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SMW '18: nanocosmos' Oliver Lietz Talks Interactive Streaming and H5Live

Learn more about edge delivery and legacy CDNs at Streaming Media's next event.

Read the complete transcript of this interview:

Tim Siglin: Welcome back to Streaming Media West 2018, I'm Tim Siglin, contributing editor with Streaming Media Magazine. Today I've got with me Oliver Lietz from nanocosmos. First of all, tell me what is nanocosmos, because it's a fascinating name.

Oliver Lietz: Nanocosmos is a company I founded 20 years ago. We started as a coding company doing software SDKs and codings for the broadcast industry. We've now evolved to a service company providing natural legacy CDN for live streaming, including a player which works on all browsers, which we call H5Live.

Tim Siglin: And you have nanoStream Cloud. we've talked about the before. One of the things before was that some of the featureS were sort of lacking. Is it full-featured now or is it moved forward?

Oliver Lietz: It's really a natural legacy CDN now with a global scale which is running a 24/7 operation and which is working all browsers, which includes the H5Live player. It's even working on Safari on iOS. So we are going around the world in one second on that solution, and we have many customers worldwide who are using that for specific verticals like betting, bidding, i-gaming. Interactivity is key with that solution, so the vertical solutions go beyond the standard broadcast operations-

Tim Siglin: Where multi-second delivery doesn’t matter. But interactivity matters in the applications you’re talking about. How much of that is based on this specialized network you've built versus, based on the way your transport protocol works.

Oliver Lietz: So what we learned is that you need to have full control of the whole workflow, which means coming from the encoder and all elements of the workflow, and especially the delivery part, which is the greatest challenge due to the latency in HLS applications. So we have a client-server solution which connects the player to our edge servers, and that’s why we needed to create the network also.

Tim Siglin: And for the interactivity portion, it’s not video coming back from the viewers. It’s actually placing a bet or voting on something, so there's not as wide a pipe that needs to come back. Is that correct?

Oliver Lietz: It can also be video so it can be two-way communication. But it also can be a kind of back-channel chat or bid or a game whatever result you're getting from the audience back. Anything which needs to have back-channel in text form or message or whatever. But also a video-audio stream can be used for that.

Tim Siglin: Interesting. And for those scenarios where it's bi-directional video, is that one-to-one, one -to-many or many-to-many? What are those scenarios?

Oliver Lietz: Actually it's many-to-many. So the idea is not to have a peer-to-peer connection like a Skype-style connection. But a many-to-many or one-to-many approach where you can go instantly out, instantly live from any location with any device and you can share that with an audience of any size and around the world.

Tim Siglin: Interesting. And does everyone have to have the H5Live player or does it automatically download to their device when they try to watch the stream?

Oliver Lietz: It's no download, it's basically as a similar application on the web. It's a browser-based application, very lightweight, a Javascript library, which loads. So our customers use that to embed a livestream on their own webpage where they can easily do their own brand on top of that.

Tim Siglin: And because it's Java script that's why you can do things like Safari and iOS.

Oliver Lietz: Exactly.

Tim Siglin: One last question. Microservices is sort of a hot topic. As you say you control the experience end-to-end. Are microservices a part of that for you, doing sort of small modular approaches to services? Or are you working with a more legacy system that's fairly monolithic?

Oliver Lietz: We do microservices in our infrastructure and we have very lightweight dashboards which we can share with the customers. REST APIs which they can use to add some security levels to create streams, to use the stream logic, add some information to those streams. So that makes a lot of sense for us to use but for the customer we would like to hide as far as possible the technology background so they don't need to care about all these details in their systems.

Tim Siglin: Good. Oliver, thank you very much for your time, and we'll be right back after a short break.

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