Learn How To Build A Chromecast Application At #smwest Show

At the Streaming Media West show, [taking place November 17-19 in Huntington Beach, CA] Maxwell Da Silva, Video Architect at the NYTimes will teach you how to build a Chromecast application. His session will cover the entire Chromecast application workflow, including registering your app and developing, debugging, and publishing it. Attendees will learn how the Chromecast user model works and learn more about the design principles of the platform. Get insights into the sender and receiver technology, which displays the content and metadata, and the mobile device or laptop, which controls the playback. Finally, using HTML5 and JavaScript, attendees will see how easy it is to build a simple video player and, using Chromecast SDK, fling the content to receiver.

Register online using the code 200DR for a “Discovery Pass” and get free access to the keynotes, exhibit hall, discovery track sessions, and receptions at #smwest.

Netflix Cancels Keynote Speaking Spot At Streaming Media West Show

Last week, Netflix notified me that they would no longer be showing up to the Streaming Media West conference for the keynote they were confirmed to give on the second day of the show. They didn’t give any explanation or advance notice as to why they cancelled and didn’t respond to my email asking for more details. Some have asked me if they cancelled because they didn’t like my coverage of the current interconnection and net neutrality debate. I don’t know if that’s the case and I’m not going to speculate on the cause or use the cancellation to create any drama. I am disappointed as attendees wanting to learn from Netflix are the ones who are going to lose out, but the Streaming Media West show is not just about any one company. It’s bigger than that. Since Netflix only gave me eleven business days notice, I am working hard to find a good quality replacement as quickly as I can and will announce them once they are confirmed.

Update Nov. 13th: Skype will replace Netflix as the keynote.

Cogent’s Favoring Of Packets Disregards FCC Rules

For all the discussion around net neutrality, you would think people would want everyone to follow good net neutrality principles, with no exceptions. Whether the company is a last mile provider, transit provider, or network operator, net neutrality only works if everyone follows the same rules. Far too many people are giving Cogent a pass considering they have admitted that they put customers into different classes, prioritized packets based on those classes, and “favored” (their word, not mine) one set of customers over another. All while not disclosing it to customers or to the public, which looks to be in violation of FCC rules.

Cogent told Ars Technica that it implemented this network management policy in a “visible” and “transparent” way, yet the company didn’t discuss it publicly when the system was implemented and I have yet to speak to a single Cogent customer who was informed by Cogent what they were doing. There was nothing “transparent” about it. If Comcast had done this, people would be calling for their heads, rightfully so, and this would be a huge deal. People would be livid. But when Cogent does it, far too many people are willing to give them a pass, since Cogent wants to try to push the blame to the ISPs for what they themselves are doing.

On Cogent’s own website, they have a page called net neutrality where they outline what practices they follow. Cogent says that they “do not prioritize packet transmissions on the basis of the content of the packet, the customer or network that is the source of the packet, or the customer or network that is the recipient of the packet.” Cogent’s own guidelines says they do not prioritize packets, yet they have admitted to doing just that. Cogent should be held accountable and should come clean on exactly what they are doing. Cogent was very quick to say that what they did was “consistent with recommendations from BITAG“, but on page 43 of the document that Cogent references, the BITAG also recommends disclosing network and congestion management practices.

BITAG says the disclosure “should be made available on network operators’ public web sites and through other typically used communications channels, including mobile apps, contract language, or email.” It also gives a bullet list of seven things that should be disclosed including “what types of traffic are subject to the practices“, “the practices’ likely effects on end users’ experiences” and “the triggers that activate the use of the practices and whether those triggers are user-­‐or application-­‐based” amongst others. Cogent followed none of these.

I’m sure some are going to try to argue that Cogent doesn’t need to follow these guidelines as they aren’t an ISP, but that’s not accurate. Anyone who connects customers to the Internet is an ISP and even Cogent calls themselves an ISP on their website since they offer dedicated Internet access. It does not matter if the customer is residential broadband, WiFi, Metro-E, T1 or Wholesale. An ISP is an ISP. Verizon, Comcast, Level 3 all compete with Cogent for different types of customers, mainly enterprise, government, education and wholesale. Nobody should play by a different set of rules, especially when prioritization is used for some other reason. Based on numbers from a Cogent fact sheet, they have over 43,000 customer connections, so many customers could be affected by their practices.

On July 23rd of this year, the FCC put out an enforcement advisory saying that “broadband providers must disclose accurate information to protect consumers“. Based on Cogent not making it public how they were “favoring” traffic, nor notifying customers, Cogent clearly isn’t in compliance with the FCC’s requirement. Unless someone can show me differently, open Internet principles apply whether the customer is consumer or business, so it appears a company that argues and preaches for “strong net neutrality” willfully chose to ignore the most basic aspects of what they publicly advocate. Don’t be fooled by what Cogent is trying to do by pushing the blame back to last mile providers. Cogent ignored the guidelines set forth by the BITAG, the principles on their own website and the advisory by the FCC. If people truly want strong net neutrality, then ALL companies should be held accountable, not only a select group.

How To: Choosing An On-Demand and Live Cloud Encoding Service

At the Streaming Media West show, [taking place November 17-19 in Huntington Beach, CA] encoding guru Jan Ozer will present what cloud encoding is and how it works for both live and on-demand applications. Learn the types of applications that work well with cloud encoding and the factors to consider when choosing an on-demand and live cloud encoding service. The presentation will also include qualitative and performance results from recent reviews of some of today’s leading cloud based encoding platforms, including Amazon, Encoding.com, Elemental Cloud, and Zencoder.

Register online using the code 200DR for a “Discovery Pass” and get free access to the keynotes, exhibit hall, discovery track sessions, and receptions at #smwest.

Best Practices for Search & Discovery in a Connected World

Connected TVs and other streaming devices enable viewers to watch entire seasons of their favorite shows in a single sitting and remove them from the constrictions of linear TV. As a result, content owners need to get smart about how to market, organize, and present their content in connected environments so that they don’t miss out on opportunities to gain new viewers. At the Streaming Media West show, [taking place November 17-19 in Huntington Beach, CA] this session will provide expert advice about creating an effortless and engaging search and discovery process. Learn about playlists, curation and recommendations, metadata, sharing content across social media channels, and ways to make sure consumers pick your content on their device. Confirmed speakers for the session include:

  • Moderator: Sarah Barry James, Senior Reporter, SNL Kagan
  • Emil Rensing, Chief Digital Officer, EPIX
  • Phil Ranta, VP, Talent Operations, Fullscreen
  • Hillary Henderson, Director, Product Management, Clearleap
  • Simon Jones, Solutions Marketing Director, Ooyala

Register online using the code 200DR for a “Discovery Pass” and get free access to the keynotes, exhibit hall, discovery track sessions, and receptions at #smwest.