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IIS Media Services

Published: November 11, 2009

Updated: November 7, 2011

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista

IIS Media Services, an integrated HTTP-based media delivery platform, contains the following IIS extensions:

  • Smooth Streaming. Enables adaptive streaming of on-demand media files for Smooth Streaming-compatible clients, including Microsoft® Silverlight®.

  • Live Smooth Streaming. Enables adaptive streaming of live media broadcasts to Smooth Streaming-compatible clients and to Apple® mobile digital devices.

  • Advanced Logging. Provides rich, real-time client- and server-side logging.

  • Bit Rate Throttling. Meters the speed at which media is delivered to a player.

  • Web Playlists. Enables secure sequencing and server-side control of media content.

Viewers have no patience for buffering or poor quality Internet video. No matter how compelling the content, if it stops and starts, or is grainy and pixilated, viewers will not watch it to the end. Smooth Streaming is an adaptive streaming technology that delivers full HD (1080p) on-demand and live streams without the stutter, captivating your audiences and extending viewer engagement times. Smooth Streaming takes advantage of standard HTTP Web technologies, proven IIS server technology, and advanced Silverlight capabilities to deliver smooth playback of content at the best possible quality for each viewer. By dynamically monitoring local bandwidth and video-rendering performance, Smooth Streaming optimizes playback of content by switching video quality in real-time.

Viewers with high-bandwidth connections and modern computers can experience full HD (1080p) quality streaming, while others with lower bandwidth or older computers receive the appropriate stream for their capabilities. The result is simple: viewers in every case and situation enjoy a compelling, uninterrupted streaming experience, which leads to extended audience engagement and increased revenue opportunities. Smooth Streaming is available for on-demand content (provided by the IIS Smooth Streaming extension) and live broadcasts (provided by the IIS Live Smooth Streaming extension).

Monitoring and measuring the quality of media experiences is critical for understanding how users interact with media content and for learning how to more profitably deploy media. IIS Media Services includes extensions that help you manage media content more cost effectively.

The IIS Advanced Logging extension provides access to real-time client-side and server-side logs for media experiences delivered over HTTP. Advanced Logging also lets third-party analytics providers access data in real-time and extend the set of metrics that are captured from either the client or the server.

The IIS Bit Rate Throttling extension saves network bandwidth costs by controlling the rate at which media is delivered over HTTP. When Bit Rate Throttling is not used, content is downloaded at the maximum possible speed. If a user watches 20 percent of a video clip, the content owner still pays the bandwidth costs for the remaining 80 percent that was never watched. When Bit Rate Throttling is used, the throttling rate can be configured by using server-side rules or by automatically adjusting the download rate for detected media files, based on the format and the encoded bit rate of the file.

The IIS Web Playlists extension enables you to deliver secure, server-controlled media playlists from your Web server. They enable you to control whether clients can seek or skip for each media asset. Web Playlists also hides the location of media assets from the user, and prevents client-side caching of those assets. Web Playlists offer content owners control over how media assets, including advertisements, are sequenced and experienced by their customers.

By offering an integrated media delivery platform with IIS, Web sites can now manage and administer a unified infrastructure that delivers rich media and other Web content from a unified Web platform. Combining media delivery and Web content delivery on a common platform saves the cost of managing two separate server infrastructures to deliver a single Web site. Harmonizing server platforms also simplifies deployment and administration of new applications, servers, and Web sites.

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