Net Insight, a Stockholm-based company offering a synced live-streaming solution called "Sye" that it claims reduces online video latency to less than 10 seconds, got a huge endorsement from Streaming Media analyst and VP Dan Rayburn, who said the solution is unique in the OTT market in that it addresses latency along with picture quality when it comes to a good user experience.
Rayburn recently tested Sye, noting that any delays in the stream "were at the same level or even faster than for regular TV."
What Sye does is syncs the OTT live stream with the traditional broadcast signal -- utilizing, in part, the time delay capability built in to broadcast centers. Time delays, often set to about 10 seconds, are more familiarly used by broadcasters to screen out things in a live sports or entertainment event, like cuss words or random clothing mishaps. Now, Net Insight is using that technology toward a greater good: ensuring that key plays and other live events reach OTT viewers at nearly the same time as pay-TV customers and over-the-air viewers get to see them.
Tata Communications tested and then adopted Sye, and Rayburn said the corporate giant is now the first CDN to enable the solution widely.
"I think what Net Insight's solution offers to the market is very unique," Rayburn said in a blog post this week. "I haven't seen anyone else offering this or thinking about ways of changing the experience for users when it comes to live streaming on the web."
Other live streaming providers may disagree with Rayburn's post, arguing that they are making efforts toward improving the glass-to-glass delivery time of online video.
For example, V-Nova has been touting its Perseus compression solution, which it says reduces the bitrate of HD video without loss of quality, since last fall, and deployed the solution into Sky Italia set-top boxes this spring.
And interestingly, BitTorrent -- a site more famous for its users' illegal downloading -- says it has a sub-10 second streaming solution as well, one that uses its peer-to-peer network. Like Net Insight, it says the solution bypasses the traditional CDN route to speed delivery to viewers. BitTorrent Live has not yet launched, however.
In any case, Rayburn is throwing out a challenge of sorts to the OTT industry. Quality of experience in general, he argued in the post, has focused mainly on how good the online video picture is. Much less thought has been given to the time it takes for that video to stream to a device. Further, he said, the opportunities to monetize synchronized live video are many, especially when the audience is engaged across devices. "We need to think about how we open up new opportunities for content owners and what the future looks like for live experiences on the web," he said.
- see this Streaming Media blog post
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