For sports fans, there are few things more frustrating than the sounds of distant cheering of the goal they have yet to see. Worse still, the sound of a smartphone notification from a friend as the winner of the 100m accepts the adulation from the crowd, while on their internet connected screens, all eight runners are still warming up in the blocks.
Although an entire two-hour DVD film can be transferred across a fast-broadband connection in just seven minutes, streaming live video from a high-profile live event has an element of delay that is almost unavoidable. The lag is due to content being captured, encoded, packaged, stored and then on to content delivery networks (CDN) for delivery to end consumers – several layers that all need to be addressed in order to reduce the lag.
As interest from operators for the broadcast rights for some of the world’s major sporting leagues continues to grow, the issue of latency may well become a defining factor for widespread success. The ubiquitous nature of internet access and the arrival of 5G technologies has increased the need to finally bring parity between terrestrial broadcasts and internet delivered live content.
Common Media Application Format (CMAF) is a standard that aims to bring a single format of segmented media for delivery and decoding on end user devices, which provides a foundation to start creating parity, especially when combined with a common encryption mechanism. However, CMAF by itself does not answer the question of reducing latency so consideration needs to be given to delivery mechanisms to support this and to the end-to-end delivery chain.
The diversity and vast quantity use cases across the broadcast space warrant no single magic bullet solution to live streaming latency. But through innovative techniques, the frustration of fans living in the twilight zone of live and OTT may soon be at an end. Through the use of CMAF combined with chunked delivery, the latency of the delivery chain can be reduced. When combined with an optimized end-to-end solution, it can also greatly increase the user’s experience and quality of experience for live latency.
Join me on Wednesday April 10 2019 (3.20pm-3.40pm) at #N260, where I will discuss the possibilities of delivering low latency live media experiences with Common Media Application Format content, as well as:
- The variety of challenges that exist throughout different content delivery processes
- A comparison of CMAF for reducing latency compared other mechanisms and methods
- Requirements on other components in the delivery flow