Hank Williams started a little shit storm in the hacking community recently claiming death to the content distribution networks with the launch of Flash Player 10.
It led to an interesting discussion among hackers and forced Adobe out of bed to respond. See live video is hot right now, but so are those bandwidth charges which are very limiting on profits.
Flash Player 10 coupled with Flash Media Server will be offering new features which will essentially allow some form of p2p streaming capability (though the details have not yet been released), thus possibly enabling live p2p streaming and according to Adobe “applications like chat and games are great examples of likely uses of this technology”.
Why pay charges if you can avoid them? RED5 an open source alternative to the 1K USD Flash Media Server, may well be interested in reverse engineering this new functionality, as will no doubt the 8 hackers at Justin.tv who claim to be one of the largest players in the live video biz and who have developed their own Python Media Server – “a custom built live streaming video server cluster. The network can support thousands of live broadcasts and over 100,000 simultaneous viewers and is 100% owned and operated by Justin.tv”.
Plus Justin.tv are currently leading the way in reducing bandwidth charges. “For most in the industry, live video streaming tends to be expensive – with costs ranging between 15-30 cents per user hour of live streamed video. The Justin.tv video network streams live video at 1/4 cent per user hour – by far the most cost effective live streaming ever built.”
So it looks like Flash Player 10 might help the ‘cutting edge providers’ of live streaming services to reduce those high bandwidth charges even further and maintain an edge over the mighty Yahoo who probably don’t care quite so much about bandwidth as those who actually need profits in order to survive this battle.