Save your FREE seat for Streaming Media Connect this August. Register Now!

Video: How Do You Achieve Consistent Quality for Live Streaming?

How can CDNs ensure consistent quality in the real-time, high-pressure environment of live-streamed video delivery? In this excerpt from his presentation at Content Delivery Summit 2016, Jeremy Bennington of V-Factor Technologies explains how to use QA solutions to recognize redundancies and prune out redundant encoding profiles in real time to streamline delivery and achieve consistent high quality without requiring additional bandwidth or increasing cost.

Watch How Do You Achieve Consistent Quality for VOD?

Learn more about live streaming quality at Streaming Media West.

Read the transcript of Bennington's remarks in the clip above:

Jeremy Bennington: How do we achieve consistent quality for live video? You have a closed-loop encoding process where you measure the quality, you go back, and you refine the encoding. You can do that with VOD because you have time. You have a couple hours, maybe a day to get a piece of VOD content out onto your delivery platforms.

Live streaming is different. With live streams, you have seconds if not minutes of delay that you're willing to allow in your network, and so you need to be able to monitor things in real time and adjust as it were. If we were streaming out this video as an example, I've got  a 4.5 quality score from the piece of content coming into my network, and then I encoded it to a bunch of bit rates. I achieved a 4.3 at 4 Mbps and a 4.3 at 3 Mbps. Why would I transmit both? Today, we do. Today, we actually would with no quality controls and no way to actually look at these pictures. We would take those and go ahead and put those in our manifest files, stream them out there, and every little client can get as much bandwidth as possible is going to grab those and waste the bandwidth and the CDN and the access network, even though they could have perceptually had the same experience.

What do we do? We prune it out. This is not at the client side. This is way back when you're doing your encoding and you're populating your manifest files and you're doing your segmentation and population of the CDN, you say, "Wait a minute. I've got two profiles here that have the same user experience, so I'm not going to transmit one of them."

How has this actually happened in practice? Take like a normal broadcaster. They're streaming out content, and they're encoding it to different bit rates, and during the daytime, the content can be fairly benign. It's soap operas and cartoons and things like that.

The encoders don't necessarily yield any greater benefit by doing 4 Mbps instead of 3 Mbps in this example, so they prune it out. Then in the evening they've got the NCAA basketball game, and all of a sudden they need every bit they can get to transmit. What happens here is that as our tools watching these streams after they're encoded, before they're populated on the CDN, we work with the CDN workflow to say, "Hey, stream this and prune this out. Stream this, don't prune this out."

You have, again, a way to optimize on a pixel level. The quality you're providing to a customer and reducing your bandwidth and CDN requirements. We typically see in this environment a kind of 5-20% savings in overall CDN usage while still achieving the same user experience.

Streaming Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues
Related Articles

Video: The Future of CDN: An End-to-End Ecosystem

Streaming Media EVP Dan Rayburn discusses the shifting emphasis in the CDN market from delivering bits to providing a complete ecosystem.

Video: The Pros and Cons of a Multi-CDN Strategy

Streaming Media EVP Dan Rayburn discusses why using multiple CDNs make sense for some content owners and not for others.

Video: How Can Content Providers Deliver a Consistent Experience Across Devices?

Plex's Greg Edmiston, HBO's John Narus, and Machinima's James Glasscock discuss the challenges of controlling and standardizing the user/viewer experience across the diverse device landscape.

Video: Why Are Content Owners and Broadcasters Migrating to OTT?

Ooyala analyst Jim O'Neill and Machinima SVP James Glasscock discuss why content owners and broadcasters are recognizing the need to get on board with OTT in the face of cord-cutting.

Video: Is Marketing Video Content Creation Trending DIY?

Vimeo's Anjali Sud, StreamVPG's Scott Farb, and CME Group's Scott Szczurek discuss the latest marketing and branding content creation trends at Streaming Media East 2016.

Video: How to Build Successful Branding Campaigns With VOD

Vimeo VP of Platform Marketing Anjali Sud discusses successful (and not-so-successful) strategies for building branding campaigns with on-demand online video.

Video: VR 360° Live Streaming Workflow

Wowza's Ryan Jespersen outlines the workflow for streaming live 360° and virtual reality video from capture to ingest to stitching to delivery.

Video: AVOD vs. SVOD: Which Delivery Model is Right for You?

MP & Silva's William Mao discusses the pros and cons of opting for an ad-based VOD model vs. building a subscription service.

Video: What Are the Challenges of Live VR?

Frost & Sullivan's Avni Rambhia discusses issues with latency, bandwidth, user experience, encoding, reach, and quality facing content creators as they make the leap into live VR.

Video: Why Adaptive Bitrate Streaming?

Streamroot's Erica Beavers makes the case for adaptive bitrate streaming and explains how to deliver the best possible user experience via ABR encoding.

Video: What's Next for IP-Delivered Video?

Panelists from NBC, Flix, and comScore discuss which OTT business models will and won't work going forward, and whether or not you need scale to be successful.

Video: Are OTT Providers Fishing in the Wrong Pond?

Google's Serge Kassardjian, Whistle Sports' Brian Selander, and Recurly's Dan Burkhart discuss the challenges of differentiation in the OTT services market.

Video: How Acorn TV Grew Subscriptions Across Platforms

RLJ Entertainment's Titus Bicknell describes how Acorn TV used an innovative strategy for adapting long-tail marketing to identify revenue streams in a broader assortment of niche content markets.

Video: Battle of the Codecs: AVC vs. HEVC in 2016

Should you be delivering HEVC? It depends on what you're delivering and who you're trying to reach. Frost & Sullivan analyst Avni Rambhia breaks down the key issues of sticking with AVC vs. migrating to HEVC in this clip from Streaming Media East 2016.

Video: Encoding for OTT—How Good is Good Enough?

Panelists from Streaming Media, Beamr, Brightcove, Verizon, and Yahoo! discuss the balance between encoding quality and bandwidth at Streaming Media East 2016.

Video: How to Tap Into Twitter With Mobile-First Content

Twitter Manager of Content Strategy and Planning Nina Mishkin provides 3 strategic tips on how to leverage Twitter to get your videos seen, expand your reach, and grow your brand.

Video: How To Build Your Encoding Ladder, Part 2: Resolution

Once you've decided on the bitrates that you want to deliver, it's time to determine the best resolution for each one, from 360p on up to 1080p. Streaming Learning Center's Jan Ozer shows you how.

Video: How To Build Your Encoding Ladder, Part 1: Bitrates

Streaming Learning Center's Jan Ozer explains how to choose data rates and resolutions for adaptive bitrate streaming to most effectively meet client expectations and end-user needs.