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Microsoft Azure’s Media Services gets HD Live-Streaming, available to all in public preview

Azure Media Services

Microsoft has announced a HD live-streaming service, as a part of the Azure Media Services. This is the same technology that was used to show the 2014 Winter Games and the 2014 FIFA World Cup – and it is now available to all Azure customers in a public preview.

Azure customers can not only create HD quality live events, but also live linear programming and video on demand (VOD). Additionally, the content security has been well accounted for. Microsoft is providing static and dynamic encryption with industry standard options such as PlayReady DRM, Clear Key AES 128-encryption and the License Key Delivery service.

Supplementing this streaming technology is a the Azure Media Services Indexer. The indexer uses speech recognition technology to index audio and video files so they are later searchable with keywords, phrases, or clips.

Lastly, Azure Media Services is now integrated with Telestream’s Wirecast and Newtek’s Tricaster for high quality production. The partnership with Cires 21 will help customers monitor the status of their live channels, and the JW player’s integration will allow customers to build playback experiences across most platforms.

This was Microsoft’s way to kick off the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC). Be sure to stay tuned for more.

With live-streaming becoming such an important technology as infinitely more people have access to the internet than can be at an event, what do you think of Microsoft’s offering? Also, how does it compare to cheaper/free offerings such as YouTube (which also shows live events such as concerts) or Twitch? (keep in mind this is inherently different). What do you think about the future of live-streaming v. cable?

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