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When is Comcast going to stop streaming Flash and switch to HTML5?

Frequent Visitor

When is Comcast going to stop streaming Flash and switch to HTML5?

I've been having Flash streaming crashing for weeks on the Xfinity site - videos freeze multiple times no matter what on demand stream you try to watch.  Non-Xfinity streaming (Netflix, Amazon, etc) works perfectly fine - mainly because they're not using an archaic format that is no longer supported by most browsers these days.  

 

When will this be upgraded and can we all get a discount until you do?  

 

  - an unhappy streaming customer.

Problem Solver

Re: When is Comcast going to stop streaming Flash and switch to HTML5?


@IceHockeyFan wrote:

I've been having Flash streaming crashing for weeks on the Xfinity site - videos freeze multiple times no matter what on demand stream you try to watch.  Non-Xfinity streaming (Netflix, Amazon, etc) works perfectly fine - mainly because they're not using an archaic format that is no longer supported by most browsers these days.  

 

When will this be upgraded and can we all get a discount until you do?  

 

  - an unhappy streaming customer.


Not until it's really dead and gone (no longer offered to anyone). And no, they will never give any of us a discount because of it. 

Frequent Visitor

Re: When is Comcast going to stop streaming Flash and switch to HTML5?

Sad, but true -  for what they charge, the service should be much better than this.  Pages of people complaining about this same thing, all without any kind of good answer.  The least they could do is to drop their rates when the service doesn't work as advertised.  But I guess that would be asking too much.

Regular Visitor

Re: When is Comcast going to stop streaming Flash and switch to HTML5?

Why not switch to x265 and save more bandwidth maybe. 

Service Expert

Re: When is Comcast going to stop streaming Flash and switch to HTML5?


@Tkosh wrote:

Why not switch to x265 and save more bandwidth maybe. 


the decoding of mpeg5 (nickname for HEVC) is not available in many devices still. Comcast trucks the signal in HEVC and recodes as mgpeg2 SD and mpeg4 HD. (exceptions are local rebroadcast which maintain broadcast mpeg2 encoding).




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Frequent Visitor

Re: When is Comcast going to stop streaming Flash and switch to HTML5?

So stream the MP4s as an RTMP stream - that would work as well as an HLS stream.  Better than Flash crashing every time you want to watching something on demend on your computer.  Even Adobe is shutting it down - for what we're being charged, Xfinity should be at the forefront of this, not playing catchup.

 

I don't have this problem with Amazon or Netflix.  It's not a bandwidth problem, it's an Xfinity website/player problem.  

Service Expert

Re: When is Comcast going to stop streaming Flash and switch to HTML5?


@IceHockeyFan wrote:

So stream the MP4s as an RTMP stream - that would work as well as an HLS stream.  Better than Flash crashing every time you want to watching something on demend on your computer.  Even Adobe is shutting it down - for what we're being charged, Xfinity should be at the forefront of this, not playing catchup.

 

I don't have this problem with Amazon or Netflix.  It's not a bandwidth problem, it's an Xfinity website/player problem.  


adobe flash is used to enforce HDCP restrictions required by contract with the providers of the entertainment.




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Frequent Visitor

Re: When is Comcast going to stop streaming Flash and switch to HTML5?

They have to be doing secure HLS streaming for the iOS people, or a few million customers would be screaming right about now that they can't watch either.  Maybe it works better on the mobile apps, but those screens are way too small to be watching TV, imho.

 

RTMP can be secured as well.  I work with streaming video, we do it all the time.   And how do all the other vendors (Netflix/Hulu/Amazon) do it with no problems?  If it isn't the Flash streaming (assuming they're using Adobe Media Servers as opposed to Flash Media Servers) they can securely stream HLS with AMS with no problem.  

So it's their player creating the problem or their site which is not streaming consistently for myself and others (freezes, long load times, headswitching type streaking at the bottom of the screen.)   This is a recent problem - starting a couple of months ago and getting progressively worse.  Somethings outdated and needs to be looked at if they're going to advertise a service that isn't going to work.

New Poster

Re: When is Comcast going to stop streaming Flash and switch to HTML5?


@Rustyben wrote:

@IceHockeyFan wrote:

So stream the MP4s as an RTMP stream - that would work as well as an HLS stream.  Better than Flash crashing every time you want to watching something on demend on your computer.  Even Adobe is shutting it down - for what we're being charged, Xfinity should be at the forefront of this, not playing catchup.

 

I don't have this problem with Amazon or Netflix.  It's not a bandwidth problem, it's an Xfinity website/player problem.  


adobe flash is used to enforce HDCP restrictions required by contract with the providers of the entertainment.


This is so very WRONG. I am tired of this same worn out excuse played out by Comcast and now others who begin to believe it. Comcast uses Adobe Primetime to handle licensing requirements between themselves and entertainment providers. Given that both the entertainment providers and Comcast fall under the same umbrella in-terms of content protection (Adobe Primetime) - THERE IS NO TECHNICAL NOR CONTRACTUAL LIMITATION TO DISALLOW HTML5 STREAMING. In fact, Adobe Primetime's Browser SDK is designed to first attempt a HTML5 supported player before using flash as a backup. You want to know how I know this? Download Comcast's Android Stream app, change the .apk to .zip, and extract it. Go into the folder called "assets" and you'll find a bunch of interesting .json configuration files - with one titled "AdobeTVSDKConfig":

 

 

{
  "ads": {
    "rules": {
      "default": [{
        "type": "priority",
        "stream": "vod",
        "priority": [
          "video/mp4",
          "application/vnd.apple.mpegurl",
          "application/x-mpegurl"
        ]
      },
        {
          "type": "priority",
          "stream": "live",
          "priority": [
            "video/mp4",
            "application/x-mpegurl",
            "application/vnd.apple.mpegurl"
          ]
        },
        {
          "type": "normalize",
          "item": "host",
          "matches": "ew",
          "values": [
            "redirector.gvt1.com"
          ],
          "find": "videoplayback/(.*?)/expire/.*?/(.*?)/signature/.*?/",
          "replace": "videoplayback/$1/expire//$2/signature//"
        }
      ]
    }
  }
}

The fact of the matter here is that Comcast can support HTML5 by updating the browser SDK they already utilize. Not that there's some hidden contract between Comcast and the entertainment industry. Most, if not all, entertainment companies use Adobe Primetime for their content protection. This is how the Apple TV is able to authenticate once through service providers and instantly authenticate across all entertainment companies. It is also why small service providers can do so. So why does Comcast decide to continue with this archaic platform and not provide services other service providers do? The easiest explanation tends to be the right one:

 

Providing HTML5 supported streams through the browser opens up support for other platforms Comcast wants to have control over. They explicitly handicap their browser based streaming so that it makes it difficult for those with HTPCs and/or mobile based streaming devices to utilize out-of-home content streaming. Given that a large chunk of Comcast's revenue stream consists of their X1 boxes...they treat that as a threat and thus will continue supporting flash until it's dead and buried 10 feet deep. If Comcast had a choice; they'd insist using their own proprietary content protection....but they can't because that's what the entertainment companies demand. Wouldn't it be in the best interest for TV networks to support as many devices/platforms as possible? That's what Adobe Primetime does....and Comcast hates it. 

 

 

 

 

Service Expert

Re: When is Comcast going to stop streaming Flash and switch to HTML5?

yes, HTML5 could be used but Comcast is so far sticking with adobe.




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