Colin Harrington

Streaming

Hulu Desktop for Linux! 32 & 64bit versions for Ubuntu & Fedora

by on Oct.08, 2009, under General, Linux, Streaming, Ubuntu, Video

Hulu Desktop (currently Beta) is now available on Linux!  A friend tipped me off to an article on TechCrunch about it. 

Wohoo Hulu Desktop on Linux

Downloading it and setting it up was pretty easy.  I went to Hulu Desktop and selected download for linux.  From there It gave me choices for Fedora and Ubuntu (both 32 & 64bit versions!)  Since I run Ubuntu I downloaded and installed the deb – easy enough.

When you first launch it it asks you to accept the EULA.

Eula

The first time I launched Hulu Desktop I got an error, that "Hulu Desktop could not locate the Flash plugin.  If you do not have it installed, please modify ~/.huludesktop with the correct location of libflashplayer.so." (remember the beta sticker?)

Hulu Desktop error : Flash Plugin

I had to edit the ~/.huludesktop file to use the wrapped version of the Flash plugin /var/lib/flashplugin-installer/npwrapper.libflashplayer.so and it worked like a charm!

.huludesktop

Playback worked great, probably better than the in-browser experience.  The interface is slick, better than the web-interface and more along the lines of Boxee.  Fullscreen worked well for me.

Hulu Desktop -> Heroes menu

Props to Hulu for providing a Linux version.  The Linux desktop is a first class citizen.  Skype has a Beta version that rocks on Linux.  Google Chrome, Firefox, etc. Who is next? Adobe?  CS5?  I’d pay for Adobe CS5 on Linux.

So far its been pretty good stuff for Beta Software!  I’ll definitely be using Hulu more now. 

Here is a shot of the opening screen:

Opening Image

And another of the Menu (while watching media):

Popular menu

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Excellent Article on AAC and HE-AAC encoding

by on Jan.23, 2008, under Streaming, Video

I ran across a good article explaining HE-AAC encoding.  Written by Fabio Sonnati (yea, he’s italian) on January 18th 2008

I was impressed on how he broke it down, and even went into HE-AAC v2.  Earlier he posted a sample HD clip encoded with FFMPEG (with h264 and AAC) http://www.flashvideofactory.com/test/demofullscreen345.html.  I didn’t have enough bandwidth to play it during the day, I’ll have to check it out when I get home.

http://flashvideo.progettosinergia.com/

And don’t forget to snag some tools from Real Eyes Media – located …. here

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KulaByte

by on Jan.21, 2008, under Streaming, Video

In researching Flash Media encoders, I came across a company called KulaByte.

I was impressed with their solution — A live two pass Variable Bit Rate (2 pass VBR) encoder!!  They have definitely accomplished an incredible feat.  The two pass encoder basically splits the video into segments and utilizes multi-core systems to execute a 2 pass encoding before bringing them all back together.  I can imagine the complexity of doing this with a GOP based codec.  All in all, they told me that it introduced around 15-25 seconds of lag time on the encoder.   Realistically that is Acceptable in the Broadcast market.

They gave me a demo of their Xstream solution (not to market yet).  The Video quality was excellent.  It was what I expected from a 2 pass VP6 encode.  It was hard to see the artifacts at 900kbps, although I did occasionally see some non-traditional artifacts.  I am a videophile and am super picky about video quality.  I’ve seen artifacts like these using Windows Media Encoder’s live preview.  To best describe them, its like a set of pixels (box, group, etc) can’t decide whether to be up 1 pixel or down 1 pixel so it just flops back and forth a few times.  I’m not too concerned with the artifacts, but I’d like to learn what to call them.  Maybe it was just the source video, I don’t know.

The Video Quality was second to none in terms of a Live broadcast.  I was thouroughly impressed.  Because of the multi-pass situation, their software requires some awesome Multi-core hardware.  They even have a portable package that includes a 4 core laptop!!!

All in all, I am very impressed by their work!!  I might utilize their systems in the future.  Keep up the good work KulaByte!!

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