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Video: Why Scale and Distance Make It Harder to Deliver Low-Latency Streams
Wowza's James Jackson discusses the persisting challenges to delivering low-latency streams for large-scale events with far-flung live audiences and emerging strategies for meeting those challenges.

Watch the full panel discussion from Streaming Media West, The Evolution of Encoding Options in the Market, on the Streaming Media Conference Video Portal.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

James Jackson: When it comes to latency, people have been able to achieve pretty darn low latency. I mean sub-two seconds for a while. Where the problem really came in is actually trying to scale that up, so you're talking about a group of 10s or 100s or even low 1000s, but say you want to do that to 10 thousand, a 100 thousand, what's the actual problem there? Or, conversely, at great distance, too, as well, so getting some sort of similar latency to somebody who’s in the room here versus somebody say in Australia. What's the actual issue there?

A large part of what we've been doing is we've taken some things that we've been using internally, so communication between servers or within our own cloud and structure, and making that technology available on the edge as well, so actually extending those capabilities. Taking the Wowza protocol that we've used internally for a while and making that available for an ultra-low latency service. That's something that we've actually been testing in preview for a little while now and seeing really great results in the ability to achieve sub-two second latency at very, very large scale over very great distances. It's something we've been playing with for a while.

Not only doing that, but also offering it as a service. Lots of these problems you can achieve with, they say, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," well, it would be the pound-of-cure approach. It's a large amount of infrastructure, and we're actually delivering to that to people as a service, so something that really, throwing API, you can sign up with a pay-as-you-go very scalable, adjustable scale up, scale down as well, but really offering that as a service, as something that people can actually use.


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