Velocix: Why latency problems are common for online sport

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With the Anthony Joshua fight taking place this weekend, Jim Brickmeier, CMO at CDN provider Velocix, has provided comment on why live sporting events tend to amplify the latency problems that are common to online streaming services

Brickmeier said:Live sporting events with high viewership rates, such as the Anthony Joshua fight this weekend, tend to shine a not-so-flattering light onto the latency problems that are common to online streaming services. Long latency times are not usually noticeable to consumers watching live TV on a single screen, as there is no frame of reference to suggest playback is delayed. However, add in noisy neighbours consuming the same piece of content over the air or friends at the game commenting on social media and it becomes apparent your viewing experience is not truly live. In fact, lag can seriously impact the end users ability to enjoy the content, leading to dissatisfaction and even loss of customers.”

“For live streaming services, lowering latency times is an important aspect of improving the quality of experience for consumers.  Recently, video service providers have turned their attention to the Common Media Application Format (CMAF), a standard for encoding and packaging segmented media objects, to achieve lag times similar to traditional TV delivery distribution methods.  With standard HTTP ABR, lag times for live content can reach as high as 30 seconds or more.  CMAF offers the potential to improve latency to as little as 2 seconds or even less by changing how content is packaged, relying on smaller duration chunks instead of longer duration segments as the basis for distributing video content.  With CMAF, small chunks can be relayed across the network while associated segments are still being built, shortening the time it takes for new content to reach the player.”

“Operators must keep in mind, however, that implementing CMAF is not simply a matter of adopting the new format.  To realise the latency benefits of CMAF, optimisations must be performed at each step in the workflow – at the encoder, origin, CDN and inside the customer’s home – to take advantage of the features of the new format.  As more devices come online, service providers must move quickly to implement CMAF optimised solutions so they are ready to deliver the best live experience, ensuring customers can enjoy every aspect of the game or match from start to finish,” concluded Brickmeier.


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