By Dmitry Shuvaev
A naturally growing audience is a welcome result for any owner of streaming services. Preferably the growth is predictable and manageable. On the other hand, it can be detrimental when such growth is out of control and leads to unexpected resource drains. Such spikes in demand can downgrade the quality of service, which can result in service interruptions, which in turn diminishes the user experience. There are solutions on the market which manage media content streams without straining the delivery infrastructure.
For internet broadcasters media content is king, thus delivery quality is a critical parameter. Media formats are evolving constantly, adapting to new delivery channels, which are in turn evolving as well. Often media formats evolve more rapidly than delivery channels, with new and complex media formats challenging the broadcasters, who are always striving to grow and retain their audiences.
“Today the majority of media companies that supply Internet broadcasting services for video streaming to end users employ standard CDNs (Content Delivery Network), which have a number of obvious restrictions of scale”
Therefore, broadcasting executives are constantly thinking about how to achieve unparalleled global reach, improved scale, and higher viewing quality, while at the same time significantly reducing the operational expenses associated with running their online video platform.
Clearly, the cost of the broadcasting infrastructure is one of the largest operating costs for any internet broadcaster. And foremost is the cost of content delivery services (or networks – CDNs), and, therefore, of the resulting traffic, which increases exponentially as the video stream quality (bitrate) increases.
Each online video streaming website and application is faced with the same challenge – how to deliver substantial traffic to every user with the highest quality at the best price. In general, there are two ways to achieve that: either to build in-house data-centers and manage the connection with ISPs or to use third-party Content Delivery Networks (CDN).
Today the majority of media companies that supply Internet broadcasting services for video streaming to end users employ standard CDNs (Content Delivery Network), which have a number of obvious restrictions of scale: decreases in quality during spikes in usage, limited capacity and high costs of growth. Huge numbers of users is a both a blessing and a problem. Despite the obvious benefits of audience growth, Live Streaming participants are faced with problems of image quality degradation, frame freezing and glitching, and CDN performance slumps during demand spikes.
However, there is already a solution that allows converting a huge number of online viewers into an advantage and a reason for ensuring a stable and completely balanced delivery channel. All users who participate in a network “organically guarantee” the capacity of the whole delivery network, increasing it when demand grows. Thus, a distributed P2P network becomes a pledge and guarantee of high quality video delivery through a decentralized or peer-to-peer network, no matter how large the audience.
Today this solution already works on hundreds of thousands of devices every day. Online TV and Video Streaming services that purchase this type of service save money on traffic delivery, handle spikes during major events and maintain a high-quality level of service. This type of service delivers video streams to end users through a P2P-distribution layered over the broadcaster’s existing CDN topology, that is built in real-time as the network of simultaneous consuming browsers and devices grows.
Teleport Media can help you introduce this solution on your platform to solve your needs. It is worth noting that this is not a product for geeks, but a stable solution that is being used by a significant number of leading internet broadcasting services.
“There is already a solution that allows converting a huge number of online viewers into an advantage and a reason for ensuring a stable and completely balanced delivery channel.”
A couple of lines of JS code are integrated into the broadcasters site and the P2P platform immediately starts to build a highly distributed mesh architecture network in order to relocate most of the bandwidth from the CDN to the P2P. This ensures more reliable, scalable delivery while managing spikes in audience growth and provides the viewers with better video quality. Moreover, integration by using JS plugins allows you to connect any HTML5 player with zero or minimal customization.
The solution is based on the Google-supported WebRTC protocol, which is already implemented in more than 75% of modern browsers and mobile devices, as well as the latest generation Smart TVs. It allows for browsers to connect with each other and for direct file transfers between them without the involvement of the server-based delivery infrastructure. For example, this protocol is used in all conferencing and telephony services and webinar platforms.
Using this type of P2P delivery can offload up to 80% of the traffic, thereby using 15 times less server capacity and bandwidth to deliver the same content for all kinds of media event broadcasters: Live News, Entertainment, Sports, etc.
At the same time, no media company using these technologies accrues any extra costs for additional infrastructure development. This technology optimizes the existing infrastructure ideally and maximizes delivery capacity. And you pay only for the actual bandwidth usage.
The avalanche of content will continue to gain in volume month to month every year and you need to stay focused on delivering quality to your customers. We are ready to do everything to ensure that delivering media content does not become a budgeting nightmare for you and, thus, the heaviest burden for your business. One of the most important competitive advantages of the above-mentioned solution is that its integration with any TV-channel takes no more than 15 minutes, so you can start benefiting from all of the solutions’s advantages within one day. As a result, you get an immediate improvement in the quality of media content delivery with simultaneous savings on broadcasting costs.
There are companies whose aim is to scale existing performance by creating a framework that enables the construction of peer-to-peer CDNs while utilizing regular customer-level devices (PCs, mobiles, STBs, etc.) as distribution nodes. These devices run special software that uploads certain video content of a certain CDN customer and then uploads it multiple times to multiple content viewers. While uploading the content, the distributing node will consume outgoing Internet bandwidth that is currently not in use by the distributing node owner. The owner gets a reward that depends on the volume of the traffic transferred and the price of the traffic unit.
We have reason to believe that in the near future the described technology will take a strong place in the infrastructure of online broadcasting companies worldwide and will contribute to the robust optimization of resources used for live streaming. This will help achieve unparalleled global reach, improved scale, and higher viewing quality, while drastically reducing the operational costs associated with running a successful online video platform.