HTML5 and Flash

Cringely: "Flash always picked up where the browser left off, but it can't talk to your webcam, store local files, or draw pixels directly to your screen. Now, for the first time, a cluster of technologies known as HTML5 allow a standards-based pathway to busting those barriers with canvas graphics, drawing video onscreen, smarter forms, and local storage for private data. So who needs Flash?" - It'll be interesting to see how having video support in the browser changes what we do at Pelco. I still doubt it'll be good enough for daily monitoring for a few reasons; can it support up to 16 simultaneous live video feeds with low latency (by low I mean less than 200ms from camera to display), will we be able to PTZ our cameras, what about overlays on top of the video? Those are just a few minor, minor things, but stuff we need to be able to do on the client. Even if we can't do that it'll be great for configuration and casual monitoring of live and/or playback video.

Interesting times.

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Posted by Rob at 9:57 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

A question for AIR/Flex/Flash experts

First question. Let's say I work for a company that does video security systems and I want to be able to drop my video into an AIR/Flash application, how does one do that?

Second question. Let's now say I have to be in complete control of said video stream? Let's also assume I have a high quality media framework, or pipeline, that does this very thing. It's highly flexible and optimized for receiving, decoding, and displaying video, and audio, and meta-data for that matter. It's crucial to use this existing framework. AIR/Flash video won't do, period.

So, the big question is how do we marry our media pipeline to AIR/Flash? I've asked numerous folks and the answers are always the same. You cannot do that. I'm cool with that answer, but there's always a skeptic among the crowd that believes there's a way to "hack" around things when you're told you can't do it. :-)

One answer may be creating our own video codec? We could write that on top of our framework and do whatever is necessary to insert our video into the runtime as we see fit. Could this be one possible solution?

If you're an AIR/Flash expert that has done this sort of work, I'd like to hear from you. We've gone through so many options that won't work, including Alchemy, I don't believe this is possible to do the way we'd like to do it, but someone may have a way.


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Posted by Rob at 9:57 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Rendering on top of Adobe AIR?

I have a question for the Adobe AIR team, and I certainly hope you can do what I'd like to do.

Help WantedWe have a highly optimized media pipeline we use to display live and playback video. It's highly configurable and adaptable. Pretty obvious given we're a company that develops digital video surveillance systems. We have our own because we need to be in charge of that pipeline. We need to know what's happening and how so we can give our users the best possible experience. The bottom line. It's critical to the success of the product.

Now that we've laid the foundation for the question, here it is. How can I render into an AIR based application and not degrade performance? In a recent release of .NET 3.5 we can do this very thing in WPF, although I'd call it a bit of a hack, it works as expected, and, in general it gives us the performance we're after and makes us a nice WPF citizen.

Are there any technical articles floating around that...
A) Describe how AIR renders.
B) Describes a technique for painting on an AIR surface in a way that doesn't effect AIR performance?

Now, I'm no wilting flower when it comes to rolling up my sleeves and getting dirty. If it means using some Adobe provided API's for rendering, great, point me in the right direction!

My bottom line. I need to be able to render our video into an Adobe AIR application, the way I want, with the performance I expect, otherwise AIR is useless to me for this application.

Thanks for any, and all, feedback.

P.S. - Dear Adobe, don't take that the wrong way. I think AIR is an awesome technology. It just may not be useful for what we want to do. Thanks.

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Posted by Rob at 10:32 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Fun with video

Tom Distler: "So, we’ve been developing a slick cross-platform media framework to standardize or products on (proprietry, of course), and I couldn’t resist building an ASCII text renderer." - Tom did a brilliant job with the design of our new media pipeline, but this, well, you'll have to forgive him, he couldn't help himself. Smile, life is good!

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Posted by Rob at 10:32 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.


Rob Fahrni has been a Software Developer for 20 years. He's developed DOS, Windows, Linux, iPhone, and Palm based applications in C, C++, Objective-C/Cocoa, C#/ASP.Net, and, yes, even BASIC...
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