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Apparently “soon” means “the next day” to the Encoder team :-).  On 28 OCT James Clarke told us all about the goodness that is coming to Encoder SP1 and noted it would be available “real soon.” Little did we know he had already clicked the publish process to the download servers. 

What are you waiting for, go start the download for Encoder SP1 and I’ll share my thoughts on some things here.

What’s in it?  I’ll pick my favorites: New Silverlight output templates, H.264/AAC support and IIS7 smooth streaming support.

H.264/AAC Device Encoding Support

SP1 brings the promise made earlier of supporting encoding profiles for H.264 and AAC.  For now we’re supporting two device profiles: 320x240 for smaller flash-based devices and 640x480 for larger displays (output container is single MP4).  As previously note, Silverlight will continue to evolve the codec support in the runtime and you should expect to see broadening support in Encoder for that as well.

I think this is a nice added value to a “service pack” for Encoder (I like how service packs are starting to introduce new features in some of our products).  Hopefully you can integrate this into your encoding workflow as well as one of your outputs.

New Silverlight 2 Output Templates

I personally know that this has been a desire of James and the team for a long time.  One of the things the team wanted to do was provide Silverlight 2 templates but also create a base that people can extend to their specific needs.  Here’s the new “Silverlight 2 Default” template:

It exhibits all the core features you’d expect in a media player base as well as things like closed captioning support and playlist support if needed.  As you can see the UI is also base.  The great thing is that the source for these templates is also provided.  The templates get dumped in the same location as the previous and in each new Silverlight 2 template you’ll also see a folder called “Source” that contains the source for that particular template.  If you look at the ExpressionPlayer folder in these templates you’ll see some of the base functionality that you may extend for your needs.

There are 6 new Silverlight 2 templates in all, with 2 audio-only ones for your podcast embedding in your blog and such.  The new output options provides a listing of the templates in the template directory separated by Silverlight 1 and 2 versions so you can quickly see them grouped by Silverlight version.  The preview window is still there and will provide you a preview of the template regardless of which version you select.  The advantage of using the Silverlight 2 templates is that you can quickly use the <object> instantiation methods and there is no dependent Javascript files associated.  The output of a typical encoding is: your media, default.html host page, and the XAP.  So if you want to swap out a different media player XAP based on an Encoder template, it is a cut/paste operation.  Take a look at the default.html page generated to see some of the initParam usage to drive the initialization of the media.

IIS7 Smooth Streaming Support

Additional support has been added to provide container output support for IIS7 smooth streaming, which provides a container for each bitrate to enable that adaptive streaming affect in delivering your media.  An example of this can be seen at the new SmoothHD.com site, which is using IIS7 smooth streaming and a delivery network provided by Akamai.  It’s some great video on good bandwidth, and even on non-high bandwidth you can see it scale quality as needed.

There are some additional enhancements that come with Encoder SP1 for your media so beyond these two features I’m highlighting here, you should definitely download the Encoder SP1 and take advantage of the features.  Hat tip to James and the Encoder team for this service pack and providing us improvements as well as new features!  Check out their team blog for a detailed post on all the new SP1 features.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.


11/1/2008 11:01 AM | # re: Expression Encoder SP1 now available
I installed the update, rebooted, added some videos and I get nada H.264 options. Am I missing something?
11/1/2008 11:38 AM | # re: Expression Encoder SP1 now available
Hey Omar: what does the version of Encoder report?
11/3/2008 8:22 AM | # re: Expression Encoder SP1 now available
Having the same problem, no H.264 options, Expression Encoder 2 Service Pack 1 Version 2.1.1216.0. Also getting "No Silverlight template found. Please re-encode." errors with Silverlight 2 templates in job output during publish to Silverlight Streaming service...

Burl
11/3/2008 8:54 AM | # re: Expression Encoder SP1 now available
Omar/Burl: Are you running the Trial version of Encoder? The trial does not contain the H.264 capabilities (one limitation of the trial).
11/3/2008 10:45 AM | # re: Expression Encoder SP1 now available
Hi Tim,

I'm running the full versions of Expression Suite with the latest service packs for Media 2, Encoder 2 and Blend 2.

Burl
11/3/2008 12:05 PM | # re: Expression Encoder SP1 now available
Burl: it's suggested that if you have the full version, it seems somewhere in the setup is failing silently. Can you uninstall Encoder 2 and re-install, then apply SP1.
11/3/2008 2:27 PM | # re: Expression Encoder SP1 now available
Tim,

Simple question, on the Enocder blog he says we can use the ExpressionPlayerControl in an existing Silverlight App using Expression Blend. How do you do that? Any tutorials, samples, etc... would be helpful.

Thanks.
11/3/2008 4:07 PM | # re: Expression Encoder SP1 now available
11/3/2008 5:23 PM | # re: Expression Encoder SP1 now available
Hi Tim,

Reinstalled the Expression suite and service packs, have the H.264 options now. However, still getting the "No Silverlight template found. Please re-encode." errors with Silverlight 2 templates in job output during publish to Silverlight Streaming service...

Burl
11/4/2008 5:39 AM | # re: Expression Encoder SP1 now available
Burl: Yes, right now the current SLS plugin doesn't support the templates. We're working on an update.
11/7/2008 11:37 PM | # re: Expression Encoder SP1 now available
Found the problem. The Microsoft internal version of encoder does not support H.264. Problem fixed via Company Store Copy
Gravatar
12/2/2008 8:41 PM | # re: Expression Encoder SP1 now available
It is awesome that you have H.264 working already. Why isn't it in the trial? In the organization I work for, lack of that codec was a big sticking point for not moving our videos to Silverlight.

We just put together a proposal and a quick sample using Encoder's Silverlight 2 templates using VC1 and the IIS7 media pack. It's working beautifully. To show up tomorrow morning with it working with H.264 would have been killer though.
12/2/2008 8:51 PM | # re: Expression Encoder SP1 now available
Wes: The main reason is license restrictions is why it isn't in the trial.
12/9/2008 3:36 AM | # re: Expression Encoder SP1 now available
Hi...

...I'd like to know if it is possible to upload encoded files with adaptive streaming profile on silverlight streaming live service?!

I have ismv files... how can I manage them?
12/9/2008 7:16 AM | # re: Expression Encoder SP1 now available
valse: Silverlight Streaming does not yet provide adaptive streaming implementations and I'm not sure where it fits in priorities for that service. We've partnered with Akamai to provide some of the first implementations. You can see demonstrations of this at http://smoothhd.com
1/7/2009 10:22 AM | # re: Expression Encoder SP1 now available
Hi Tim,

Any news on an updated version of Silverlight Streaming plugin yet?

Thanks, Burl
1/7/2009 10:46 AM | # re: Expression Encoder SP1 now available
Hi Burl! We're working on pushing the bits through our release process now.
1/15/2009 6:09 AM | # re: Expression Encoder SP1 now available
Tim,

I'm getting a similar issue to Omar/Burl only what I'm looking for is the Video Profile option for Adaptive Streaming, just so I can see how it packages everything together. I don't see it as an option though, you mentioned that h.264 support isn't available in the trial edition is this true for the adaptive streaming profile? I have tried on a full copy from an MSDN subscription, as well as the trial version from Microsoft's site. Neither one have either h.264 support or Adaptive Streaming profile. My version is 2.1.1216.0

Any thoughts?
1/15/2009 10:09 AM | # re: Expression Encoder SP1 now available
Marcus the version in the MSDN subscription does not contain the H.264 royalty bearing bits due to licensing with MPEG-LA
2/28/2009 12:31 AM | # re: Expression Encoder SP1 now available
Hi,

I am looking for some help and found this site and hope u can help me.

This is what i am trying to achive.

Ive created a playlist on windows media player and is playing on my PC. Expression encoder should stream the audio which i hear through my PC, ie from the audio output device.

One prob is expression only catures audio from audio input device (mic).

I want to use media player without trying to add files to the list in ecoder is coz the playlist features in media player is way better than encoder.

is there any workaround..thks 4 ur time :)

 
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