As social creatures, humans have an innate desire to gather together. Though the focal point has changed, moving the fire pit indoors to a fireplace and replacing the radio on the mantlepiece with a TV, the transmission of stories has always played a prominent role. Television is a basic tenant of modern society. It has provided countless hours of water cooler conversations and online chatter. With tv as a social glue, people bond through shared experiences. We gather around to watch shows like The Bachelor or chant the countdown as the ball drops to bring in the New Year. Even…

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Last week, the media broadcasting community gathered together at the NAB Show to discuss industry achievements and trends. A wide range of speakers discussed various topics from optimizing end to end delivery, leveraging CDNs, and effective ad-insertion. Not to mention the numerous vendors touting live streaming monetization strategies. OTT Of course, the always growing OTT (Over the Top) market was represented by a strong contingent of over 90 vendors. This is unsurprising given the current trend towards increased mobile and tablet use. Take for example the Real Salt Lake Soccer/Football team. After launching a free, ad-supported app, the team…

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Sydney to Boston is quite a ways to travel; 10,091 miles in fact (or for those that enjoy a more logical measurement system: 16,239 km). Despite that, our end to end WebRTC latency still holds steady at 500ms (give or take a few hundredths) That's 20,182 miles per hour or 32,478 kilometers per hour (I'm just the marketing guy so I won't blame you if you stop to check my math). Not too shabby if we do say so ourselves. Of course, for the absolute best performance you can use our clustering solution to set up…

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Turns out, getting noticed is only half the battle. The extraordinarily popular quiz game HQ trivia has experienced explosive growth. Good for them, right? Here's the problem: The game hinges upon thousands (and now millions) of users interacting and competing with each other in real-time. Players are given 10 seconds to answer questions (So no Googling, cheaters), making every second count. Sound familiar? Turns out all those extra users are detrimental to the players'experience. As the New York Time's Amanda Hess stated, Players are regularly booted from the game without explanation. The live host’s face is frequently obscured by…

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It's 2018; the start of a New Year and new beginnings. Sooo... how many resolutions have you broken already? It's more than that though. The New Year is a time for reflection as well and 2017 continued to display the importance of live streaming and it's continued impact on our lives. Latency was important last year (as demonstrated by all these companies announcing "low latency" solutions) and will only increase in importance in this year. Two seconds just won't cut it anymore. Around the world, a central feature of a New Year celebration is the countdown to the…

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Do you enjoy waiting? Of course not. Nobody does. Which is exactly why no one likes latency. Before we get too far, what is latency? Latency, according to how we like to define it, is the time it takes video (captured by the camera) to travel across the internet to actually appear to the person watching that video. As one can imagine, there are all kinds of transcoding, encoding, recoding and otherwise-ing happening from the first point of capture to the point of viewing. Accordingly, we’ve gone to tremendous strides to bring this amount of time as low as…

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Low-Latency: So What?

###Slow Engine - Slow Product. Running an application with high latency is like putting a moped engine in a race-car. No matter how well the body is built, it will be going all but nowhere. The effort required to overcome inferior building materials will be costly and time-consuming. Even worse, it just won't work as well as it could, no matter how well designed. Unfortunately, putting a lot of work into something doesn't automatically make it a good product. When it comes to live-streaming, the inside of application is what matters most. You wouldn't build a new home out of…

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Latency is a big deal to us, but why should it matter to you? Red5 Pro has a latency under half a second while everyone else has a 2+ second latency; so why all the fuss over 1.5 seconds? With communication as fast as it is, latency matters more and more. It may not sound like much, but if you really think about it, a lot can happen in a second or two. When it comes to trying to capture live events, every second (and partial second) counts. If you took two seconds to react to everything going around…

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You've done all your research, analyzed the match-ups and laid out your perfect lineup. Your fantasy team roster is looking great! No frenzied, last-minute shuffling of players for you. All that remains is to sit back, grab a beverage of choice and watch your games as the roster deadline ticks down. Then you see it. Scrolling across the bottom of your screen, a breaking news update alerts you that your star player has been injured in a freak accident. Instead of scoring you points the athlete will be sitting on the bench. Your rock-solid strategy has been broken wide open.…

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Alright, fine. We admit it. Our assertion that low, near real-time latency, is always better has been proven wrong. Apparently, Facebook Live's latency is so long that a band called The Academic recorded a song incorporating the seconds long delay to loop one of their songs. The multiple layers create an increasing complex song that's really entertaining to listen to. With a little creativity, even high latency can be a good thing... at least in this literally exceptionable case. If you think about it, this actually makes latency pretty cool.…

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There's a ridiculous amount of money being thrown around the sports world. The big cable titans were the ones that traditionally clashed in the economic sports arena. However, with the much-discussed trend of "cable cutters" getting rid of their cable box once and for all, online streaming services are becoming more and more prevalent. Accordingly, companies are taking notice. Facebook recently bid roughly $610 million for the rights to stream 5 years of the Indian Premier League games, the most popular cricket league in the world. This was second only to 21st Century Fox's Star India, who ended…

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##Small Number, Big Problem Two seconds doesn't sound like a long time, at least out of context. However, in some situations, two seconds can be a very long time indeed. Let's say you are driving down a highway. It's a dark night so not many people are out and the road is wide open allowing you the freedom to just cruise along. Suddenly, a dog jumps out of the bushes, chasing a rabbit across the road, right into your lane. Are you going to... wait... two... entire... seconds to do something? When time really matters, even a seemingly small amount…

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YouTube recently announced the implementation of "Ultra-low latency". Not only is this something that Red5 Pro added a long time ago (last October, in fact, but it's also just plain wrong. We call shenanigans! Let's start with the definition: Ultra: going beyond others or beyond due limit: extreme YouTube's approach boasts an "ultra-low" latency of two seconds. On the other hand, Red5 Pro's WebRTC implementation delivers a much better latency clocking in at under half a second making Red5 Pro the clear winner. It's right there in the definition: "going beyond others". You can't…

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Live streaming is hard. This is a fact that has affected a variety of genres, from music (CBS and the Grammys), to sports (NBC and the Super Bowl) and even movies (ABC and the Oscars). These difficulties showcase the challenges that need to be overcome, as well as the boiling rage that steams out of these failures. Frothing tweets of irritation, impassioned fans can be a problem to deal with. Now if those fans also happen to be avid followers of a sport consisting of repeatedly punching the other athlete... in the face, well that could pose a concern. Top…

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How low can you go? Not low enough. At least with HLS that is. The engineers over at Periscope have described their process for getting HLS latency down from 10 seconds to between 2-5 seconds using a technique they call Low-Latency HLS (LHLS). Two seconds? I mean that's kinda low. Sort of like your friend who does an "awesome" Darth Vader impression. It's all well and good but there's only one James Earl Jones. As we discussed in our last post, there are a great number of low-latency applications, and the demand for them is always growing. The…

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It may sound obvious, but live video should be live or at least nearly instantaneous. However, that's not always the case, especially if you are not using Red5 Pro. For many applications, the delay (latency) between the broadcaster sending out content and the subscriber receiving that content can make for a negative user-experience. The following scenarios are just some of the many examples of the importance of low-latency streaming. Sports Broadcasting: As we have mentioned before, live sports should be, well, live. Not almost live, but instantaneous. After all, sporting events are as much an excuse to get together with…

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In the beginning, there was a mighty king who forged an empire of unimaginable splendor and wealth. The name of this all powerful king? He was known as ... YouTube. In the year 2012 AD, YouTube set out on a journey to blaze a righteous path to live-streaming prosperity. Eventually, he would team up with other great Titans; Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon. They would go on to create a video live-streaming commonwealth spanning across the entirety of the internet for eons to come. That, however, is not the true story. ###First Age - Small Beginnings The First Age of the Live-Streaming…

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Sports; love 'em or hate 'em, lots of people love them and the live-streaming industry has noticed. A growing list of subscription services allow fans the opportunity to catch the game when they're away from a tv, or out of town. Even traditional VOD networks like Amazon Prime have joined the game outbidding, Facebook and YouTube for Twitter's NFL Thursday Night Football slot. This all may sound exciting and innovative, but what is it actually adding to the UX? My grandfather used to watch baseball on his tv, but he didn't like the cable commentators. So he muted the volume…

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Dan Rayburn recently wrote a blog post stating that Content Delivery Networks are quickly moving away from the Flash streaming protocol RTMP. I've been hearing this from a number of our customers as well, and I agree that this is the direction that the CDN industry is taking. The solution that they all seem to be moving towards is HTTP based protocols like HLS and MPEG-dash. This is great for them because HTTP is way easier to support at scale, and it's widely supported across a huge number of players/clients. As I've written before though, HTTP based protocols come…

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We've been heads down on a number of optimizations and bug fixes in our SDK over the last month, and we are excited to announce version 1.3.0 to the public. In particular we have made it possible to tweak SDK settings to support high fidelity audio and have lowered the latency on both the publisher and subscriber side. This is in direct response to how you folks are using our SDKs with things like IoT audio devices and music streaming apps. of course all apps will benefit from the majority of the fixes in this release. We've been…

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Customer Support is very important to us! A large part of that entails answering your questions. No, I cannot give you any bank account numbers, Nigerian prince or not. However, here are ten questions we can answer (and frequently have): Can I set up a chat function? Using our two-way example application for HTML5, Android and iOS, it is possible to send user data and text chat using RPC calls . . . more What are the best setting to get a high-quality, low-latency stream? The Red5 Pro server was built around providing the lowest latency possible. Since Red5 Pro allows you the…

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The Balancing Act of Stream Quality One question we get consistently from developers using Red5 Pro is: what are the best settings for my stream to create the best quality experience? While we wish we could just have one short answer to this question, it is complex, and ultimately becomes a balancing act. Chris Wendt from Comcast did a great presentation this week at the WebRTCBoston Meetup where he talked about One-to-Many Live Broadcasts with WebRTC. In the talk he showed a diagram of a triangle which he referred to as the "Triangle of Despair." The three corners…

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