Rate Sample Rate Profile to: Aspect 16:9 Cell 480x320 N/A 64 N/A 40 22.05 N/A N/A Cell 400x224 10 150 110 40 22.05 30 Baseline, 3.0 Cell 400x224 12-15 240 200 40 22.05 45 Baseline, 3.0 Cell 400x224 29.97 440 400 40 22.05 95 Baseline, 3.0 Wi-Fi 640x360 29.97 640 600 40 22.05 90 Baseline, 3.0 Wi-Fi 640x360 29.97 840 800 40 22.05 90 Main, 3.1 Wi-Fi 640x360 29.97 1240 1200 40 22.05 90 Main, 3.1 Aspect 4:3 Cell 480x320 N/A 64 N/A 40 22.05 N/A N/A Cell 400x300 10 150 110 40 22.05 30 Baseline, 3.0 Cell 400x300 12-15 240 200 40 22.05 45 Baseline, 3.0 Cell 400x300 29.97 440 400 40 22.05 95 Baseline, 3.0 Wi-Fi 640x480 29.97 640 600 40 22.05 90 Baseline, 3.0 Wi-Fi 640x480 29.97 840 800 40 22.05 90 Main, 3.1 Wi-Fi 640x480 29.97 1240 1200 40 22.05 90 Main, 3.1Recommended encoding settings for streaming content to iOS devices.
  • 9. Encoding Best Practices for the iPhone and iPad 7 *Frame Rate: Assumes current frame rate is 29.97. For other frame rates see below: For For 150k Use For 240k Use For All Else Use 30 10 12 to 15 30 60 10 12 to 15 30 29.97 10 12 to 15 29.97 59.94 10 12 to 15 29.97 24 8 10 to 12 24 23.98 8 10 to 12 23.98Meeting Apple Guidelines for Content DeliveryIn a typical video production configuration, a video encoder is used to produce H.264(MPEG-4) audio-video files. These files are appropriate for delivery through Flash playersonline and are compliant with Apple’s recommended encoding profiles. In order to streamcontent to Apple devices, live and on-demand H.264 content must be packaged to MPEG-2.ts format and segmented into smaller chunks. These steps add complexity to the encod-ing workflow, can delay the availability of content for viewers, and necessitate additionalinvestments in hardware and infrastructure. When using the Akamai HD Network forcontent delivery, the content preparation workflow is slightly different for live andon-demand streaming.Video On DemandHD for iPhone® and iPad® is designed to simplify delivery of standards-based, on-demandvideo to iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch®. A feature called “in the network” packagingenables you to leverage existing H.264/MPEG4 video workflows and automatically pack-ages content to the MPEG-2.ts segmented format, which is required for playback on iOSdevices. “In the network” packaging is designed to simplify video workflows so you candeliver more content to the growing number of iOS devices without added complexity.The Akamai HD for iPhone® and iPad® “in the network” packaging and segmentingfeatures eliminate the need to modify existing Flash content preparation workflowsto reach Apple devices. For content that is encoded according to recommended Appleprofiles, “in the network” packaging can re-package a subset, or all, of the bitrates intoan adaptive stream and has the ability to extract audio from the video stream to alleviatethe need for an additional audio encode for content delivered over 3G to the iPhone®and iPad®. Akamai HD Networkvideo input MPEG-4 iOS devices H.264 “In the Network” packaging and segmentingOn Demand Video Delivery to Apple devices
  • 10. Encoding Best Practices for the iPhone and iPad 8Live StreamingContent PreparationFor live content, encoding solutions are available to encode, package and segment incomingvideo to meet Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) specification. Akamai HD for iPhone® andiPad® accepts incoming segmented video files and supports adaptive bitrate streaming forlive content, a feature that automatically switches to the optimal bitrate based on networkconditions for a smooth playback experience.Akamai HD for iPhone® and iPad® also includes full DVR capabilities that ensure a personal-ized and interactive experience by enabling consumers to pause and rewind live video.Delivering live video to the most popular mobile device on the market doesn’t have to becomplicated. That’s why Akamai works with best-of-breed partners like Inlet Technologies.Inlet Technologies has taken the difficulty, complexity and headaches out of the mix withtheir Spinnaker™ encoding product.Spinnaker is the de facto choice for broadcasters, media entertainment enterprises andsports leagues for delivering content to iOS devices. Spinnaker supports adaptive bitrate(ABR) delivery technology, allowing viewers to move seamlessly from one resolution anddata rate to another without buffering or stuttering. This approach provides the bestviewing experience possible.Stream SegmenterApple has created the Media Stream Segmenter, a command-line tool that segments LiveMPEG-2 transport streams (containing H.264 video and AAC, HE-AAC or MP3 audio) fordelivery, and also creates the associated M3U8 index. The Segmenter receives an MPEG-2transport stream over UDP. The index file and media files can then be deployed using com-mon web server infrastructure. The Media Stream Segmenter can also encrypt the segmentsusing AES-128 encryption.This approach should work with many encoders, as MPEG-2 transport stream supportis widespread. Some encoder vendors are building this functionality into their product,so no separate segmentation process is needed.Storage ConsiderationsDealing with many small files can be a challenge for any storage system. Apple and Akamaiboth recommend 10 second segments as the best length for balancing performance anduser experience. Shorter chunk sizes will incur additional transfer overhead and result inmore file entries. It is also recommended that each content item is stored in its own sub-directory, making performance issues from excessive file entries less likely. For long-runninglive events, consider rolling to a new folder periodically.
  • 11. Encoding Best Practices for the iPhone and iPad 9Content OriginContent is delivered over HTTP and can be served from nearly any origin web server, includingApache or IIS. For live events, the segmenter can be run locally, or configured to output contentto a shared folder on the web server, or you can use a variety of methods suitable to your OSto move the content.The Akamai HD Network supports serving content from NetStorage, a scalable cost-effectivestorage solution. NetStorage is transparently replicated across the globe, making it the bestoption for managing and delivering high-demand content.Ingest to NetStorageAkamai NetStorage is an ideal place to ingest the content, making it available to the AkamaiHD Network. HTTP is the preferred protocol for live ingest of segmented content, as it is asimple protocol with low overhead, wide support, and compatibility with most firewalls andnetwork configurations. The content can be sent to NetStorage through an HTTP PUT or POST,and old segments can be deleted with HTTP DELETE. Several encoder vendors have added sup-port for this mechanism and can directly publish encoded content to NetStorage in real-time.For on-demand content, customers typically choose FTP for transferring files to NetStorage.Client PlaybackThe iPhone® and iPad® directly support this segmented streaming approach. Publishers mayalso choose to write their own native iPhone® and iPad® apps that are able to seamlesslybrowse content, leveraging the Media Player for content rendering.HTML5 Video SupportHTML5 is the latest revision of the HTML standard. Of relevance is the video tag, whichallows video content to be directly embedded into a page, without the need for proprietaryruntimes or plug-ins. Most browsers support it, including the latest version of the AppleSafari browser, which includes Safari on the iPhone® 3.0+ and iPad® , Firefox, InternetExplorer, and Google Chrome.Like HTML object tags, the video tag has a ‘fall-through’ mechanism. If the video tag is notrecognized, the browser will attempt to render the next child tag. This is extremely useful,allowing a runtime like Flash to handle playback on browsers that do not yet support HTML5video playback. The video tag can also fall-through across multiple sources, in the event thata browser does not support a particular file format or compression. The HTML5 specificationdefines the syntax for the video tag, but it is up to the browser to determine which mediaformats to support.
  • 12. The Akamai DifferenceAkamai® provides market-leading, cloud-based services for optimizing Web and mobile content and applications, online HD video, and secure e-commerce. Combining highly-distributed, energy-efficient computing with intelligent software, Akamai’s global platform is transforming the cloud into a more viable place to inform, entertain, advertise,transact and collaborate. To learn how the world’s leading enterprises are optimizing their business in the cloud, please visit www.akamai.com and follow @Akamai on Twitter.Akamai Technologies, Inc.U.S. Headquarters International Offices8 Cambridge Center Unterfoehring, Germany Bangalore, IndiaCambridge, MA 02142 Paris, France Sydney, Australia ©2011 Akamai Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited.Tel 617.444.3000 Milan, Italy Beijing, China Akamai and the Akamai wave logo are registered trademarks. Other trademarksFax 617.444.3001 London, England Tokyo, Japan contained herein are the property of their respective owners. Akamai believesU.S. toll-free 877.4AKAMAI Madrid, Spain Seoul, Korea that the information in this publication is accurate as of its publication date;(877.425.2624) Stockholm, Sweden Singapore such information is subject to change without notice.www.akamai.com

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