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How Much Do Low-Latency Codecs Reduce Latency?

Watch the complete panel from Streaming Media East Connect, Latency Still Sucks (and What You Can Do About It) on the Streaming Media YouTube channel.

Learn more about low-latency streaming at Streaming Media West 2020.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Casey Charvet: People kind of understand an approach. I wouldn't say that there's a standard and there's not anything that works. Academically, I think that approach is gonna probably prove out. But in terms of right now, if a client comes to me and says, "Hey, I've got a job and it's next week and I need to deliver to 10,000 people," I'm not going to recommend anything other than something tried and true like HLS. We can cut segments down to two seconds if they want low latency like that. But as these low-latency revisions come out to the existing protocols, they keep kind of approaching sending a constant byte stream, because the Apple LL-HLS--basically, it's like, "Okay, well here's a 200 millisecond segment and here's another 200 millisecond segment." How many milliseconds of video or in a 1500-byte packet? We're getting closer and closer to going back to unicast streaming, after we sacrificed RTMP and all that.

Rob Roskin: From the delivery side, we haven't been seeing huge uptakes of the low-latency HLS-DASH. I don't think Low-Latency HLS is ready yet, frankly, but even the DASH or CMAF ... CMAF Inherently is a little better at low latency for reasons we won't get into now. But if you want to beat TV's 10-second latency handedly, we're still in proprietary protocols in the millions of users. Again, if you have 10,000 users, as we've been saying, there's ways to do this. If you're Disney+, you're back to HTTP-based protocols. And I think the thing that we really need to get rid of, regardless of whether we transfer files or how we move this data in a bitstream or files, is that TCP handshake of "Yes, I received videos files." Most of the time, it's already too late to tell me. So if you're not getting them, just wait until you get the next one and drop it on the floor until you're ready to go, which is more of the UDP style of technologies. And I think in order to reach these latencies at these scales, we can't have the act of the TCP anymore.

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