Solving the live streaming latency conundrum

Samantha Bookman, FierceOnlineVideoOkay, this is the part where I tell you how massively popular live streaming has become, and how big it will get this year. That's something you're going to hear a lot, from me and other industry media folks -- and especially as the Super Bowl live streams to potentially its biggest online audience everywhere this weekend -- so let's get it out of the way.

Here's the thing: can live streaming really grow this year the way it's been forecast? What is standing in the way of greater adoption and availability?

We know one big answer to that: latency, or the inevitable delay in streaming that occurs when digital video has to pass through the several gates required to make it consumable: encoding, transport, network interconnects, even the home router.

In our latest feature, we take a look at a few solutions being implemented today to reduce the lag time between a live event happening and the moment a viewer actually seeing it on their streaming device, smartphone or television.

Sunday's big game is just the latest test of live streaming: the Super Bowl streamed to about 1.2 million viewers last year, and this year that number is expected to be higher. We'll see many more tests of live streaming capability and network capacity as the global audience grows: for example, ESPN just inked a deal with one of China's top OTT providers, Tencent, to live stream several major sporting events in the country including the 2016 NBA Playoffs.

Prepare for interesting times ahead, and check out the latest special report here.

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