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When Is Low Latency Critical to Streaming QoE?

Learn more about streaming latency at Streaming Media East 2022.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Jason Thibeault: Is low latency always a top priority for ensuring a high quality of experience?

Jerod Venema: Absolutely not. But it very much depends on what you're trying to do. That ties in with my comment from before, which is, the moment you're going bi-directional, yes. If there's some sort of an interaction bi-directional--and I don't mean just bi-directional audio/video; I mean, bi-directional communication of some sort... We've got one customer, for example, that's doing a remote feed. Their interactions are all just triggering events in that remote system. They're interacting remotely with that system. They're watching it live, though. And there's other folks that are in that other system receiving those events. So there's a bi-directional communication. It's not audio/video. They're not sending their feed in two directions or anything. It's not like what we're doing here. But there is an interaction that's taking place and that doesn't happen in real time. The experience is terrible, right? It just suffers.

When it's a one-way experience, you don't care. If it's a one-way feed, whatever. But those those are becoming less common because of the social aspect. Like my example of Twitter a minute ago. That's a completely sideband thing that's happening. So if you're experiencing something, and there's any sort of sideband experience that can happen faster than what you're providing, you're going to get a disjointed experience out of it. So it is really important to understand, not just your app, but other things that are happening around it or your deployment or your production or whatever it is. There's things that happen in sideband channels that can impact that real-time aspect necessity as well.

So I would say, I would say there's absolutely times when it's not. If you're just watching a prerecorded video, great, watch it on your own time, who cares? It's completely irrelevant. But any time there's an interaction where you're trying to see something that's happened in the real world, there's some sort of interactive component, all of the AR and VR stuff that's really kicking off. We saw Facebook's announcement recently. It's all interactive. The moment you've got that, you need super, super, super low latency.

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