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August 12, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 8:08pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Not to be left out in the cold while Microsoft Corp makes all the moves in the interactive video market, Oracle Corp has published specifications for a real-time video encoding standard which will, it reckons, speed up adoption of live video streaming on the Internet. Leading video encoders including Lucent Technologies Inc’s Elemedia, Heuris/NEL and Iterated Systems Inc have endorsed the company’s new VES video encoding applications programming interface, designed for communicating between various end-user devices, encoders, and Oracle Video Server. VES also enables encoders to write into other video servers such as Starlight Network’s StarWorks. But big time streaming media players, Progressive Networks Inc and Microsoft Corp are notably missing from the support list. This is an attempt to endorse an open system API. said an Oracle spokesperson. If organizations are looking at managing their information, they don’t go to Microsoft. The key thing about Oracle Video Server is that it is part of a single data management infrastructure. And here lies the crux of the matter. While Oracle has taken the approach that video should be treated like any other data and can be stored as such in a single database management system, both Microsoft and Progressive are pushing streaming video server products, such as NetShow 2.0 and RealVideo server, which employ file systems as the storage mechanism. Microsoft’s Site Server and NetShow product manager Steve Bell said I understand why an API to Oracle Video Server is useful – it opens up the server to other client vendors of which Microsoft is one. However it is not clear yet whether we will support the standard. We have to hesitate over whether it is appealing for Microsoft to support storage of digital video in an Oracle server. Oracle, a key player in the video server market has shown no interest in supporting the ASF Active Streaming Format, a Microsoft/Progressive endorsed streaming media standard which seeks to divorce the relationship between the client and the server without reducing functionality to the user. We’d like to see Oracle support the ASF client format said Bell. A trade off seems possible, the two companies have hinted. Oracle’s VES is distributed free as part of the development kit for Oracle Video Server, and enables video encoders to store digital video directly into any supporting video server while users simultaneously view the same content from their client devices in real time. Hardware vendors endorsing the standard include Compaq Computer Corp, Digital Equipment Corp, Hewlett Packard Co, Oracle Corp Network Computers Inc, nCube Corp, Samsung Data Systems, Silicon Graphics Inc and Sun Microsystems Inc.

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