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Microsoft Teaches Expression Encoder Live Streaming in Webinar

For those looking to offer live video online, Jamie Lang, a program manager for Microsoft Expression Encoder conducted a thorough master class on the subject on Thursday, March 31. The event, titled "Establish a Workflow for Live Smooth Streaming with Expression Encoder and IIS," was held live on StreamingMedia.com and moderated by Streaming Media's executive vice president Dan Rayburn.

Through the hour-long webinar, Lang guided viewers through setting up Expression Encoder to use Smooth Streaming for live events, in a way that would play back on iOS mobile devices, as well. The stream uses adaptive bitrate technology for smooth playback over any connection.

To stream with this method, viewers would need the Pro version of Expression Encoder 4, Lang said, and would have to upgrade it to Service Pack 1,available from the Microsoft Download Center. They would also need the IIS Media Server 4.0 pack, a free-add on for IIS on Windows Server 2008/Windows 7.

Before doing any streaming, users should use the live performance tool to simulate a live broadcast, Lang said. It shows how many streams the user's hardware can handle. Lang guided viewers in tweaking the program's setting to get the best results. When happy with the results, users can save their preset to Encoder.

Lang then guided viewers on using Expression Encoder, including using the Sources tab to capture the screen capture source, and using the Encode panel to make sure video will play on a wide variety of devices.

Viewers learned how to adjust the codec setting to support the widest possible audience without dropping frames. Other topics included adding DVR functionality, setting up templates, and using script commands.

During the question and answer period, one viewer wanted to know when Multicast would get Smooth Streaming (either the end of this year or the beginning of next), and another how encoding settings change if the video is being sent to a CDN (it depends on the CDN and its bandwidth).

The webinar is archived here for anyone who wants to learn from the full presentation. Registration is free, but requires an email address.

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