Distributing content

Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2

After you have determined the type of content you want to stream, and how you want to stream it, you need to select the best way to distribute it. Windows Media Services offers two basic methods of streaming live or prerecorded content: through an on-demand publishing point or through a broadcast publishing point. The type of publishing point you choose determines the streaming format.

Some of the decisions you need to make when creating a new publishing point include:

  • What to name the publishing point. The name of your publishing point should be descriptive but also as brief as possible. When a client connects to your stream, the publishing point name is part of the address that directs the player to the content. Typing a long, complicated publishing point name is tedious and increases the chance for errors.

  • What type of content you want to stream. If you have properly prepared your content, you should have no trouble selecting your content type.

  • Which streaming format you want to use. You must stream live content from a broadcast publishing point. For all other content types, you can use either broadcast or on-demand publishing points, and you can choose how your audience accesses your content.

  • Where the content is located. In the case of live content, be sure you have the URL of the encoder or remote publishing point that is streaming the content. Prerecorded content can be located either on the server itself or in a content library location that is accessible over the network. Be sure your path information is accurate.

  • When the publishing point will be activated. You can create a publishing point and start it manually when you are ready to start streaming content. When a broadcast publishing point is started, it begins streaming immediately, even if no clients have connected to it. Alternatively, you can set up a broadcast publishing point to start streaming when the first client connects to it. You can also start an on-demand publishing point manually and set it to either allow or deny new connections.

  • Whether to create an announcement. Windows Media Services can create an announcement file that you can use to direct clients to your publishing point automatically. Announcement files are typically Web page links or e-mail attachments that the client can invoke.

In This Section

Streaming Windows Media files on-demand

Using a playlist with on-demand Windows Media files

Using your server to publish live content from Microsoft Expression Encoder

Using your server to broadcast a stream published by Microsoft Expression Encoder

Alternating between live and prerecorded content in your broadcast