Flash and Silverlight

November 26th, 2009 - Posted by Admin in Streaming technology

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Since Silverlight was released, the IPTV community has been debating whether or not it could replace Flash as the industry standard. It has been accepted that both techologies will play important roles in the industry as they both have particular strengths and weaknesses.

Here are a few important differences between Flash and Silverlight:

1. Flash is a frame-based animation model utilizing frame-by-frame animation. Silverlight is based on the WPF animation model, which is time-based.

2. Flash uses a compressed format with the text and images embedded within movie (the result is a small file size). Silverlight uses XAML for its description language (the XAP files are compressed but this was not implemented on the early versions).

3. ActionScript is the language used to program Flash objects. Silverlight Developers scripting works with programming languages such as Visual Basic.Net, Visual C#.Net as well as client-side scripting with JavaScript.

4. Flash supports multiple video formats like SWF, FLV or FV4. The H.264 codec is very high quality, and the bandwidth usage is lower than VP6 for example. Silverlight implements the industry-standard VC-1 codec for video, and supports WMV and WMA. With the newer versions they implemented H.264 also. Microsoft provides software development kits for users who want to encode themselves. Here we have an alternative for encoding with our Monster Encoder encoding solution. With Monster Encoder you get 720p videos or higher for your video libraries. The Monster supports a large number of input video formats allowing to use videos coming from different sources (camera,TV recording, DVD, etc).
Samples of videos encoded with the Monster are here: http://www.tikilive.com/show/trailers

5. Flash supports almost all image formats while Silverlight supports PNG and JPEG file formats. Some other file formats are supported by Silverlight but may require alternative decoders.

6. Flash supports Windows Vista/XP/2000, Windows Server 2003/2008, Mac OS 10.1/10.5 (PowerPC), Mac OS 10.1/10.5, Linux 5, Ubuntu 7.10 or later.
Silverlight supports just Windows Mobile 6, Windows Vista/XP/2000, Windows Server 2003/2008, Mac OS 10.1/10.5 (PowerPC) and Mac OS 10.1/10.5 (Intel). Linux support is missing, so users having this operating system installed won’t be able to use Silverlight.

We are approved as Silverlight Developers and Adobe Developers and managed to work with both on our professional streaming solutions. You may contact me for additional information.

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