Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Streaming the inauguration

TechCrunch reported that yesterday was the day that live web video streaming failed, with unprecedented demand for the inauguration that exceeded the capabilities of the major CDN's out there.

I'm pleased to say that I watched the entire speech streaming live to my 3G iPhone on my drive in to work. Yes, I realize I was probably breaking several laws in doing this, but trust me, I had my eyes on the road most of the time! I propped my phone up on the instrument cluster and only glanced at it for brief moments of context.

So, how did I do this, and why wasn't I impacted by the problems that faced the major web streaming portals? Well, I was using a Slingbox SOLO at my house that was streaming video directly to a beta version of the SlingPlayer software running on my iPhone. This is a direct stream from my house, over the Internet, and over AT&T's cell phone network directly to my phone. The Internet wasn't choked yesterday, just the major streaming portals. I still had a solid audio/video stream that only glitched twice over the 25 minute speech. Both of these times were during portions of my commute where I know AT&T's network is a bit weak because I sometimes drop voice calls as well. Both times, the player recovered flawlessly and the Slingbox buffering worked well enough that I didn't miss any of the speech.

For those of you that got cut off, you can always watch a replay on Sling.com's special inauguration site. And, next time you want smooth streaming performance, get a Slingbox!

4 comments:

DaveZatz said...

"And, next time you want smooth streaming performance, get a Slingbox!"

Yeah, but what about the iPhone software... When can I get that? And how much? ;) And do we know that Apple will even approve streaming over 3G? Hopefully the minimal data requirements of a 320x240 broadcast won't worry them or AT&T too much.

Although, as a Sling owner, I'd much rather see you guys finally bump mobile video resolutions on the devices that can handle it.

DaveZatz said...

"And, next time you want smooth streaming performance, get a Slingbox!"

Yeah, but what about the iPhone software... When can I get that? And how much? ;) And do we know that Apple will even approve streaming over 3G? Hopefully the minimal data requirements of a 320x240 broadcast won't worry them or AT&T too much.

Although, as a Sling owner, I'd much rather see you guys finally bump mobile video resolutions on the devices that can handle it.

Ted Malone said...

Well, I'm certainly hoping that streaming over 3G won't be a major issue for Sling on the iPhone. On AT&T, we already support the following phones streaming over 3G:

* BlackBerry Bold
* AT&T Fuze
* Motorola Q9h (Global)
* Samsung Blackjack II
* Samsung Epix
* LG Incite
* Pantech Duo

Why would AT&T/Apple not want to offer a comparable streaming experience on the iPhone 3G?

Stacey said...

Too bad the rest of us can't get on the beta (HINT....)