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How does it work: About Video Streaming Technologies

March 22, 2021 |

We are witnessing a revolution in Internet commerce. An innovative format of communication with the consumer is coming to the forefront.

This is how video streaming content is becoming more and more popular and is taking more viewers from television and listeners from the radio. Modern streaming services allow watching absolutely everything from live news to the latest TV series.

Media & Entertainment services are evolving so fast that we don’t have time to keep up with the updates and innovations they offer.

At any time and from any device. Everyone now knows such a word as “streaming”. Some people stream games on their own, while others choose a service to watch movies or listen to music. Most will prefer to watch the video, because it is more familiar to the brain, and therefore more enjoyable.

Due to this feature, most of the Internet traffic goes to sites like YouTube, Netflix, Twitch, Amazon Prime, and other services.

The latest video streaming technologies

Here we come to some of the technological advances that make it possible for visitors to use video streaming services seamlessly.

Super-Resolution

Image resolution enhancement is the reconstruction of a high-resolution photo from its low-resolution counterpart. The image may have a lower resolution because of a smaller size or because of degradation such as blurring.

In image processing, there are a class of Super-resolution (SR) methods that allow a qualitative increase in the resolution of the original image. In this case, the optical limit of the lens or the physical resolution of the digital sensor which recorded the image is overcome.

SR algorithms use two approaches to calculate the resulting image: 1) based on a set of frames of a single object; 2) a self-learning system with a database of samples.

In the case of video, several previously generated high-resolution frames and the current low-quality frame are used together to create the current high-resolution frame. So users can watch 480p videos on their devices in 1080p quality.

P2P Video Streaming

Video streaming follows a client-server model. The idea of the technology is to transfer streams not only from the server to the clients but also between clients.

Using P2P to deliver unicast streams reduces video traffic congestion on the network and dependence on centralized streaming infrastructure.

This concept allows the streaming infrastructure to handle spikes in the number of views, reducing bandwidth costs and improving the quality of service and viewer experience.

If a match is live and watched by multiple viewers, they can request snippets of the video from each other. This reduces the load on the network channel to the video broadcasting servers significantly.

This results in lower CDN costs, higher bandwidth, and better adaptive quality. It also leads to improved reliability. That is, P2P acceleration makes the streaming video more scalable and resilient to peaks and failures.

CDN

Content Delivery Network (CDN) technology is used to open sites with a lot of data faster. It is a geographically distributed network infrastructure that delivers content quickly to users of web services and sites.

They are geographically positioned to make the response time for users of a site or service as short as possible. CDNs distribute content to multiple servers around the world to ensure availability during high traffic periods.

Technology reduces the risk of losing access to content due to the main server crash. Content is available as long as you keep the primary server up and running.

Providers offer CDN hosting. They place a network of interconnected caching content delivery network servers in different parts of the world. This distance between clients and the main server does not affect the speed of data transfer. Sites with CDN are loaded faster.

That is why technology is used for live-streaming. Internet users can watch or listen to live streaming in a browser or special application worldwide. One or more origination servers receive the broadcast stream from the video camera, which is immediately rebroadcast to the points of presence.

The origin servers do not distribute the content to the clients. Streaming CDNs also include load balancers that redirect requests to the least loaded edge servers at the moment.

However, not all content delivery networks have the same worldwide reach, and there are performance and blocking issues. To avoid these problems, it is ideal to have access to multiple CDNs simultaneously. Multi-CDN vendors can be approached.

It will improve performance and resiliency, allow to get content from the highest performing network at the time using Real User Monitoring metrics to improve service quality and provide fault tolerance in case of failure.

CMAF

Moving Image Expert Group created the Common Media Application Format protocol on behalf of Apple and Microsoft for adaptive streaming over HTTP. This protocol is based on the use of the fMP4 container (ISOBMFF). It can be used both within MPEG-DASH and with HLS-protocol using common encryption.

Before CMAF, the Apple HLS protocol used MPEG or .ts (MPEG-TS) format. Other protocols on HTTP like DASH, used MP4 or .mp4 (fMP4). Microsoft and Apple agreed to use a standardized transport container in MP4 form to capture a larger audience.

CMAF has 2 ways of encoding: chunked encoding and fragmented transport encoding to reduce latency. This allows the video to be divided into small chunks of a specific duration, which can be published immediately after encoding. In this way, real-time delivery can take place while the later fragments are still being processed.

Per-title encoding

Per-title encoding is the process of compressing video using codecs such as H.264. Encoding is based on the fact that different types of video content require different bitrates and encoding settings to achieve a certain quality.

This reduces the cost of storing and delivering video streams. Videos can be delivered at lower bitrates, but at the same time improving the quality of the experience.

For example, movies or sports broadcasts are transmitted at a lower resolution to avoid poor viewing quality.

Content with the same resolution can be encoded at multiple bitrates. Video with 1920 x 1080 resolution can be encoded at 5800 Mbit/s or 4800 Mbit/s. This is because the video is compressed with losses, and the lower the selected bitrate, the less information is available in the compressed video.

Netflix Hollow OSS as an example

Hollow is a Netflix open-source project. It is a Java library and set of tools for managing small and medium data sets in memory. They are distributed from the same organization to multiple users and are read-only.

To avoid storing data in a central repository or serializing it in JSON or XML and then distributing it through network edge servers, Hollow caches a read-only dataset in memory.

This solves performance problems and offers to liberate large datasets in other contexts. But the library is not designed to handle any size of data. If there are a lot of them, storing the entire set in memory is impossible.

Hollow replaces Zeno, which Netflix used for in-memory datasets. Sets are now presented in a compact fixed-length encoding. Hollow was used for about two years and now provides in-memory caching of datasets up to several gigabytes in size.

It’s able to create a custom API based on a specific data model and automatically compute changes to the dataset. Netflix provides tools and resources like Hollow through its Open Source Software Center. The OSS Center specializes in technologies that will provide a good experience and impression on all Internet-connected screens.

Conclusion:

In order to provide a service with increased loyalty and growth in views, you need not only a wide variety of content, a high-quality user experience, but also reliability in use. Viewers expect uninterrupted platforms with a huge range of content.

Therefore, keep in mind the technologies that can transform your video streaming service. Not only use them but also keep up with developments and use the latest innovations to attract and retain viewers.

Organizations can get real benefits using modern video streaming technologies, such as reducing the cost of video infrastructure and the complexity of network management and improving scalability and playback quality. To develop its own video streaming app is easy to easy you fill find there are many mobile app development companies near you which is capable to develop such apps.