Comparison  
     
Streaming Audio and Video
 
 
           

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The current scoring system algorithm is exponential.

    Client  
    The functionality and features of the component of the product that runs on the PC in a client/server architecture product.  
    Factor: Standard  
    Product Name RealSystem G2
7.0
Windows Media Technologies
4.1
 
    Manufacturer Real Networks Microsoft Corporation  
      Group Score:
145 out of 200
Total Score:
836 out of 1085
  Group Score:
142 out of 200
Total Score:
787 out of 1085
 
    Standalone Player  
    Weight: 2   Weighted Score:
6


  Weighted Score:
6


 
      The player can be installed standalone.   The player can be installed locally and does not require a browser to operate.  
    Netscape Plug-ins Support  
    Weight: 3   Weighted Score:
12


  Weighted Score:
12


 
      The player can plug-in to a Netscape browser.   Windows Media Technologies can be embedded into a Netscape browser.  
    Internet Explorer ActiveX Support  
    Weight: 3   Weighted Score:
12


  Weighted Score:
12


 
      The player can plug-in to Microsoft IE.   ActiveX Control can be embedded into a web page and will work with Microsoft IE.  
    Playback Quality  
    Weight: 5   Weighted Score:
64


  Weighted Score:
64


 
      Playback quality is very good. There is some fuzziness. Audio quality is excellent.   Both video and audio quality are very good.  
    Program Configuration Options  
    Weight: 2   Weighted Score:
8


  Weighted Score:
8


 
      Multiple defaults can be set for transport, proxy, performance, support, display, content, upgrade, connection, and general user preferences.   The user can customize buffer settings, protocols, and proxy settings.  
    Player Controls  
    Weight: 2   Weighted Score:
10


  Weighted Score:
8


 
      RealPlayer includes the following controls: fast forward, rewind, pause/resume, zoom, volume, mute, status bar, digital timer, and slider bar. RealPlayer Plus includes record control, and video, equalizer, and audio analyzer controls.   Windows Media Player includes the following controls: pause, stop, skip back, rewind, fast forward, skip forward, seek bar, preview, volume control, mute, zoom, full screen, go to, and status.  
    Recently Viewed Items  
    Weight: 1   Weighted Score:
4


  Weighted Score:
3


 
      The user can select most recently viewed items, and the number of items is configurable.   The user can select most recently viewed items.  
    Synchronize Multimedia Events  
    Weight: 3   Weighted Score:
12


  Weighted Score:
12


 
      The player can synchronize multiple feeds.   The player can receive and synchronize multiple feeds.  
    Built-in Diagnostics  
    Weight: 3   Weighted Score:
16


  Weighted Score:
16


 
      RealPlayer includes an extensive statistics panel that provides a very good diagnostic tool with information about bandwidth, packets, and streams.   Windows Media Player includes extensive connection diagnostics and troubleshooting.  
    Additional Capabilities  
    Weight: 1   Weighted Score:
1


  Weighted Score:
1


 
      RealPlayer includes update/upgrade notification, web search for Real Audio and Video content, and Content channels.   Windows Media Player checks for upgrade availability, and provides automatic download and installation of new codecs that are encountered by player.  
 

    Server  
    The application's integral components for providing clients with services.  
    Factor: Standard  
    Product Name RealSystem G2
7.0
Windows Media Technologies
4.1
 
    Manufacturer Real Networks Microsoft Corporation  
      Group Score:
314 out of 400
Total Score:
836 out of 1085
  Group Score:
296 out of 400
Total Score:
787 out of 1085
 
    Multiple Server Support  
    Weight: 4   Weighted Score:
40


  Weighted Score:
40


 
      With the purchase of the Splitting Extension, a multi-tiered network can be set up to distribute load. There is also optional support for RealProxy which can work to share the distribution of the load.   Load can be distributed across multiple servers by configuring distribution servers that re-distribute to other servers downstream.  
    Serverless Option via HTTP  
    Weight: 2   Weighted Score:
6


  Weighted Score:
6


 
      RealServer supports HTTP streaming, as stream may be served from a web-server with some limitations.   Windows Media Technologies supports HTTP streaming; however, it is limited in that it does not have the same ability to correct streaming errors, so it will be lower in quality.  
    Client Admission Control  
    Weight: 3   Weighted Score:
16


  Weighted Score:
12


 
      The administrator can restrict access to content by controlling access via HTTP, limiting the bandwidth or connections used, requiring a minimum player version, and blocking or restricting access based on IP address of client. Authentication by realms controls access by identity and can use NT LAN Manager authentication. A commerce feature works in conjunction with authentication and consists of an additional database or text file.   The administrator can set the server to authenticate clients before they are given access and can allow access to files by using Access Control List checking to verify that clients have permission.  
    Dynamic Determination of Protocol  
    Weight: 4   Weighted Score:
24


  Weighted Score:
24


 
      The server dynamically determines which protocol to use.   When Microsoft Media Server (MMS) Protocol is used, protocol rollover is automatic to UDP, TCP, and then HTTP.  
    Streaming Protocols Supported  
    Weight: 5   Weighted Score:
64


  Weighted Score:
64


 
      TCP, UDP, HTTP, RTSP   UDP, TCP, HTTP, and Multicast.  
    Network Bandwidth Monitoring  
    Weight: 3   Weighted Score:
12


  Weighted Score:
12


 
      Network bandwidth usage is monitored.   Windows Media performance counters monitor bandwidth, and there is a maximum bandwidth exceeded alert.  
    Network Bandwidth Limiting  
    Weight: 3   Weighted Score:
12


  Weighted Score:
12


 
      RealServer allows the user to set maximum bandwidth.   An administrator can specify bandwidth constraints for a variety of functions.  
    Performance Optimization  
    Weight: 3   Weighted Score:
16


  Weighted Score:
20


 
      The administrator can set maximum bandwidth use, number of concurrent streams, and can enable cache requests.   The administrator can set maximum clients, maximum bandwidth, and maximum amount of bandwidth at which a single file can be streamed, and timeout length.  
    Traffic Statistics  
    Weight: 2   Weighted Score:
6


  Weighted Score:
6


 
      RealServer supports reporting provided by Lariat Software as a free download.   Traffic statistics are stored in a W3C-compliant format. A basic log analyzer is included, and logs can also be analyzed with a variety of third-party tools (including Microsoft Site Server Usage Analyst).  
    Installation Wizards and Scripts  
    Weight: 2   Weighted Score:
6


  Weighted Score:
6


 
      Comprehensive scripts facilitate the installation of the server.   Installation scripts facilitate the installation of the server.  
    Management Tools  
    Weight: 4   Weighted Score:
40


  Weighted Score:
40


 
      The RealServer Administrator is used to monitor activity on servers; it is web-based, accessible through any Java enabled browser, and provides integrated site monitoring and reporting. If running on Windows NT, NT Performance Monitor can be used.   Windows Media event monitors and performance counters facilitate status and event monitoring. Windows Media Load Simulator can be used to verify server and network performance.  
    Logging  
    Weight: 2   Weighted Score:
8


  Weighted Score:
6


 
      Client data is recorded in an access log, errors are recorded in an error log, and requests for streams which will be cached are recorded in a cached requests log.   Logging can be enabled from the Windows Media Administrator. Users can specify log path, frequency, and size. Log files are W3C-compliant.  
    Remote Monitoring and Alerts  
    Weight: 4   Weighted Score:
40


  Weighted Score:
24


 
      RealServer includes an HTML interface for remote system monitoring. Email alerts can be enabled using NT Performance Monitor.   Windows Media Technologies supports remote monitoring from any computer with Windows Media Administrator installed on it.  
    Maximum Concurrent Streams  
    Weight: 4   Weighted Score:
24


  Weighted Score:
24


 
      RealServer supports up to 2,000 streams with RealServer Professional.   Windows Media Technologies can concurrently serve 2000 streams per server.  
 

    Authoring & Encoding  
    Features and functionality pertaining to processing of the data.  
    Factor: Standard  
    Product Name RealSystem G2
7.0
Windows Media Technologies
4.1
 
    Manufacturer Real Networks Microsoft Corporation  
      Group Score:
296 out of 380
Total Score:
836 out of 1085
  Group Score:
276 out of 380
Total Score:
787 out of 1085
 
    Ability to Encode Presentations  
    Weight: 3   Weighted Score:
12


  Weighted Score:
12


 
      RealPresenter Basic is available free and enables the encoding of PowerPoint presentations. RealPresenter Plus provides further functionality.   Windows Media Encoder can encode live and on-demand PowerPoint presentations.  
    Additional Encoder Capabilities  
    Weight: 1   Weighted Score:
3


  Weighted Score:
3


 
      Users can add keywords and place a broadcast on a streaming media guide hosted by Real Networks. RealProducer Plus includes a bandwidth simulator that can be used to simulate a variety of bandwidths and packet loss scenarios.   Windows Media Author enables the creation of illustrated audio files and the combining of several types of media into one ASF file.  
    Authoring Tools Supported  
    Weight: 5   Weighted Score:
64


  Weighted Score:
64


 
      A wide selection of media-authoring tools is available from over 25 third-party companies.   Authoring Tools include: Sound Forge, Digital Renaissance, Ulead, Veon, Terran.  
    Available Audio Options  
    Weight: 3   Weighted Score:
12


  Weighted Score:
12


 
      Available audio options are voice only, voice with background music, music, and stereo music.   The user can specify audio quality, sampling rates, and type of compression used.  
    Batch Encoding  
    Weight: 2   Weighted Score:
6


  Weighted Score:
6


 
      RealProducer Pro G2 supports graphical batch encoding, and is available from the command line in RealProducer Plus.   The Windows Media Author and On-Demand Producer tools support the encoding of several files at once.  
    Codec Algorithms  
    Weight: 5   Weighted Score:
80


  Weighted Score:
64


 
      RealSystem offers 35 Audio codecs, 9 of which are stereo, and 4 video codecs.   Windows Media Technologies offers 5 audio and 4 video codecs. Recommended Codecs: Video Microsoft MPEG-4 V1-V3, Audio Windows Media Audio (WMA), Voice ACELP.  
    Drag and Drop Input  
    Weight: 1   Weighted Score:
3


  Weighted Score:
3


 
      With RealSystem, all encoders allow drag and drop input.   Windows Media Author and Online Demand Producer tools allow drag and drop input.  
    Encoder Plug-ins Available  
    Weight: 1   Weighted Score:
5


  Weighted Score:
5


 
      A wide variety of media authoring tools are available. The Adobe Premier plug-in is automatically installed if Adobe Premier is present.   A wide variety of third-party media authoring tools are available. The Adobe Premiere plug-in is automatically installed if Adobe Premiere is present.  
    Input File Formats  
    Weight: 4   Weighted Score:
32


  Weighted Score:
24


 
      AVI, MOV, QT, WAV, AU, MPG, MPEG, MPA, MP2, MP3.   AVI, WAV, MOV, MP3.  
    Live Input  
    Weight: 3   Weighted Score:
16


  Weighted Score:
20


 
      RealSystem is able to encode input from a variety of devices for live web broadcasts.   Windows Media Technologies can stream live audio or video directly or save it as ASF files for future broadcasts.  
    Maximum Video Output Resolution  
    Weight: 3   Weighted Score:
12


  Weighted Score:
12


 
      1000 x 768.   352 x 288 maximum preset, with option for variable size.  
    Multi-Data-Rate Encoding  
    Weight: 2   Weighted Score:
8


  Weighted Score:
8


 
      RealProducer Basic encodes for up to two separate bandwidths and RealProducer Plus encodes for up to six separate bandwidths.   Encoding of multiple bandwidths using templates is fully supported.  
    Output File Formats  
    Weight: 3   Weighted Score:
16


  Weighted Score:
12


 
      RealSystem supports RM and MP3 files as output file formats.   The output file format for Windows Media Technologies is ASF.  
    Preset Data Rate and Content Compression  
    Weight: 3   Weighted Score:
12


  Weighted Score:
16


 
      RealSystem supports preset data rate and content compression, and the presets can also be customized.   Templates provide a selection of presets for compressing the stream for particular transmission rates. The user can also customize the presets.  
    Standalone Encoder  
    Weight: 1   Weighted Score:
3


  Weighted Score:
3


 
      Encoding is separate from any other component.   With Windows Media Technologies, the encoder is standalone.  
    Synchronize Multimedia Events  
    Weight: 3   Weighted Score:
12


  Weighted Score:
12


 
      The player can synchronize multiple feeds.   The player can receive and synchronize multiple feeds.  
 

    Development  
    What tools are provided for developing code, content, and web pages.  
    Factor: Standard  
    Product Name RealSystem G2
7.0
Windows Media Technologies
4.1
 
    Manufacturer Real Networks Microsoft Corporation  
      Group Score:
16 out of 20
Total Score:
836 out of 1085
  Group Score:
16 out of 20
Total Score:
787 out of 1085
 
    Multimedia Synchronization Tools  
    Weight: 3   Weighted Score:
16


  Weighted Score:
16


 
      RealSystem provides multimedia synchronization tools using time-indexed script commands. The player is scriptable from JavaScript and VBScript, and also supports SMIL.   Windows Media Technologies provides multimedia synchronization tools using time-indexed script commands. The player is scriptable from JavaScript and VBScript, and also supports HTML+TIME.  
 

    General  
    Basic information about the product.  
    Factor: Standard  
    Product Name RealSystem G2
7.0
Windows Media Technologies
4.1
 
    Manufacturer Real Networks Microsoft Corporation  
      Group Score:
65 out of 85
Total Score:
836 out of 1085
  Group Score:
57 out of 85
Total Score:
787 out of 1085
 
    Documentation  
    Weight: 4   Weighted Score:
32


  Weighted Score:
32


 
      Both online and printed documentation is thorough and very helpful.   Both online and printed documentation is thorough and very helpful.  
    Plug-in Platforms Supported  
    Weight: 4   Weighted Score:
32


  Weighted Score:
24


 
      MS Windows 95/98/NT 4.0 with SP3, Mac with Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 or later or Netscape 4.05 or later, Solaris 2.6/2.7, Red Hat Linux 6.0 with browser.   MS Windows 95/98/NT 4.0/CE, and Mac with Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator.  
    Product Positioning  
    Weight: 1   Weighted Score:
1


  Weighted Score:
1


 
      RealSystem is a complete open and extensible system, based on standards, that enables the richest multimedia experience available on the Internet and intranets today. The system is comprised of Players, Servers, and Tools and includes free entry level as well as revenue generating, advanced full-featured products in each of these system component areas.   Windows Media Technologies enable organizations and Internet providers to deliver high-quality audio and video at every bandwidth across the Internet or enterprise networks. Windows Media Technologies includes the following components: Windows Media Player, Windows Media Tools, and Windows Media Services.  
 

  2000 Intraware, Inc.