New technologies have simplified and improved the streaming experience for both broadcasters and viewers. With streaming capabilities, hosting virtual events and even reaching viewers from different parts of the world is now possible.
A lot of things happen behind the scenes when bringing viewers high-quality streaming in real-time. In most cases, online video streaming involves the camera that captures the raw video, and that video is sent to the encoder through a capture card or other hookup. There is an encoder that converts the raw video to a digital file.
After that, the video is ingested into a particular online video platform. From there, the video is distributed to the video player through a content delivery network (CDN). Finally, the video player will display the stream on the internet-enabled device.
If you want to learn more about IPTV broadcast solution for streaming, keep reading!
What Technical Parts are Important for Streaming Quality?
Video streaming setup involves a lot of moving parts. Different video streaming technologies come together to create and deliver a seamless streaming experience.
Let’s take a closer look at each technical part that impacts the streaming quality.
OTT/IPTV Middleware (Content Management System)
There is a range of functions that OTT or IPTV Middleware perform:
- Manage subscription, subscribers, and content where no cable connections and satellite broadcasts management are involved. In short, broadcasters can handle all the media content using a single content management system platform.
- Provide video on demand, live tv content, entertainment series, or radio programming.
- Help monetize video content. Content creators can add or bill new subscriptions. The monetization feature also manages the video and streaming platform’s marketing and advertising aspects.
- Deliver real-time statistics and data about the demand and consumption for video and media content. The data collected helps the broadcasters to improve their streaming services while tweaking the current streaming content.
A video player allows the viewers to see a video stream. Historically, Adobe’s Flash player was used as a standard video player. However, it became obsolete because it was not compatible with mobile streaming.
The HTML5 video player is currently the streaming industry standard. This user-friendly technology supports mobile video streaming. The video player is even supported by multiple internet-enabled devices, such as gaming consoles, smart televisions, tablets, and smartphones.
This media player is also compatible with most operating systems and browsers. Aside from the compatibility, HTML5 is also easy to customize and secure. Many broadcasters benefit from it, making it a standard for live streaming platforms.
Content creators have two options for encoding: software encoders and hardware encoders:
- The software encoders refer to the encoding computer program that runs on a personal computer, collects data from capture cards, and sends it through the internet.
- The hardware encoders run encoding algorithms and are sometimes directly connected to the camera but always to the internet.
Meanwhile, transcoder benefits the viewers and publishers by optimizing the content for each steaming lifecycle stage.
- For publishers, using transcoders helps resolve the complexity and high costs associated with encoding multiple bitrate and resolution options. It also resolves limited playback capabilities based on configurations, protocols, and codecs available in the encoder and the inability to leverage hybrid workflows and next-generation technologies.
- For viewers, a transcoder helps resolve buffering because of low-bandwidth connections and playback failure because of inadequate device support necessary for the resolution streamed. It also resolves incompatibility because of a lack of format support.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A CDN is strategically positioned over the geographic region to provide high-quality content to remote locations. These servers allow users to choose their desired content through the media players connected to the online video platform. Then, CDN redirects the request from the originating site’s server to the server in the CDN closest to the user. From there, the CDN delivers the cached content.
Faster content delivery is expected when servers are positioned closer to the originating point and destination. It further improves the video streaming speed by routing the users to the best servers. During live events, servers may experience a spike in traffic since many viewers request similar content simultaneously. So, a reliable CDN is the solution for optimizing the servers to handle and resolve the traffic.
A CDN solution is helpful when it comes to bolstering streaming reliability. It leverages the infrastructures and techniques, allowing the load balancing and transfer traffic to the functioning data during a complete outage.
Since security is critical for digital service providers, having a reliable CDN ensures features like physical server security, enhanced security certificates, and DDoS attack mitigation. Additionally, the distributed nature of the CDN increases content redundancy. It provides resilience to DDoS attacks, hardware failures, and spikes in traffic.
Set Top Box
The Set Top Box is also known as Set Top Unit and enables users to view video content from internet video providers through the internet. The box converts the digital TV signal to analog so that users can view it on an internet-enabled satellite or cable television or a conventional television set.
The box was originally used for cable and satellite television to deliver more channels. It is now used to enable users to choose from particular providers and filter down to the video content they want to watch. It transmits many channels to the auxiliary channels on the television.
Viewers worldwide can attend a particular event without leaving their homes, which revolutionizes the way people learn and carry out businesses. Video streaming also changes the way people engage in entertainment or consume media activities. Online streaming is critical for businesses that want to communicate with their audiences more effectively while extending their reach to new viewers. That is why getting familiar with the technical parts helps ensure streaming quality.