What Defines Modern Video Streaming

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The importance of video streaming – be that in the domain of Ecommerce, Entertainment, or even Education -- needs no introduction today, when technology is going through one of its greatest phases of development. Almost every single company, business, entrepreneur, and even individual is having something or the other to do with video streaming, making it a part of our lives, and livelihood.

Video streaming, in its turn, is getting modernized, to keep up with its development, and advancing times, technology, and requirements.

If you want to utilize and gain from video streaming – in any capacity at all – you will, therefore, need to know what defines modern video streaming.

Video technology started undergoing a major transformation since 2015. ‘Modern Video Streaming’ emerged, to take the place of ‘legacy video streaming protocols’ that were built on custom networks, as also specialized servers, and custom protocols.

Modern Video Streaming is

  • Connectionless
  • HTTP-based

and

  • Chunked

Of course, Modern Video Streaming software has its distinct advantages for the organizations that employ it:

  • Improvement in the scalability of the IT ecosystem
  • Reduction in the expenditure related to video infrastructure
  • Enhancement in the quality and experience of video viewing
  • Simplification in the network management system

Sure, there might be organizations that are continuing with legacy video streaming protocols. Let us see what that might cause them:

  • Limiting the options before technology providers who have been upgrading their technology to suit Modern Video Streaming
  • Adding to the cost of switching to Modern Video Streaming, which is inevitable
  • Protracting the period till the unavoidable shift to Modern Video Streaming is resorted to

Modern Video Streaming is like an inflection point, as you can understand.

Knowing More About Modern Video Streaming:

Just a little more than a decade ago, in the August of 2008, the Summer Olympic Games were streamed, minute by minute, online, in high definition, using Smooth Streaming via a partnership between Microsoft, and NBC. This was the first time such a thing happened.

With that single event, Modern Streaming proved, through the statistics of reportedly

  • 10 million hours of video watched
  • 70 million video streams initiated
  • 50 million visitors

in the two weeks that the Olympics continued, that the Internet was capable of video that was

  • Reliable
  • Scalable

and

  • Broadcast Quality

This achievement, and its success, were based on one architectural principle that was as effective as it was simple – that Modern Video Streaming adopted, completely, the topology that was of its underlying network. Hypertext Transfer Protocol / HTTP streaming was able to deliver video of a very high quality, at a never-before scale, by leveraging this architecture. Custom streaming protocols, on the other hand, would compete with the architecture of the corporate Wide Area Networks / WANs and the internet that was cache-friendly, and stateless.

What Are The Characteristics That Define Modern Video Streaming?

Passive Network Architecture. This means that when the fragments of a video are moving along / in transit on a network, the intermediary nodes just route the fragments towards their ultimate destination. At times, and in certain cases, the intermediary nodes can also cache the video fragments. The video fragments are never modified by these nodes, and neither do the intermediaries execute any specialized codes.

Cache-friendliness. HTTP caches are all over the internet, and chunked delivery of video enables Modern Video Streaming to work in harmony with them. The same is the case with numerous corporate networks, as well as CDNs / Content Delivery Networks. This is really good news for WAN / Wide Area Network optimization, and Network Bandwidth Management, as it can offer some great benefits.

Chunked Delivery. In the case of Modern Video Streaming, video files that are sent across the wire are divided into short segments – of about 2 to 10 seconds in length -- as per the Protocol involved. Custom Streaming Protocols, however, treat videos like they are bulky blobs of information.

Stateless Interaction. During a video playback, the origin server and the client have no persistent connection. Each request for subsequent video segments, therefore, is looked upon as a fresh request, when a client is in the process of watching a video stream.

ABR / Adaptive-bitrate Playback. Videos that are delivered with the help of modern protocols get encoded at a range of quality levels. At the time of the playback, it is the bandwidth that is available to the client that decides the quality level that can bring about the best playback experience. Adjustments, therefore, are made for the sake of minimizing buffering, as playback of a high quality is provided.

Internet-Intranet Symmetry. Modern protocols such as DASH, HDS, Smooth, and HLS, by default, treat corporate WANs works just the way that they treat the public internet. Both the networks are stateless, and passive; comprising of software and hardware which can cache video segments as per necessity and route the chunks of video to their destination.

HTTP Communication. The standard HTTP Protocol is used to send video segments across the corporate WAN, or the internet. Every modern streaming communication depends on Transmission Control Protocol / TCP ports 80 (for HTTP communication that is unencrypted) and 443 (for communication that is SSL-encrypted).

Modern Video Streaming, as defined by its characteristics, is a video delivery model that does not fit into the traditional categories of

  • Unicast
  • Multicast

and

  • Broadcast

Modern protocols simply place short segments of a video sequentially on a server, to allow clients access to them – be that on-demand, or live. This is one of the things unique about Modern Video Streaming.

Now, wouldn’t you want your IT organization to benefit from

  • Improved playback experiences and scalability

and

  • Reduced cost and management complexity?

You can have it happening when video is not a special-cased data type, any longer.

You are most welcome to get in touch with us at Ascentspark Software for a free consultation for any solutions regarding video streaming, delivery, and monetization.

Posted in Android, Articles, iOS, Mobile App Development, PHP, Programming, Web Development on Nov 15, 2019.

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