Announcing: Wowza’s Support for Apple Low-Latency HLSNovember 6, 2019
We’re excited to announce that the Wowza Streaming Engine software now supports Apple’s Low-Latency HLS protocol. As an ideal spec for live and interactive streaming, Low-Latency HLS enables sub-two-second video delivery at scale — while also offering backwards compatibility to existing clients. We’re working to extend this capability across our entire product portfolio, and customers can begin building out and testing their Low-Latency HLS workflows as part of the Wowza Streaming Engine 4.7.8 release.
This extension of Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) protocol answers the need for speed when it comes to live streaming. As an early adopter, Wowza is driving the industry forward through integration with CDNs and web players.
“Reducing latency for live streaming is an industry-wide imperative that Wowza has been focused on,” said Dave Stubenvoll, CEO at Wowza Media Systems. “Apple’s extension enables a significant improvement, and we couldn’t be more excited to support this technology.”
HLS already delivers live and on-demand content streams to the 1.4 billion active Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV) and desktop computers (macOS) around the world, as well as third-party platforms such as Android. Put simply, HLS is the most common streaming format in use today.
The new Low-Latency HLS extension enables backwards compatibility with regular HLS. As such, players that don’t understand the protocol extension will play the same streams back, with a higher (regular) latency. This allows content distributors to leverage a single HLS solution for optimized and non-optimized players.
As if we needed one more reason to be excited about Low-Latency HLS, it promises to put streaming on par with traditional live broadcasting in terms of content delivery time. According to Apple’s Roger Pantos, latencies of less than two seconds can be achieved over public networks at scale. Consequently, we expect it to quickly become a preferred technology for OTT, live sports, Esports, interactive streaming, and more.
Note: Since posting this blog, the Low-Latency HLS specification has been incorporated into the overarching HLS standard. To learn more, check out our article on the update.