Technologies Making Live Video Streaming Possible

The need to reach multiple platforms and devices has been a constant challenge for content creators.  As technologies evolve, bandwidth challenges are being addressed and video is getting easier to create, distribute and consume. Technologies are continuing to be developed to allow applications, browsers and platforms to work together to make live streaming possible.

Now you might be wondering how do I keep up with all of these technical terms and acronyms that I keep hearing about? Let’s break some of them down a bit so we can better understand the technologies that support live
streaming today.

Glossary of Terms:

WebRTC – Web Real-Time Communications enables applications to be developed for browsers, mobile platforms and IoT devices allowing them to communicate with a common set of protocols.

SIP Session Initiation Protocol is a communications protocol for signaling and controlling Internet telephony for voice and video calls.

HTTPS – Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are connected to.

HLS – also known as HTTP Live Streaming – is an HTTP-based media streaming communications protocol implemented by Apple as part of its QuickTime, Safari, OS X and iOS software.

MPEG-DASH (Moving Picture Expert Group) their latest standard Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP, is an attempt to eliminate issues in delivery and compression of media delivery to multiple devices with a unified common standard.

HTML5 – is a markup language used for structuring and presenting content on the World Wide Web, it is the current version of the HTML standard and removes the need for Flash to deliver media.

CDN A content delivery network is a system of distributed servers (network) that deliver web content to a user based on their geographic location, the origin of the webpage and a content delivery server.

OTT Over-the-top content is a term used in broadcasting allowing audio, video or media to be transmitted via the internet without multiple system operators (cable or satellite tv) controlling or distributing the content.

H.264 – MPEG-4 Part 10, Advanced Video Coding (MPEG-4 AVC) is a block-oriented motion-compensation-based video compression standard. It is one of the most commonly used formats for the recording, compression, and distribution of video content.

Now that we’ve covered the terms, in my next article I will map out how the technologies communicate with one another to deliver high quality video.

In summary, consumers no longer have to worry about whether their devices will be able to play the content they want to watch.  It all works thanks to all of these technologies playing nicely together.