The concept of modern streaming deserves a discussion of its own. Regardless of the technologies and devices associated with modern streaming, the usage of this resource, in general, requires familiarity with the underlining definitions and concepts powering the same. Besides, video technology, as a modern-day tool underwent a seismic shift way back in 2015 and since then, it has been helping businesses out in diverse forms.
Besides, the concept of streaming has taken videos to a whole new level, courtesy of the inclusion of specialized servers, custom protocols, and overlay networks. Whilst a majority of businesses are already using the same, only handfuls are actually privy of the tech-centric aspects of the same.
Benefits of Video Streaming
It seems appropriate to talk about the benefits of modern video streaming now that we are about to invest time in understanding the same at length. Organizations that can effectively deploy video streaming can ebb higher infrastructure costs whilst paving the way for improved IT scalability. Besides, with several streaming devices up for grabs, it becomes easier for the customers to connect better with the brand, via enhanced viewing experiences.
While videos have been around for long, modern streaming standards put forth an inflection point, expected to hold a lot of weight in 2021 and beyond.
Modern Streaming: Overview
It all started way back in 2008 when the Olympics event, for the first time, was streamed extensively for over 2000 hours. While this drove the renaissance of HTTP streaming, it also familiarized us with the potential of this resource. However, in 2021, the technologies and standards have evolved and that is what we are planning to discuss in the subsequent sections:
But then, why are we constantly sticking to the ‘Modern’ terminology instead of just using video streaming as the go-to business resource. Here are the aspects that define modern streaming in its entirety:
Unlike conventional streaming, modern videos when streamed are conveyed across as smaller segments. While the video streaming protocols might vary, the concept of chunked delivery remains the same. Custom streaming, on the other hand, sends across videos as a uniform blob of data, without breaking them into 2 to 10-sec segments.
In the case of modern streaming, video segments sent across to the client are independent of the existing state of reception. This also means a lack of persistent connectivity between the origin point and the client while the video is being played. This attribute is best leveraged by streaming devices, especially the ones supporting third-party streaming platforms. Plus, the stateless interaction eliminates buffering and lags, considerably.
As modern video streams are sent across as segments that are state-independent as well, they put minimal stress on the network bandwidth. The cache-friendly nature isn’t omnipresent but also assists with WAN optimization, regardless of the streaming protocols in play. In simpler words, modern streaming doesn’t push the Content Delivery Networks to the brink and ensure a cache-friendly experience.
Modern streaming is still reliant on HTTP protocols for sending video segments across. However, the streaming standards are further segregated into TCP 443 for SSL-protected communications and TCP 80 for unencrypted communications.
It is the adaptive-bitrate system of video playback that makes modern streaming a success. Firstly, the available bandwidth at the client-side determines the quality of streams and segments that are to be sent across. Therefore, the smoothness of the video playback for modern streams is automatic and ensures minimal buffering.
Another effective aspect of modern streaming is its ability to work alongside passive architecture. In case you aren’t aware of the concept, it concerns the availability of intermediary nodes, which only push the fragments ahead towards the final destination without making any code-centric changes. This aspect can be best experienced if you plan on getting started with your Firestick or Roku devices, especially for the IPTV experience.
IPTV is mainly leveraged by modern-day businesses as an effective way to brand and promote their products and this is where the passive architecture makes an appearance by routing the segments to the desired destination.
The Intranet-Internet cohesion is what modern streaming takes pride in. From a layman’s perspective, this concept ensures that the stateless networks find the perfect balance between software and hardware networking, whilst taking good care of the video segments and final destination.
Benefits of Modern Streaming: Looking at the Future
Now that we have addressed 7 market-moving aspects of modern streaming, it is necessary to take a look at the benefits of this reinvigorated video delivery plan. Firstly, modern streaming protocols take shorter segments into account, which are easy on the architecture. As per the HLS protocols, modern streams are sent forth as basic content and come with numerous benefits, including:
- Reduced Complexity
HTTP communication segregates streams as per TCP ports and the confidentiality of the data sets. Therefore, modern streaming eliminates the need for exclusive caching infrastructure, which eventually minimizes the management complexity.
- Minimal Costs
Modern streaming protocols allow you to scale beyond the challenges that are usually posed by custom streaming standards, including additional video overlaying costs and bandwidth modulation overheads.
Unlike custom streaming, modern streaming uses HLS and HTTP server protocols, which allow organizations to send across data as per the system requirements, client potential, and available bandwidth!
- Unmatched Scalability
HTTP servers are almost everywhere. While HTTP is the go-to streaming choice for live events and on-demand content, it also makes room for improved scalability. This benefit allows companies to expand the horizon of streaming as per the spread of streaming devices and the customer base. While scalability is never bereft of additional hardware and software-centric investments, HTTP servers make life easier for the concerned businesses.
- High-Quality Playback
There are a lot of aspects that make modern streaming the best resource for business, especially the ones focussed on playback quality. Firstly, HTTP brings forth the H.264 video compression codec, allowing you to send across streams and segments without overburdening the architecture. The likes of ABR enhancement, therefore, play a major role in maintaining the quality of playback, whilst provisioning AAC codec for the audio-centric aspect of video playback. These concepts, benefits, and myriad resources associated with modern streaming make this the best resource for modern-day businesses, especially in the post-pandemic era. Besides, the nature and potency of the streaming devices followed by the ease of availability make them more receptive towards modern streaming, either as a source of entertainment or a branding move.