Top Blog Posts of 2019December 19, 2019
With 2019 rapidly approaching end of life, we put together a list of the top-read blog posts. Read on to learn what’s been trending in streaming this year.
What Is CMAF (Common Media Application Format)?
In February of 2016, Apple and Microsoft came to the Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG) with a proposal. By establishing a new standard called the Common Media Application Format (CMAF), the two organizations would work together to reduce complexity when delivering video online.
CMAF also represents an industry-wide effort to lower latency with chunked encoding and chunked transfer encoding. This process involves breaking the video into smaller chunks of a set duration, which can then be immediately published upon encoding.
HLS Latency Sucks, But Here’s How to Fix It
In our 2019 Video Streaming Latency Report, more than 45% of respondents were using HLS for video playback. What’s more, almost 40% reported that they were experiencing latency in the 10-45 second range.
Luckily, broadcasts using HLS don’t have to come with a lag. Using the Wowza Streaming Engine™ software or the Wowza Streaming Cloud™ service, users can manipulate the segment size for reduced-latency HLS streams. We also offer support for Apple’s Low-Latency HLS protocol in the Wowza Streaming Engine software. As an ideal spec for live and interactive streaming, Low-Latency HLS enables sub-two-second video delivery at scale — while also offering backward compatibility to existing clients.
2019 Streaming Trends
The proliferation of live video streaming across these many applications can be attributed to ever-increasing connectivity, improved quality, and more sophisticated technology. With adaptive bitrate streaming and near-real-time options for global delivery, it’s possible to get high-quality content where you want at the touch of a button.
A year ago, when I wrote this article about streaming trends for 2019, I conceded: The most significant live video streaming trend in 2019 remains a mystery. Live streaming technology is anybody’s for the taking. And we can’t begin to predict how it will be used next.
Since then, our customers have shared stories of how they’ve powered their businesses with streaming. The use cases range from emergency response and clinical simulation to interactive mobile apps and retail (a.k.a. live commerce).
Streaming Protocols: Everything You Need to Know
Each time you stream a video, streaming protocols are used to deliver data over the internet. A protocol is a set of rules governing how data travels from one communicating system to another. These are layered on top of one another to form a protocol stack.
Selecting the right protocol starts with defining what you’re trying to achieve. Latency, playback compatibility, and viewing experience can all be impacted. What’s more, content distributors don’t always stick with the same protocol from capture to playback. In this blog, we take a look at the most common protocols for streaming and how to choose the right one.
Video Codecs and Encoding: Everything You Should Know
Without video codecs, “Netflix and chill” wouldn’t have ever been coined. These two-part compression tools allow distributors to condense a video file for delivery across the internet via a process called video encoding. Codecs are the reason we can so easily stream videos and FaceTime loved ones, even with limited bandwidth.
What does video encoding involve and how do video codecs work? We dig deeper in this blog and cover the best video codecs for streaming.
Update: Facebook Live Migrates to RTMPS
In May 2019, Facebook migrated to RTMPS ingest to ensure privacy and security. RTMPS is a secure form of RTMP — with the ‘S’ standing for ‘secure’. By streaming encrypted data via a secure connection, RTMPS prevents third parties from intercepting your live streams while en route to Facebook’s servers.
What Is a CDN and Why Is It Critical to Live Streaming
As the name suggests, a content delivery network (CDN) is a system of geographically distributed servers used to transport media files. This removes the bottleneck of traffic that could result from delivering streams with a single server, as they require only a single stream for each rendition of an outbound video.
By connecting servers across the globe, CDNs create superhighways that truncate the time it takes to deliver video streams from origin to end user. Sharing the workload across a network of servers also improves scalability should viewership increase.
Live Video Streaming: How It Works
In a nutshell, live streaming involves broadcasting video and audio content across the internet to allow for near-simultaneous capture and playback. But between capturing a live video feed and broadcasting it, quite a bit occurs. The data must be encoded, packaged, and often transcoded for delivery to virtually any screen on the planet.
In this animated video, Justin takes a look at the glass-to-glass process — and why a media server is key.
Low-Latency CMAF for Live Streaming at Scale
Chunked-encoded and chunked-transferred CMAF will allow OTT to compete directly with cable. And because the common media format offers cost savings, it should open up the possibility for additional live broadcasting opportunities.
Many commercial vendors are adding support for chunked-encoded, chunked-transferred CMAF, and we’re on board. Find out how low-latency CMAF works and the required behaviors of a workflow deploying this technology.
Apple Low-Latency HLS: What It Is and How It Relates to CMAF
At the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) a couple of weeks back, Apple announced the specs for a brand-new extension of their HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) protocol: Low-Latency HLS. While reducing latency for live streaming is a valiant goal (and one that we can get behind), this news interrupted an industry-wide effort to do so via chunked transfer encoding.
In this blog, we discuss how this announcement impacted the industry and what to expect as support is rolled out.