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Ultra-Low Latency Video Streaming and 7 Use Cases

hamitdemir profile image Hamit Demir ・6 min read

Especially with Covid-19, people started to demand more live streams. But especially in some live streams which we will talk about in the rest of the blog post should be really ”live” to satisfy the audience. Let’s start with how popular live streaming is. According to the Cisco Annual Internet Report; Increasing internet connection speeds will enable a higher resolution to live video streaming and live video streaming will become popular in every field.

With the popularity of live streaming, the need for ultra low latency video streaming is increasing day by day.

What is Latency and Why Does It Matter?

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Streaming latency is basically the delay between the camera capturing an event and the event being displayed on viewers’ devices. It takes time to transfer the content from the source to the viewers’ devices. The time of this period depending on the type of live streaming directly affects the success of the live broadcast. Imagine you are part of a live broadcast where interactivity needs to be intense. A question is asked, but the question takes time to reach you. There are gaps between questions and answers. What would your audience think of this situation? They probably leave the broadcast. As we said before, latency in live streaming is one of the key points for success.

What is Ultra Low Latency?

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Low latency is described delay of five seconds or less. That sounds good, right? But some people need less delay, very little delay according to their uses cases. That’s why ultra low latency video streaming solutions have emerged. Ultra low latency is described as a delay of sub-second. It can meet the needs of people who need real-time engagement and high interaction.

Video Streaming Latency

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In such cases, ultra low latency streaming solutions help us.

Ultra Low Latency Video Streaming Uses Cases

Ultra low latency video streaming, also known as real time video streaming is great for highly interactive live streams with real-time engagement.

Here are some use cases:

Education

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Education has become a very important topic with Covid-19. Because, educational activities in many countries stopped, hundreds or even thousands of companies started working remotely. This situation made education impossible with classical methods. Covid-19 pandemic has shown us the inadequate use of technology in every field of education. Today, Teachers and school administrators have powerful technology at their fingertips. Streaming technologies… They can stream lessons and events from their schools, homes or wherever they are to students’ devices.

Streaming technologies allowing a wider audience to observe and even participate in the lessons. Streaming technology also enables educators to bring subjects and events from around the world, like an animal sanctuary or zoo for instance, into their classrooms, which can create engaging, in-the-moment learning experiences. But education needs ultra low latency video streaming to increase the interaction and success of the lessons. Ultra low latency video streaming applications usually allow interactivity from the viewers, which allows the possibility of a more connected experience, with the addition of comments and live questions.

Webinar

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Ultra low latency is crucial for interactive streaming applications. Depending on your use case, a few seconds of latency might be fine, or you might need to try to hit that sub-second target. Webinars are a great way to learn new things or engage people. The webinar has become very popular lately.

The major reason is that the Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic affecting the whole world and enforces us to stay at home and perform our daily routine works from home including communication, learning, shopping, education and working etc. Our lives are changed totally and we need a more remote way of living than ever before. But you cannot engage people with high latency. Think about the delayed speeches, starting to speak at the same time, then long silences … These situations make it impossible for the viewers to watch an enjoyable and useful broadcast and cause them to leave the webinar. At this point, ultra low latency video streaming technologies come to rescue our webinars.

Ultra low latency video streaming technologies increases:

  1. Success of webinar

  2. Engagement

  3. The happiness of the audience

IP Camera

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An Internet Protocol camera, or IP camera, is a type of digital video camera that receives control data and sends image data via the Internet. They are commonly used for surveillance but unlike analog closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, they require no local recording device, only a local area network. Most IP cameras are webcams, but the term IP camera or netcam usually applies only to those that can be directly accessed over a network connection, usually used for surveillance.

Mobile Apps

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Whether it be sports, news, live music, chatting or real-time event coverage apps; everyone wants to experience it in real-time. Would you be happy when delays occur in the live broadcast of a person you love to follow or playing your favorite quiz game? Probably answer is no and your audience wouldn’t want that too. Ultra low latency video streaming WebRTC SDKs and APIs let us build apps with ultra low latency streaming features.

Auction and Biddings

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Activities such as auctions and biddings are exciting because of their fast pace. And that speed demands ultra low latency video streaming with two-way communication.

For example, live sports betting has become popular all over the world. The key point in the live betting process is that the bets can be made on time. Ultra low latency video streaming eliminates problematic lags, ensuring that everyone has the same opportunity to place their bets in a time-synchronized experience. Similarly, online auctions and trading platforms are big business and any delay could mean that bids or trades are not properly recorded, and that is a disaster. split seconds can mean thousands or even millions of dollars.

E-Sports Betting

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We have mentioned betting above, but e-sports betting is a very new issue. With the popularization of e-sports, the betting industry turned its direction here. Ultra low latency streaming ensures that bets are made on time and the process works in a controlled manner.

Video Game

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When participating in online games, ultra low latency is more important, as delays, or buffering, will impair/frustrate the user experience significantly. No one wants to attack to enemies that are no longer there or no one wants to be behind the enemy for seconds. And gamers are generally complaining about interaction problems. Ultra low latency allows us to reduce the latency down to 0.5 seconds with WebRTC. That means happy gamers and audience, high engagement and success!

Ultra Low Latency Video Streaming Protocol: WebRTC

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We have covered low latency and ultra low latency video streaming. Now, you know when you need low latency. However, you should also know which protocol enables ultra low latency video streaming. It is WebRTC!

WebRTC(Web Real-Time Communication protocol) is an open-source standard for real-time communication supported by almost every modern browser, including Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera and others. WebRTC supports Opus audio codec as well as high-quality VP8 and VP9. In the near future, the protocol will gain support for a brand new AV1 video codec. The protocol is expected to be used in a much wider area.

One of the biggest advantages of WebRTC is that it converts millions of browsers into streaming terminals without the need to install any additional plugins. What’s more, WebRTC supports sub-second latency, which means no more delay(as we mentioned audience hate delay)! Finally, the protocol uses an adaptive bitrate technology that allows it to automatically adjust video quality and avoid any interruptions and interruptions. To learn more about WebRTC, you can check WebRTC Basics & WebRTC Components blog post.

Useful Links

You can try Ant Media Server for free with all features!

You can download native Android and iOS WebRTC SDKs and integrate them into your applications for free!

Ant Media Server Github Wiki.

You would want to check Future of Ultra-Low Latency Streaming Market.

We are always with you for all your questions. You can reach us via contact@antmedia.io.

Original article Ultra Low Latency Video Streaming and 7 Use Cases.

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