How to Stream Second Life: Bright Canopy

New streaming services are popping up to replace OnLive. Soon you should be able to once again stream Second Life™ to your device of choice… at least for a time.

I'm just your average ordinary everyday superhero

I’m just your average ordinary everyday superhero by Jordy Zipdash, on Flickr

Ciaran Laval has an article up about possible replacements for SL Go, the app and service for streaming Second Life™ to mobile devices. Bright Canopy is one of those working to take the place of Onlive, SL Go’s creator. See: Bright Canopy Beta Testing Frame For Second Life Streaming In A Web Browser

I think the flaw in these game-streaming-ideas is shown in this company’s statement:

We render SL on powerful machines and stream it straight to your device

Android, iOS, Chromebook, Mac, Linux, anywhere

Say hello to freedom

The emphasis I place on ‘powerful machines’ should have one thinking. If Onlive couldn’t build a working financial model to pay for the computing power and electricity to render games and deliver them, how will any company? Onlive’s biggest problem was a lack of market and the market that existed wasn’t willing to pay the cost.

Onlive had that basic idea down and working. A change the Bright Canopy people make is in place of an app they will use an Internet browser. Now, can they get the cost of the ‘powerful machines’ down low enough to create a cost-of-service acceptable to the market? I doubt it, but people are smart when it comes to cutting costs and being competitive, so maybe.

There seems to be a number of companies and people working on the various parts of tech that will be needed to deliver a virtual world to mobile devices. The world has seen us go from centralized computing in main frames to distributed computing in the PC generation and back to the centralized computing we now call The Cloud.

The reasons given decades ago for moving to distributed computing, everyone has their own computer, are still valid. But, companies have learned they can decrease software piracy and theft by using centralized services and selling subscriptions. Still, expect the cycle to repeat.

5 thoughts on “How to Stream Second Life: Bright Canopy

  1. If I can get full $1200-nVidia-card graphics quality on my low-end PC, Mac or tablet, for a few $ per month, count me in .

  2. The Frame service is substantially different to OnLive’s set-up.

    OnLive had invested heavily in their own hardware and data centres and infrastructure, which added cost to their services. While they proved that this approach could work in terms of margins, it still meant that overall, it was difficult to close the TLV / CPA costs and break even.

    Frame utilises Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure cloud services for their operations. In this respect, they offer a service similar to Amazon AppStream, which I wrote about a few weeks ago (see: https://modemworld.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/could-the-lab-use-amazon-appstream-to-replace-sl-go/).

    The benefit of Frame is that as they are running on an established infrastructure, the overheads of running dedicated servers, data centres, etc., of their own is non-existent – although there is obviously a cost involved in running their services on Amazon’s and Microsoft’s environments / infrastructure. Thus, the approach allows Frame to be a lot more cost effective than by running a dedicated set-up As it is, they seem to be doing pretty well in this regards provisioning a wide range of software applications and web services to clients already.

    As it is Bright Canopy is progressing well – I’m involved in the beta and a group of people are working very closely with Bill Glover (Bright Canopy) and Nikola Bozinovic (founder of frame) to see if a feasible packaged service (like SL Go) can be established offering a choice of viewers to users in SL and OpenSim (we currently have Firestorm and the Lab’s official viewer running), at a cost that will be attractive to users.

    There is still a way to go on this, but given the whole thing kicked-off as a result of Nikola himself offering an invitation on my blog for people to try things out just on a week ago, progress has been impressive.

    I’ve also covered Frame – again as a result of Nikola’s invite and Bill’s endeavours – from the perspective of using it as a “do-it-yourself” option. This using a somewhat different environment to that being used by Bright Canopy, but it gives an idea of things. Those interested can read about it here: https://modemworld.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/streaming-second-life-and-other-grids-frame-enters-the-arena/

    There will be further updates on Bright Canopy in due course.

    • are you certain “OnLive had invested heavily in their own hardware and data centres and infrastructure” ??
      – I understood OnLive were using Nvidia’s network of GPU-accelerated cloud-gaming servers. Nvidia’s server-clusters are still there, and another company could yet use them to serve video-streams of SL [..or SL2 ]

      • Yes, OnLive had invested in their own hardware, etc.

        Dennis Harper (Product Manager for SL Go at OnLive) explains as much during his interview with Draxtor Despres in the Drax Files Radio Hour #63.

        Gary Lauder, chief investor in OnLive (and rescuer of the company after the 2012 collapse & former chairman) has also blogged that the company had demonstrated in it possible to operate hardware at good margins. The issue for OnLive was that (as noted above) they were unable to close the TLV / CPA gap to the point that they could break even on subscriber costs.

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