WMP Internet Streaming
The more I use WMP secure Internet streaming, the more impressed I become. The empowering technology is obviously very slick and smart. I discovered that the bit rate for streaming is adaptive and adjusts to your connection speed. While I don’t have any technical details or white papers that explain the inner workings, I sense that on the host end, the connection type and speed is auto detected and the bit rate set accordingly.
So far, I’ve determined that on a host that is hard wired to my home router, the bit rate is 2000 and if the host is wireless 802.11n, the rate is 1200. Note that I am streaming no DRM’d HD content recorded using a Digital Cable Tuner and a CableCard. The client was my ASUS EeePC netbook, connected via 802.11n wireless. This means that most broadband users should have a wonderful experience. Comcast’s flagship speed is 12/2, so certainly the experience will be a good one for Comcast customers, especially considering that most will have standard definition Media Center recordings. (Disclaimer, I work for Comcast and this does not in any way represent any official statement or endorsement.). Given my own experience with these HD recordings, anyone streaming HD recordings or HD Videos will have a great experience as well. I’m not easily impressed, but this stuff is amazing.
The bit rate is shown in the upper left corner of Windows Media Player when you first start streaming a TV Show.
Here are some screen captures showing this data.
None of the info I’d see on the web mentioned much about the ability to stream Recorded TV in Windows 7 over the Internet as part of the just revealed Windows 7 Windows Media Player Internet Streaming function added to the release candidate for Windows 7. I decided to try it for myself.
First, this is secure streaming between computers I own. The provider available for the RC is Windows Live, and any computer used as either the host or the client MUST be associated with your Windows Live ID (the same one on each computer). You’ll need to set permissions on the host machine within Windows Media Player, as well.
I decided to try streaming an episode of Stargate Atlantis recorded in High Def from the SciFi channel as a first test. I about fell over because I didn’t expect it to work at all and had guessed that if I could get it to work, it would be glitchy and unwatchable. Wrong. While the content is downsampled, I’d watch it in a heartbeat wile travelling.
Incredible to me, the client I was using was an Asus EeeePC also running build 7100 W7.
While I’m no Steven Spielberg, I managed to capture a bit of this experience: