Akamai Technologies is marketing a service for distributing high-definition online video to large Internet audiences, claiming it can scale up to reach millions of users.
The Akamai HD Network uses multiple playback formats, including Adobe Systems' Flash technology and Microsoft Silverlight media-delivery platforms, both of which provide adaptive-rate streaming, as well as Apple's iPhone. The service uses the content delivery network provider's network of more than 50,000 servers in 70 countries.
Akamai's stepped-up push into HD online video comes as operators, including Comcast and Time Warner Cable, are testing out "TV Everywhere" services that allow cable subscribers to access extra content for no additional charge.
The HD-video service uses adaptive bit-rate streaming to adjust to fluctuations in available bandwidth, in order to provide the highest-quality video to each user. Akamai also touts the ability of its HD video player to authenticate in Flash, Silverlight and iPhone environments to ensure only authorized users are able to access content.
"Delivering ‘Web-quality' content to ‘Web-sized' audiences is one thing, but delivering HD-quality content to broadcast-scale audiences is another," Akamai president and CEO Paul Sagan said in announcing the strategy.
Akamai's media-industry customers include Epix, the joint venture of Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate, which is using the CDN to deliver full-length HD movies over the Internet.