Video Streaming Background/Challenges

Since the 1990s, new Internet protocols and content delivery techniques have been developed to optimize the performance of live video streaming as well as video on demand VOD. Two of the most prominent developments are Adaptive Bitrate Streaming(ABS) and Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). Both have significantly improved the user experience which has helped to fuel the exponential growth of video traffic.

The expectations of users in today’s wireless world have increased to the point where any bad experience can cause users to stop watching or even switch providers in some extreme cases. So the stakes have been raised with the rapid growth of video traffic and the advent of High Definition(HD) streaming content, which requires higher throughput rates. The Internet, and especially wireless networks, can be bursty and congested. This is caused by the unpredictable nature of network traffic patterns which in turn causes latency, packet loss and jitter over the Internet. The bursty nature of Internet traffic means frequent network congestion which holds up video packets and starves buffers on a video player. This results in a pause for more data to refresh the buffer before the player can start again. Another issue is that CDNs and Video Delivery Networks must synchronize and refresh the video content to all video servers across their networks so that users are not viewing outdated content. If this content synchronization fails because of network latency then users are stuck with old content,which can have a major business impact on the content creator or delivery platform.

Considering the challenges above, video service providers have to search for ways to deliver their video content smoothly at the highest bitrate with no frustrating buffering interruptions.

AppEx “Bufferless” Video Streaming Solution

AppEx Bufferless Video Streaming solution can help video service providers offer high-quality online video services and enable their end-users to have a fast and smooth viewing experience with no interruptions.

Through the deployment of AppEx LotServer software on video servers, our Learning-Based Acceleration™ technology is able to guarantee the highest bitrates even in latent networks and harsh wireless environments. This will dramatically reduce initial video start time, increase the bitrate and reduce interruptions from player buffering.

Figure 1: AppEx “Bufferless” Video Streaming solution

Figure 2&3 illustrate the quality of a Video on Demand(VoD) service that is significantly improved with the AppEx Bufferless Video Streaming solution.

Figure 2: Initial buffering time comparison

Figure 3: Average re-buffering rate comparison

AppEx Bufferless Video Streaming solution can work in conjunction with Clouds, CDNs and Front End Optimization (FEO) solutions. AppEx’s unique Learning-Based Acceleration™ technology ensures video streaming from edge servers to end-users at the fastest bit-rate and with minimal startup delay. This virtually eliminates the last mile delivery problem. AppEx Learning-Based Acceleration™ technology can also benefit ABS technology by keeping the maximum bitrate quality at all times and minimizing or eliminating buffering in end users’ video players.

As a server-side only deployment solution, end-users do not need to install additional software or plugins on the player-end. LotServer can be installed on any Linux or Windows-based server in minutes without any changes to existing applications, web services and network devices.

In summary, AppEx LotServer software improves the edge performance to end users across the last mile, the mobile last mile and the Wi-Fi last hop to deliver a great user experience for web pages, VOD and streaming video, games and mobile applications.