Azure Media Services announces multi-DRM, more at IBC 2016

Mark Coppock

Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform has made some serious strides recently as a media service provider, with its record streaming of the Rio Olympics standing out as proof positive of the platform’s ability to handle high volumes. Today, the Azure team announced that Azure Media Services will be a part of the upcoming IBC Hackfest.

In preparation for IBC 2016, the team made the following announcements:

  • Multi-DRM: With the recent announcement of FairPlay Streaming DRM service hitting general availability, Azure Media Services now provides all major DRMs (Microsoft PlayReady, Google Widevine and Apple FairPlay) license delivery. This will help media customers to deliver DRM protected premium content to a really wide set of audience on various devices, easily and quickly. We also offer dynamic encryption capability on our streaming server to encrypt media stream on the fly for both video-on-demand (VOD) and live streaming. With this leading content protection services, we provide a single point of control for you to quickly build a multi-DRM solution with high scalability and reliability.
  • Media Analytics: We launched Azure Media Analytics, a collection of speech and vision services including Indexer, Hyperlapse, Motion detection, Face and emotions detection, Video summarization, Video Optical Character Recognition and Content moderation. We are adding Azure Media Redactor, which will perform anonymization by blurring the faces of selected individuals, and is ideal for use in public safety and news media scenarios. Some of the applications areas include law enforcement and public safety than can now efficiently process large volumes of video footages form video sources including surveillance cameras and body cams.
  • HEVC: We are conducting trials of HEVC encoding and delivery in Azure Media Services with our customers. Built on the same platform as the Premium Encoder, the new encoder provides enhancements including the following HEVC encoding at UHD/4K resolutions, including 4096×2160 pixels at 60 frames/second and support for high dynamic range (HDR) content.
  • GA of Azure Media Services in the new Azure Portal: We are pleased to announce the general availability of Azure Media Services in new Azure portal. Besides all features in the old portal, we have developed a few additional features into the new portal: new Media Analytics processors, asset details, closed caption configuration, FairPlay DRM support, enhanced live streaming workflow and etc. You still can access the old portal and manage your existing account by directly pinging, however, you won’t be able to create new Azure Media Services account in the old portal. We will sunset Azure Media Services old portal access in the near future too. Therefore, this is definitely a good time for you to switch over to our brand new experience!
  • Azure Cool Storage: We now support Azure Cool Storage in the media workflows. Customers can take advantage of Azure Cool Storage by using it to upload mezzanines and thereby reduce cost. They could then transcode, and prepared assets stored on Hot Storage.
  • IBC Hackfest: We are also very excited to be part about the IBC Hackfest. Microsoft Azure is a trusted platform for innovation for developers. We look forward to the creative ideas that the teams come up with that leverage the Azure Platform and Azure Media Analytics in particular.

If you’re an organization that’s looking for a host for an upcoming streamed event, the Microsoft certainly wants you to keep Azure in mind. Let us know in the comments if you’ll be at IBC 2016 and available to check out Azure Media Services at the event.