From event to event it’s not a surprise that streaming traffic increases, but this look at the Wolrd Cup 2018 shows a very sharp rise beating many expecatations. Joachim Hengge tells us what hte World Cup looked like from Akamai’s perspective.
Joachim takes us through the stats for streaming the World Cup where they peaked at 23Tbps of throuhgput with nearly 10 million concurrent viewers. The bandwidth was significantly higher than the last World Cup but looking at the data, we can learn a few more things about the market.
After looking at a macth-by-match breakdown we look at a sytsem architecture for one customer who delivered the World Cup to highlight the importance of stable content ingest, latency and broadcast quality. Encoding and packaging into HLS with 4-second chunks were tasks done on site with the rest happening within Akamai and being fed to other CDNs. Joachim pulls this together into three key recommendations for anyone looking at streaming large events before delvingin to some Sweden-specific streaming stats where over 81% of feeds were played back at the highest quality.
This talk is from Streaming Tech Sweden, an annual conference run by Eyevinn Technology. Videos from the event are available to paid attendees but are released free of charge after several months. As with all videos on The Broadcast Knowledge, this is available free of charge after registering on the site.
Senior Product Manager, Media Services,
Many companies would love to be using free codecs, unencumbered by patents, rather than paying for HEVC or AVC. Phil Cluff shows that, contrary to popular belief, it is possible stream with free codecs and get good coverage on mobile and desktop.
Phil starts off by looking at the codecs available and whether they’re patent encumbered with an eye to how much of the market can actually decode them. Free codecs and containers like WebM, VP8 etc. are not supported by Safari which reduces mobile penetration by half. To prove the point, Phil presents the results of his trials in using HEVC, AVC and VP8 on all major browsers.
Whilst this initially leaves a disappointing result for streaming with libre codecs on mobile, there is a solution! Phil explains how an idea from several years ago is being reworked to provide a free streaming protocol MPAG-SASH which avoids using DASH which is itself based on ISO BMFF which is patent encumbered. He then explains how open video players like video.js can be modified to decode libre codecs.
With these two enhancements, we finally see that coverage of up to 80% on mobile is, in principle, possible.
Is it possible to monitor OTT services to the same standard as traditional broadcast services? How can they be visualised, what are the challenges and what makes monitoring streaming services different?
As with traditional broadcast, some broadcasters outsource the distribution of streaming services to third parties. Whilst this can work well in broadcast, there any channel would be missing out on a huge opportunity if they didn’t also monitor some analytics of the viewer using their streaming service. So, to some extent, a broadcaster always wants to look at the whole chain. Even when the distribution is not outsourced and the OTT system has been developed and is run by the broadcaster, at some point a third party will have to be involved and this is typically the CDN and/or Edge network. A broadcaster would do well to monitor the video provided at all points through the chain including right up to the edge.
The reason for monitoring is to keep viewers happy and, by doing so, reduce churn. When you have analytics from a player telling you something isn’t right, it’s only natural to want too find out what went wrong and to know that, you will need monitoring in your distribution chain. When you have that monitoring, you can be much more pro-active in resolving issues and improve your service overall.
Jeff Herzog from Verizon Digital Media Services explains ways to achieve this and the benefits it can bring. After a primer on HLS streaming, he explains ways to monitor the video itself and also how to monitor everything but the video as a light-touch monitoring solution.
Jeff explains that because HLS is based on playlists and files being available, you can learn a lot about your service just by monitoring these small text files, parsing them and checking that all the files it mentions are available with minimal wait times. By doing this and other tricks, you can successfully gauge how well your service is working without the difficulty of dealing with large volumes of video data. The talk finishes with some examples of what this monitoring can look like in action.
Remote production (AKA REMIs) has been discussed for a long time – but what’s practical today? Teradek, Brandlive and Vimond share their experiences making it work.
The main benefit of remote production is reducing costs by keeping staff at base instead of sending them to the event. Switching video, adding graphics and publishing are all possible in the cloud, but how practical this all is and which people stay behind very much depend on the company; their quality standards, their workflows, complexity of the programme etc.
This panel at the Streaming Media East looks at when remote production is appropriate, how much does a service provider needs to be present, redundancy, the role of standards and is a wide ranging discussion on the topic.