Peer-to-peer connectivity offers many advantages over multiple-format streaming.
Streaming high quality video requires demanding list of conditions be met. First, broadcasters need reliable infrastructure. Any inconsistencies on the transmit side will merely migrate to viewers. The goal must be to guarantee delivery and a specific quality of service (QoS).
Some large companies simply invest in extra capacity or contract alternative providers as a form of protection against outages or buffering. That said, Apple’s iPhone 6 live event showed how things can go wrong even when you’re Apple.
Second, most organizations must work with limited resources, which makes it difficult to guarantee QoS. Third, device and format fragmentation need to be addressed. Finally, even if you are successful in the delivering on the first three, it can be difficult to analyze any performance errors once the streaming is over. Was your broadcast successful or not? How do you know?
A software solution
One innovative solution addressing all these issues is the online video delivery platform Viblast. This solution optimizes live video streaming by creating a Peer-To-Peer (P2P) network between the viewers, which reduces server load. In addition, this technique requires the production of only one original stream (Apple’s HLS format) to serve all devices and formats.
For mobile, this happens natively, through Android and iOS SDKs or white-labeled apps. In this way, without investing in extra infrastructure, broadcasters can improve their QoS and be prepared for viewership spikes. The platform also comes with a detailed video statistics portal.
Optimizing video streaming with P2P technology
Optimizing video streaming through (P2P) is still a relatively new concept, but early adopters of the Viblast solution are already realizing the benefits.
The Viblast solution eliminates the need to support multiple streaming formats and purchase excessive bandwidth for broadcasts. It relies on standard peer-to-peer technology.
The signal optimization happens in the last mile: as viewers consume the video streams. Viewers’ browsers share it with other viewers, creating what the company calls Peer-accelerated Distribution Network, or PDN. Besides reducing the video provider’s bandwidth requirements as the number of viewers grows, the system has the natural capacity to build in real-time scale. In other words, as viewership peaks, reaching the limits of an existing infrastructure, the PDN steps in and streaming load is distributed among all viewers creating a virtually limitless network. How peers connect with each other is governed by an intelligent tracker, which “conducts” them and falls back to CDN if peering is sub-optimal.
Using standardized protocols
Viblast’s solution does not require viewers to install any plug-ins or specific players. It feeds a single stream to all platforms and devices. The company chose Apple’s popular adaptive streaming video protocol, HLS, which most content broadcasters provide in order to reach mobile devices. This eliminates the need for a broadcaster to develop multiple streaming formats. Instead, one format works in all browsers.
The web technology is based on HTML5 and WebRTC, which allow peering to be established reliably and securely. There is no inherent risk for individual viewers participating in the peer network as the content transfer occurs in the sandboxed environment of the browser. It is precisely the WebRTC component that enables browsers to communicate with each other in a P2P fashion. Another advantage of this solution is that it eliminates the requirement for viewers to install plug-ins.
This web platform will optimize the service of TV broadcasters’ online channels, as well as OTT content providers and even the hype-generating game streaming platforms like Twitch.tv. Further potential uses within the enterprise world are possible. For example, a large facility to easily and cost-effectively deliver internal broadcasts to staff, no matter their location. Also, this solution could be integrated as an added-value component with turnkey online video solutions such as Wowza.
Viblast is a promising new technology that addresses some of the video streaming industry’s most pressing problems. It connects viewers in a powerful peer-to-peer network, which, as participants grow in numbers, enhances its own capacity to transfer high-quality content. In this way, stream quality remains unaffected by unexpected viewership peaks, and, in fact, is likely to be improved. Finally, Viblast is easily integrated with existing streaming infrastructures and as a plugin-free user solution, seamlessly boosts user experience.
You might also like...
A recent Lawo remote activities case study notes, “It should be obvious by now that remote operation has been seriously underrated. For some, it allows to save substantial amounts of money, while others will appreciate the time gained from not…
In this article, George Kroon, research broadcast engineer, takes a look at how Negative ARQ protocols similar to those used for internet streaming and contribution can be improved specifically for broadcast television.
As broadcasters strive for more and more unique content, live events are growing in popularity. Consequently, productions are increasing in complexity resulting in an ever-expanding number of production staff all needing access to high quality communications. Wireless intercom systems are…
Many people and cultures celebrate special New Year dates. Organizations designate fiscal years. Broadcasters traditionally mark their new technology year mid-April, at annual NAB Shows. Old habits die hard.
In part 2 of this investigation, we look at why Apple’s new M1 processor benefits broadcasters.