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CES '16: Giraffic Gives a Speed Boost to Live Online HLS Video
Live video is more challenging to deliver than video-on-demand, as the buffer window is smaller. A solution from Giraffic aims to take the freezing and buffering delays out of live.

Live video delivery is harder than video-on-demand, says Yoel Zanger, CEO and founder of Giraffic. There's less time to maneuver. There's less time to read the manifest file and plan for changing network conditions. That's why live video rarely achieves the same quality as VOD.

But Giraffic plans to change that. At CES, the company is debuting its AVA Live video acceleration service (so far for HLS only), bringing the same video delivery improvements to live that it already offers on-demand files.

AVA Live works the same as Giraffic's video-on-demand technology: It's installed on the client device and asks (politely, Zanger says) for smaller chunks of video that would normally be supplied, then downloading them in parallel. It also works smarter, analyzing current network conditions quickly and requesting the appropriate quality file. The result is live video that plays smoother, with less buffering.

"With live streaming the content is being generated on-the-fly. You don't really predict what is going to be the next portion of data that you're going to need to receive from the network, so you have a much shorter buffer to work with," Zanger says. "We're going to launch a device/client side-only live or linear TV video acceleration solution that improves video quality (resolution) substantially, as well providing consistent quality of service."

From its Westgate suite Giraffic shows an impressive demo: Two identical tablets play the same live video stream from Vevo. One tablet has AVA Live installed and one doesn't. The AVA Live tablet achieve HD resolution much faster, and plays with almost no buffering. At any point in the stream, it's 10 to 30 seconds ahead of the other tablet.

AVA Live isn't quite a finished project yet. Giraffic is testing it with partners and adapting it for real-world conditions. ISPs in different countries work by different rules, Zanger said. AVA Live needs to be tuned to those varied demands. The product will fully launch later this year, and Giraffic is targeting leading mobile device and TV manufacturers.

Giraffic's AVA Live demonstration at CES

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