Latency seems to be the new battleground for streaming services. While optimising bandwidth and quality are still highly important, they are becoming mature parts of the business of streaming where as latency, and technologies to minimise it – as Apple showed this month – are still developing and vying for position.
Here, the Streaming Video Alliance brings together people from large streaming services to explore this topic finding out what they’ve been doing to reduce it, the problems they’ve faced and the solutions which are on the table.
Multicast ABR is a mix of two very beneficial technologies which are seldom seen together. ABR – Adaptive Bitrate – allows a player to change the bitrate of the video and audio that it’s playing to adapt to changing network conditions. Multicast is a network technology which efficiently sends a video stream over the network without duplicating bandwidth.
ABR has traditionally been deployed for chunk-based video like HLS where each client downloads its own copy of the video in blocks of several seconds in length. This means that you bandwidth you use to distribute your video increases by one thousand times if 1000 people play your video.
Multicast works with live streams, not chunks, but allows the bandwidth use for 1000 players to increase – in the best case – by 0%.
Here, the panelists look at the benefits of combining multicast distribution of live video with techniques to allow it to change bitrate between different quality streams.
This type of live streaming is actually backwards compatible with old-style STBs since the video sent is a live transport stream, it’s possible to deliver that to a legacy STB using a converter in the house at the same time as delivering a better, more modern delivery to other TVs and devices.
It thus also allows pure-streaming providers to compete with conventional broadcast cable providers and can also result in cost savings in equipment provided but also in bandwidth used.
There’s lots to unpack here, which is why the Streaming Video Alliance have put together this panel of experts.
Whether or not edge computing is the next generation of cloud technology, the edge plays a vital role in the streaming video experience. The closer a video is stored to the requesting user, the faster the delivery and better the experience. But, streaming also provides a lot more opportunity for interactivity, engagement, and data collection than traditional broadcast television. That means as the edge grows in compute capacity and functionality, it could enable new and exciting use cases, such as AI, that could improve the viewer experience. In this webinar, we’ll explore the state of edge computing and how it might be leveraged in streaming video.
Streaming Video Alliance
Date: Thursday February 28th 2019, 10am PT / 1PM ET / 18:00 GMT
Streaming continues to grow, in amount streamed, in people consuming it and in importance within this and other industries. One things which has always been an enabler yet made streaming harder to deploy is its rapid evolution. Whilst this has been a boon for smaller, nimbler companies – both content producers and service providers – the streaming has now arrived at most companies in one way or another and this breadth of use-cases has kept streaming tech moving forward and showing no signs of abatement.
Some aspects are changing. For instance we are seeing the first patent-free MPEG standard proposals (EVC, which has basic patent-free functionality and a better performing patent-controlled profile) on the heels of AV1. We’re seeing low-latency efforts such as CMAF taking hold as an alternative to WebRTC. With CMAF being much closer to the ever popular HLS, this may well beat out WebRTC in deployments at the cost of a slightly higher, but much improved latency.
To bring all of this in to focus for 2019, Jason Thibeault from the Streaming Video Alliance is bringing together a panel of experts to look at the coming trends and to give us an idea of what to look out for, and how to make sense, of 2019’s year of video delivery.