Live Streaming is an important part of not only online viewing, but increasingly of broadcast in general. It’s well documented that live programming is key to keeping linear broadcast’s tradition of ‘everyone watching at once’ which has been diluted – for both pros and cons – by non-linear viewing in recent years.
This panel, as part of IBC’s Content Everywhere, looks at the drivers behind live streaming, how it’s evolving and its future. Bringing together ultra-low-latency platform noncosmos with managed service provider M2A Media and Visual On who make a video player, Editor of The Broadcast Knowledge, Russell Trafford-Jones starts the conversation asking what gamification and how this plays in to live streaming.
nanocosmos’s Oliver Lietz explains how gamification is an increasing trend in terms of not only monetising existing content but is a genre in of itself providing content which is either entirely a game or has a significant interactive element. With such services, it’s clear that latency needs to be almost zero so his company’s ability to deliver one second latency is why he has experience in these projects.
We hear also from VisualOn’s Michael Jones who explains the low-latency service they were involved in delivering. Here, low-latency CMAF was used in conjunction with local synced-screen technology to ensure that not only was latency low, but second screen devices were not showing video any earlier/later than the main screen. The panel then discussed the importance of latency compared to synchronised viewing and where ultra-low latency was unnecessary.
Valentijn Siebrands from M2A talks about the ability to use live streaming and production in the cloud to deliver lower cost sports events but also deliver new types of programming. Valentijn then takes us into the topic of analytics, underlining the importance of streaming analytics which reveal the health of your platform/infrastructure as much as the analytics which are most usually talked about; those which tell you the quality of experience your viewers are having and their activities on your app.
The talk concludes with a look to the future, talking about the key evolving technologies of the moment and how they will help us move forward between now and IBC’s Content Everywhere Hub in 2021.
Patrick Debois summarises the world of low-latency players from his perspective of wanting to deploy his own solution.
Low- and ultra low-latency is an emerging market in the sense that there are few standards and getting the solutions working at scale and across all platforms is difficult and is a ‘work in progress’. As such, selecting a player is a compromise and there are many issues at play.
Patrick covers the following aspects:
DIY vs ‘as a service’ models
Different methods of ingest (replacing RTMP?)
Platform support & SDK size
How can we overcome one of the last, big, problems in making CMAF a generally available: making ABR work properly.
ABR, Adaptive Bitrate is a technique which allows a video player to choose what bitrate video to download from a menu of several options. Typically, the highest bitrate will have the highest quality and/or resolution, with the smallest files being low resolution.
The reason a player needs to have the flexibility to choose the bitrate of the video is mainly due to changing network conditions. If someone else on your network starts watching some video, this may mean you can no longer download video quick enough to keep watching in full quality HD and you may need to switch down. If they stop, then you want your player to switch up again to make the most of the bitrate available.
Traditionally this is done fairly simply by measuring how long each chunk of the video takes to download. Simply put, if you download a file, it will come to you as quickly as it can. So measuring how long each video chunk takes to get to you gives you an idea of how much bandwidth is available; if it arrives very slowly, you know you are close to running out of bandwidth. But in low-latency streaming, your are receiving video as quickly as it is produced so it’s very hard to see any difference in download times and this breaks the ABR estimation.
He starts by explaining how players currently behave with low-latency ABR showing how they miss out on changing to higher/lower renditions. Then he looks at the differences on the server and for the player between non-low-latency and low-latency streams. This lays the foundation to discuss ACTE – ABR for Chunked Transfer Encoding.
ACTE is a method of analysing bandwidth with the assumption that some chunks will be delivered as fast as the network allows and some won’t be. The trick is detecting which chunks actually show the network speed and Ali explains how this is done and shows the results of their evaluation.
Discover the critical success factors the Broadcasters and platform owners, investing millions in building and upgrading OTT platforms, need to achieve to ensure they can compete successfully with a growing array of digital competitors and deliver compelling user experiences.
Many of these broadcasters are beginning to move from their initial OTT offerings to more mature services that can scale for the future, and answer the requirements of demanding viewers and regulators.
This webinar uncovers the essential parts of a flourishing OTT service, including:
– Delivering content at scale as more viewing and live events move to OTT
– Ensuring a class-leading user experience and quality
– Using analytics to maximise revenue and engagement
– Ensuring cost efficiency in the OTT workflow
– Securing platforms and content against piracy and malicious attacks