Last week we were excited to once again host our quarterly Paris Video Tech meetup, this time in partnership with MolotovTV, who welcomed us in their Parisian HQ. PVT’s 5th edition was all about player and device innovation. Jean-Baptiste Kempf, President of VideoLAN and Lead VLC developer, kicked off with the brand new VLC 3.0 and hinted at a radical project to bring VLC to the browser. Next up came the innovation arm of telecommunications heavyweight Orange. Luc Bretones, EVP of the Orange Technocentre, and his team together gave us an exclusive first glimpse of their latest CléTV casting device.

VLC 3.0: One ring to rule them all

VLC has become known as player that “plays everywhere” and 3.0 strives to live up to that reputation. This latest version, dubbed Vetinari, has a strong focus on convergence and aims to provide a single code base on every platform. Among the most time-consuming challenges for the VLC teams were switching focus to hardware decoding and rewriting their adaptive media engine, which now reads HLS, DASH and Smooth Streaming (among others) from a single stack.

Planned for release only a day after Paris Video Tech #5, VLC 3.0 comes out more than two years following the popular VLC 2.2.1 (>200 million downloads). It has nothing short of a litany of compatibilities that include 360° audio and video; 10 bit, 12 bit and HDR; casting with Chromecast (other devices in the pipeline); HTTP2; and the entire gamut of codecs, subtitles and closed captioning systems (check out JB’s slides for the list).

However, without a doubt, the most impressive feature presented last Thursday was JB’s demo of VLC running in Firefox in JS with ams.js and emscripten. “Everything’s happening in the browser today,” so it is a logical step for VLC to be there. While the project is still a PoC and progress will require fundamentals like WebAssembly and pthreads, GPU access support or a better Web Audio API  to get to something viable in production, it was an impressive glimpse of what life might look like if we could gain some independence from the OS and browser vagaries .

For all the details, watch JB’s full presentation (in English) below. (Disclaimer: JB is a passionate developer and may occasionally use strong language and voice opinions that are not necessarily held by Streamroot, proceed with caution 😉 )

A first look at Orange’s new dongle

During the second part of the evening, Orange’s Luc Bretones publicly revealed for the first time the telco giant’s new OTT device – the Clé TV – a portable, affordable streaming stick. Underneath its lightweight hardware, the Clé TV has a completely open-source core starting with the casting protocol developed by Orange (OCast) to their choice of HTML5 player, hasplayer.js, an extension to dash.js for Smooth Streaming initiated by the Orange team, and ad-insertion plugin. The key supports 4K and HDR and uses Chromium browser with MSE, EME and WebRTC. Motivated by the need to serve both iOS and Android, Orange developed the Clé TV to offer the same functionalities and QoE across all platforms. It is set to be released in France, as well as other parts of Europe and in Africa in the coming weeks.

Watch the full recording of Paris Video Tech (in French) here.

For more video dedicated tech talks, join our community of video engineers and don’t miss PVT#6 in February 2018.