Google Chrome deprecates Flash in July 2017

Google Chrome plans to deprecate Flash from July 2017 onward. Which effect has this on RTMP streaming? Is there an alternative?

The future of RTMP

RTMP, as you undoubtedly know,  is only possible with the Flash player. Alas, Google Chrome will discontinue support for Flash from July 2017 onward and JW Player will also deprecate this feature around that time. In short, from July 2007 onward, RTMP streaming becomes a liability because we can't foresee how many visitors will install the Flash plugin manually and how long Adobe will keep updating it.

Therefore, if you haven't already done so, make sure each RTMP streaming media has a HTML5 fallback option so that the display of your video's doesn't get disrupted. You can set this quickly in the Default settings for sidewide use, if you haven't done this already.
For new media you add, we recommend to switch to progressive download instead, using the video media type instead of streaming.

For users of S3Media Stream 5.9 and lower, it is highly recommended to switch to S3Media Stream Enterprise because it handles support for mobiles and non-flash browsers much better., ensuring that your media will keep working.  JW Player has officially stopped supporting JW player 5.10. See also Comparison between S3Media Stream regular and Enterprise.

For users of S3Media Stream Enterprise 7.8.2 and lower, it is recommended to update to the latest version 7.9.3 as it also has HTML5 improvements over older versions. It has support for 360 VR Video and HLS adaptive streaming.

Is there an alternative for RTMP private streaming?

Quite a few customers who read our last newsletter are concerned about the eminent demise of Flash and asked what is the alternative for RTMP streaming, in terms of cost and protection.

Alas, there is no comparable (affordable) alternative for what Flash offers.
If you were already using the HTML5 fallback option for mobiles, there is not such a big change in security, though. The cost may go up a little, unless your audience primarily consists of mobile users, in that case, you won't notice much difference.
In any case, with AWS combined with S3Media Stream Enterprise it is still much cheaper than renting a video service (see also below), but if you want security comparable with RTMP,  you might consider it, keeping in mind that there is no bullet proof solution on the internet. We can only make it difficult for the average user.

HSL adaptive streaming
HLS adaptive streaming is a little harder to download than progressive download as it exists of chunks of 10 seconds, but this requires a Premium license from JW Player, currently $299/year.
The storage cost is a little higher then RTMP since you have many video segments as opposed to one for RTMP or progressive download.
In practice, I didn't notice a difference in costs when I moved from RTMP streaming to HLS adaptive streaming on my art site (https://www.raboo.info/wooden-dimensions/), but it's not a highly popular site, so perhaps not reliable as a measure.
With HLS, you also only pay for what you use, since in this case, only chunks of 10 seconds are downloaded at a time, so if a visitor leaves early, you only pay what is used. The big advantage is that the visitor is served with a bitrate version of the video that corresponds with the internet connection, ensuring a smooth playback.
Alas, you cannot make HLS private via our plugin because the manifests have fixed URL's in them (meaning they can't be signed URL's). They are basically external playlists.
Having video set to public has the disadvantage that files can be stolen from the bucket directly. You can make the bucket private, but the files themselves have to be public.
If you have to live from your videos, better stick to private videos via progressive download from July 2017 onward.

As for 360 VR video,(S3Media Stream Enterprise 7.9.3 or higher) this only works via the HTML5 player, so it is basically the same as private progressive download. It guarantees protection against leeching and illegal downloads via the bucket directly.

Other alternatives:
For those of you who have the budget: There are video services that offer protected HLS adaptive streaming, like:
https://www.wowza.com/pricing/streaming-engine
https://bitmovin.com/pricing/player-pricing/
There is also Uscreen.tv, which offers a private HLS adaptive streaming video platform for $90/month but videos cannot be embedded in your own site.

Rudolf Boogerman, 14 March 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *