Video: Low Latency Streaming

There are two phases to reducing streaming latency. One is to optimise the system you already have, the other is to move to a new protocol. This talk looks at both approaches achieving parity with traditional broadcast media through optimisation and ‘better than’ by using CMAF.

In this video from the Northern Waves 2019 conference, Koen van Benschop from Deutsche Telekom examines the large and low-cost latency savings you can achieve by optimising your current HLS delivery. With the original chunk sizes recommended by Apple being 10 seconds, there are still many services out there which are starting from a very high latency so there are savings to be had.

Koen explains how the total latency is made up by looking at the decode, encode, packaging and other latencies. We quickly see that the player buffer is one of the largest, the second being the encode latency. We explore the pros and cons of reducing these and see that the overall latency can fall to or even below traditional broadcast latency depending, of course, on which type (and which country’s) you are comparing it too.

While optimising HLS/DASH gets you down to a few seconds, there’s a strong desire for some services to beat that. Whilst the broadcasters themselves may be reticent to do this, not wanting to deliver online services quicker than their over-the-air offerings, online sports services such as DAZN can make latency a USP and deliver better value to fans. After all, DAZN and similar services benefit from low-second latency as it helps bring them in line with social media which can have very low latency when it comes to key events such as goals and points being scored in live matches.

Stefan Arbanowski from Fraunhofer leads us through CMAF covering what it is, the upcoming second edition and how it works. He covers its ability to use .m3u8 (from HLS) and .mpd (from DASH) playlist/manifest files and that it works both with fMP4 and ISO BMFF. One benefit from DASH is it’s Common Encryption standard. Using this it can work with PlayReady DRM, Fairplay and others.

Stefan then takes a moment to consider WebRTC. Given it proposes latency of less than one second, it can sound like a much better idea. Stefan outlines concerns he has about the ability to scale above 200,000 users. He then turns his attention back to CMAF and outlines how the stream is composed and how the player logic works in order to successfully play at low latency.

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Speakers

Koen van Benschop Koen van Benschop
Senior Manager TV Headend and DRM,
Deutsche Telekom
Stefan Arbanowski Stefan Arbanowski
Director Future Applications and Media,
Fraunhofer FOKUS

Webinar: DVB-I service discovery and programme metadata

DVB-I is an initiative to develop technical standards for television to be delivered over IP, whether over-the-top or over the internet. DVB-I works with DVB-T (terrestrial), DVB-S (satellite) and DVB-C (cable) broadcast standards so accessing services feels the same whichever delivery channel is used.

DVB-I makes the best use of the different capabilities of each channel:
– People who don’t have broadcast television can still receive services
– Devices that don’t include DVB tuners can still receive services
– New services are possible which wouldn’t be possible on conventional broadcast platforms

There are many separate ways of achieving a hybrid of OTT-delivered and broadcast-delivered content, but they are not necessarily interoperable. DVB aims to solve the interoperability issue, along with the problem of service discovery with DVB-I. As the internet is global, also DVB-I will allow global distribution of programming, whilst still honouring licensing agreements and regulatory requirements.

This webinar from DVB will cover what DVB-I is, the key use cases, it’s current status and the future timeline. The webinar will also look at service discovery, service lists and end by discussing programme metadata.

You can look at the current approved DVB-I standard here.

No need to register! Just go to the link after 12:45 GMT on Wednesday 4th December.

Watch Webinar

Speakers

Peter Lanigan Peter Lanigan
Chair of the Commercial Module subgroup CM-I,
DVB
Paul Higgs Paul Higgs
Co-chair of the Technical Module subgroup TM-IPI and leader of the DVB-I Task Force
DVB

Video: Adaptive Bit Rate video delivery (MPEG-DASH)

MPEG-DASH has been in increasing use for many years and while the implementations and versions continue to improve and add new features, the core of its function remains the same and is the topic of this talk.

For anyone looking for an introduction to multi-bitrate streaming, this talk from Thomas Kernen is a great start as he charts the way streaming has progressed from the initial ‘HTTP progressive download’ to dynamic streaming which adapts to your bandwidth constraints.

Thomas explains the way that players and servers talk and deliver files and summarises the end-to-end distribution ecosystem. He covers the fact that MPEG DASH standardises the container description information, captioning and other aspects. DRM is available through the common encryption scheme.

MPD files, the manifest text files, which are the core of MPEG-DASH are next under the spotlight. Thomas talks us through the difference between Media Presentations, Periods, Representations and Segment Info. We then look at the ability to use the ISO BMFF format or MPEG-2 TS like HLS.

The DASH Industry Forum, DASH-IF, is an organisation which promotes the use of DASH within businesses which means that not only do they do work in spreading the word of what DASH is and how it can be helpful, but they also support interoperability. DASH264 is also the output from the DASH-IF and Thomas describes how this specification of using DASH helps with interoperability.

Buffer bloat is still an issue today which is a phenomenon where for certain types of traffic, the buffers upstream and locally in someone’s network can become perpetually full resulting in increased latency in a stream and potentially instability. Thomas looks briefly at this before moving on to HEVC.

At the time of this talk, HEVC was still new and much has happened to it since. This part of the talk gives a good introduction to the reasons that HEVC was brought into being and serves as an interesting comparison for the reasons that VVC, AV1, EVC and other codecs today are needed.

For the latest on DASH, check out the videos in the list of related posts below.

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Speaker

Thomas Kernen Thomas Kernen
Staff Software Architect, Mellanox
Co-Chair SMPTE 32M Technology Committee, SMPTE
Formerly Technical Leader, Cisco,

Video: Scaling Live OTT with DASH


MPEG DASH is a standard for streaming which provides a stable, open chain for distribution detailing aspects like packaging and DRM as well as being the basis for low-latency CMAF streaming.

DASH Manifest files, text files which list the many small files which make up the stream, can be complicated, long and take a long time to parse, demonstrates Hulu’s Zachary Cava. As the live event continues, the number of chunks to describe increases and so manifest files can easily grow to hundred of KB and eventually to megabytes meaning the standard way of producing these .mpd files will end up slowing the player down to the point it can’t keep up with the stream.

Zachary goes over some initial optimisations which help a lot in reducing the size o the manifests before introducing a method of solving the scalability issue. He explains that patching the mid file is the way to go meaning you can reference just the updated values in the latest .mpd.

With on-secreen examples of manifest files, we clearly see how this works and we see that this method is still compatible with branching of the playback e.g. for regionalisation of advertising or programming.

Zachary finishes by explaining that this technique is arriving in the 4th edition of MPEG-DASH and by answering questions from the audience.

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Speaker

Zachary Cava Zachary Cava
Video Platform Architect.
Hulu