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January 24, 2013

Microsoft News - Windows Azure Streams Video from the Cloud

By Robbie Pleasant, TMCnet Contributor

Microsoft (News - Alert) is taking videos to the cloud with Windows Azure Media Services. With this, enterprises can stream videos on demand without having to build their own infrastructure.

Azure can be used to stream video in a variety of ways, such as through a website or on-demand through services similar to Hulu (News - Alert). It eliminates the need to provision and manage custom media distribution infrastructures, so enterprises can stream videos to laptops, tablets, TVs, or even game consoles.

There’s currently a private preview available for live streaming, with a public preview on the way. Users pay a flat rate per gigabyte for encoding, while streaming requires costs for storage and bandwidth.

“Building a media solution that encodes and streams video to various devices and clients is a complex task,” says Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie (News - Alert) in his blog post. “It requires hardware and software that has to be connected, configured, and maintained.  Windows Azure Media Services makes this problem much easier by eliminating the need to provision and manage your own custom infrastructure.  Windows Azure Media Services accomplishes this by providing you with a Media Platform as a Service (PaaS) that enables you to easily scale your business as it grows, and pay only for what you use.”

Video streaming has become very important, and sites like YouTube (News - Alert) can no often longer meet a business’s needs. Cloud-based video streaming through Windows Azure Media Services should provide fast streaming for a variety of devices, offering higher speeds, video quality, and file size than most websites will allow. It’s a great choice for video streaming, saving one from extensive hardware and software troubles and providing clear video.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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