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Video: Lessons Learned from Streaming the World Cup

Learn more about CDN Optimization at Streaming Media's next event.

Watch the complete video of this presentation from Streaming Media West, B202. CDN Optimization: Working Towards Broadcast Economics & Quality at Scale, in the Streaming Media Conference Video Portal.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Thomas Symborksi: Preparing for the World Cup represented an unknown load. We had never done this before. So, we weren't quite sure what to expect. And so, our multi-CDN strategy was accelerated by the fact that we had to broadcast this content. So, a lot of what I explained earlier, was set up specifically for this and has kind of been a part of our strategy going forward. It was still early on when the World Cup started. So a lot of that was looking at our data, experimenting with different kinds of configs. Zack brings up a good point. Kind of business logic. Cost-versus-performance and making sure that the trade-offs there were set correctly, and the right percentage of distribution were given to the right CDNs based on the data that we’ve seen. So, a lot of that was just tuning and tweaking our implementation and making sure we understood it a little bit better, and understanding some of the educations of CDNs maybe we hadn't worked with before.

Alexandra Giusto: And I believe that you spoke about this at another event, but you guys did some video in 4K for the World Cup. Can you share a little bit about that experience, or any lessons learned?

Thomas Symborksi: Yeah, so 4K from a delivery standpoint, we didn't do a lot. I think mostly the heavy lift was just understanding the encoding side and the playout side. The delivery side of things, we actually stuck with one CDN. We stuck with Fastly for all the UHD content. The objects were, of course, a bit larger, but we didn't really see too much of a delta between performance we'd see from our normal HD streams and UHD streams. And Fastly handled the load very well.

Alexandra Giusto: Great, thanks. Were there any lessons learned from this experience that you can share?

Thomas Symborksi: Yeah, so I guess when you come up with a strategy, if you have a strategy, I think one of the important things to do is make sure that you have kind of knobs and real time kind of flags that you can flip as you see things happen in real time. And be able to react very quickly. And redundancies are important, but redundancies that aren't either automated or very easy to use are not super useful when you're thinking about live TV and everything is really important to be able to be switched and optimized in real time. So, I would say just make sure you have as much control as you can. Be able to turn of CDNs easily. Enumerate all your single points of failure. Be able to route around different services that may or may not be up during the live event.

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