Before we go through Azure Media Services and how organizations trust Azure video streaming, first, let’s see the importance of video. Video Streaming rose approx. 72.4% between 2018 and 2019. That’s impressive!
As an organization, if you have loads of videos stored and are facing problems streaming directly to your audience, you can benefit from services offered by the Azure cloud. However, setting up a video stream directly on Azure can be a hassle. Using an enterprise video platform that operates within the Azure environment can help you here. It can help you set up your own YouTube-like platform, where you can upload videos and share with your audience.
VIDIZMO is one such platform that is available on the Azure cloud, but there are many others that you can look up on Azure’s marketplace. In this blog, we discuss how you can benefit from Microsoft Azure when it comes to video streaming.
First, let’s look at Azure and its type of services.
Azure Media Services
Azure Media Services is a scalable streaming service for on-demand and live videos with the capabilities of video indexing, which can generate AI-powered video insights and content protection through a DRM system or dynamic encryption. Overall, AMS ensures your video is viewable on any and every device.
Types of Services in AMS
You can achieve a lot in your videos with the variety of workflows provided by AMS. Here are the types of services offered by AMS
Better Playback Performance – Encoding
AMS transcodes media in multiple formats and renditions. The main purpose of encoding is that the video is compressed for a smaller size and the new format is supported by different platforms and devices. You can have multiple instances of encoding or scalable batch processing to encode at once.
For video delivery, AMS supports both progressive download and adaptive bitrate streaming. In progressive download, the source video is encoded into MP4, which is a single file. Whereas, in adaptive bitrate streaming, the source file is encoded in multiple bitrate files by taking advantage of dynamic packaging. Here are a few methods of streaming video download.
Just in Time – Dynamic Packaging
With the help of dynamic packaging, the content is delivered via multiple streaming protocols to reach all major devices. The widely supported streaming protocols are MPEG-DASH, HLS and smooth streaming. This basically places all your encoding profiles into a package with an option for dynamic encryption.
Videos can either be on-demand or live video assets in your media service account.
Secure and Robust – Content Protection
The next service offered by AMS is content protection. This is done with the help of an algorithm AES-128 OR DRM (Digital Rights Management).
- Google Widevine
- Apple Fairplay
- Microsoft PlayReady
Your videos are dynamically encrypted so that only authorized users can access the videos in your secure environment. The second thing is token verification that utilizes Security Token Service (STS) to guarantee authorized backend resource access.
Have a Universal Identity Platform – Azure Active Directory
This provides you with a universal identity: Single Sign On (SSO) and other multi-factor authentication. Make the most out of Azure AD by signing up for multiple services and access them from anywhere with one set of credentials. This makes sure only authenticated users gain access to videos.
Azure Video Indexer
Next comes the video indexer that can either be used as a part of AMS or as a separate Azure service. Video Indexer helps in extraction, reviewing, searching, curating, and publishing powerful insights of your videos by utilizing AI technology. AI-powered capabilities include
- Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR)
- Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
- Face Recognition
- Speaker identification
- Labels and Brand detection
- Sentiment Analysis
And much more to leverage your video streaming experience. Moreover, the transcription and translation of videos are done automatically into multiple languages.
Buffering of videos can be annoying, and for a smooth playback experience, Azure CDN is here to save the day. The servers are deployed in many parts of the world, and the requested video is cached on the nearby server. So, instead of streaming the video from the origin server, the video is served from the closes server to minimize loading time and swiftly streams without buffering.
Azure Video Streaming with Video Hosting Platforms
Many video hosting platforms provide azure video streaming as it is a hassle to stream from Azure directly. Some of which fall short in many use cases. As I researched through the list of video hosting platforms, I found out an overall package that provides the services mentioned above and much more capabilities.
VIDIZMO is a pre-packaged application out there in the Azure marketplace. You can either opt for the Bring-Your-Own-License mode or the Pay-As-You-Go model. VIDIZMO offers shared cloud SaaS in an Azure environment. A cost-effective option for small and medium enterprises. You can also choose a single-tenant cloud option which is much more flexible when it comes to customized features, administrative policy and security with the help of their professional services.
Based on your requirements, you can even opt for other platforms for azure video streaming. VIDIZMO was a standout for me as it provides these options and caters to streaming videos live and on-demand for both external and internal audiences. It is also a Microsoft Gold partner. It is a wise idea to stay within the azure environment and find a solution that meets various organizational needs.