Explained briefly, the basic aim of the following article is to answer a couple of simple questions - what is ABR, what does it do and how it affects the video streaming services.
What is Adaptive Bitrate streaming, commonly known as ABR?
ABR is a video streaming technique which is part of HTTP streaming protocols like HLS and DASH.
It’s a technique for optimal adaptive streaming which means that the quality of the stream may depend on viewer’s device environment parameters like CPU loads, network conditions or display size. However, the end result is that the viewer watches the video with the best possible quality.
After all, whether you’re a broadcaster or an executive in a big enterprise, you inevitably search for one thing - high stream quality. Seems very simple, but in fact it isn’t - it requires a solid amount of work, innovative solutions and the right technology.
Speaking of technology, here is an important technical detail about ABR:
For ABR to work, the encoder should create multiple aligned video outputs of different quality representations/variants for each video stream. This is a must for all ABR algorithms.
The latest Viblast Player update, v.6.10, brings support for audio-only HLS streams to our HTML5 media player. Audio-only streams are important to companies who offer audio-only webinars, produce audio webcasts or stream online radio channels, among others.
A little after his return from Streaming Media West, we got hold of Jan Ozer, streaming media author and consultant. Jan delivered two Streaming Media University Workshops and gave a number of presentations in the conference’s regular program.
In this second part of the interview, Jan will discuss the trends and interesting technologies he noticed at the show. We’ll close the interview with a short video, in which Jan summarized his experience of working in streaming media in a purely non-tech, abbreviation-free, human terms.
Enjoy your holidays!
A little after his return from Streaming Media West last week, we got hold of Jan Ozer, streaming media author and consultant. Jan delivered two Streaming Media University Workshops and gave a number of presentations in the conference’s regular program. Read what he told Nora Georgieva about the show’s highlights, trends he noticed and what he learned.
We recently outlined a quick and non-bumpy road to migrating from Flash to HTML5 playback using your HLS streams instead of the most obvious, direct way, which is adopting MPEG-DASH format.
If you have always streamed using some form of Flash playback, be it an off-the-shelf media player or a customized Flash player, the jargon of HTML5 playback may be a little off-putting.
This week Mozilla released the long-awaited Firefox 42 right on schedule, on Nov 3, and made our hearts sing. Here’s why if you use Firefox, you have a reason to be happy too: video streaming services now have a chance to offer HTML5 video playback without having to count on Flash for their Firefox-using visitors, too! This means better performance on each individual viewer’s station for 8.5% more people and none of the security issues related to using Flash. This is, all true for content whose providers have taken the opportunity to move to native HTML5 playback.
The latest Viblast Player update, v.6.07, brings support for video-on-demand (VoD) for native MPEG-DASH playback in iOS applications as well as a number of improvements to our web player.
The latest release of Viblast Player makes it possible to enable hybrid delivery mode with just one line of code. This makes it the only HTML5 player capable of native HLS playback to also have a peer-assisted delivery feature.
The problem with Flash Player is that it is insecure (remember when Mozilla even disabled it for a couple of days in July due to vulnerabilities), but also a resource-hog with an uncertain future. Not only did Google roll out a fix "intelligently" blocking auto-playing Flash elements in Chrome by default, but Facebook’s new chief security officer Alex Stamos called for Adobe to "announce an end-of-life date for Flash" after the July fiasco.
The problem with moving away from Flash and towards clean, plugin-free HTML5 video playback is that this migration will likely require a considerable change in your current setup (encoding, choice of player) - not to mention that MPEG-DASH is in some danger of losing momentum due to MPEG LA’s patent pool.