Folks in the streaming media industry are probably already aware of an Adobe product called DVRCast. Adobe has talked about it for several months, and you can find the occasional forum thread on it as well. If it’s a feature you’ve been waiting for, take heart. Adobe’s Kevin Towes announced in a Streaming Media East panel session that DVRCast will launch within the week.
In short, DVRCast allows you to turn a Flash video that you are streaming live into an instant on-demand asset. Adobe manages automated edge caching for you so that as soon as a piece of video hits the Internet live, it’s also available from the beginning for any viewers who may have joined the video session late. You can pause the video and use video seek to scroll through any part of the stream that has already been broadcast. Think of it as Network DVR (including functionality like Time Warner’s Start Over service) for Internet video.
From a consumer perspective, the value of this comes from being able to jump into a live video event late. We’re already accustomed to being able to pause and rewind video on the Web, but not for live events. And as more important events are streamed live (the Olympics, presidential inaugurations, NFL games), the more useful it is to have this functionality. It’s an instant archive.
From a developer perspective, it’s highly appealing that Adobe is offering the DVRCast feature in a drag-and-drop format. No extra coding needed.
Adobe’s unofficial announcement of DVRCast comes on the heels of new support for Adobe’s Strobe Media Framework. Strobe is a media player platform with an open plug-in architecture. Adobe announced this week that twenty companies have signed on to support the open framework.
UPDATE: Adobe informed us that what’s really new is the upcoming free sample piece of code (DVRCast), which will help Adobe’s customers implement DVR functionality in Flash Media Server 3.5. Sorry for any confusion.