Low latency live streaming is a way to stream video and audio over the internet quickly and reliably. It’s similar to how streaming has been done for years on television, but it uses a different technology called TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), which was created in the early days of the Internet.
With low latency live streaming, you can play a live video feed from your computer or phone directly on your TV with no buffering. You don’t have to wait for the stream to buffer before you can watch it on your TV screen—it plays right away!
What is low latency live streaming?
Low latency live streaming is a method of broadcasting live video in real-time with minimal delay between the live event and the broadcast. This technology is designed to enable real-time interactions and engagement between the audience and the live event, making it ideal for a wide range of applications such as live sports, gaming, and interactive events. With low latency live streaming, viewers can experience the live event as if they were there, with minimal delay between the live event and the broadcast. The technology uses a combination of techniques such as reducing the number of encoding and transmission steps, using specialized streaming protocols and utilizing edge computing and CDNs (content delivery networks) to bring the video closer to the viewer.
Impact of High Latency
High latency, or a delay in the transmission of data, can have a significant impact on the performance of systems and applications that rely on real-time communication. High latency can cause delays in the loading of web pages, video and audio streaming, online gaming, and virtual reality experiences. It can also negatively impact the responsiveness of interactive applications such as online chats and video conferencing. In industrial and financial systems, high latency can delay the processing of trades and transactions, resulting in decreased efficiency and increased risk. Overall, high latency can lead to a poor user experience and decreased productivity.
What can you do with Low Latency?
Low latency technology enables interactive experiences for audiences, which opens opportunities for some creative uses. Some examples of the ways in which people interact with live streams thanks to low latency are:
- Live streaming exercise and educational classes, such as Peloton and Mirror, allow members to interact with instructors in real time.
- Live streamed quizzes, such as HQ Trivia, where viewers answer multiple choice questions asked by a game show host
- Social streaming platforms like Twitch and TikTok enable streamers to interact with audience comments and reactions.
- A live, interactive shopping experience hosted by an influencer or with live bidding, auction-style
How to Choose the Best Low-Latency Streaming Solution
When choosing a low-latency streaming solution, there are several factors to consider:
HLS Streaming Protocol Delivery
HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) is a protocol developed by Apple for streaming live and on-demand audio and video content over the internet. It is built on top of HTTP and uses a series of small, segmented files called “chunks” that are delivered to the viewer’s device over HTTP.
The main advantage of HLS is its compatibility with a wide range of devices and platforms, including iOS, macOS, and most modern web browsers. It also supports adaptive bitrate streaming, which adjusts the quality of the video stream based on the viewer’s internet connection, ensuring a smooth playback experience.
However, HLS streaming protocol is not a low-latency solution, typical latency ranges from 15s to 30s. It is designed more for use cases where a small delay between the live event and the viewer is acceptable.
To implement HLS streaming, you will need a server to host the HLS files and a player that can play them. You can use software such as Wowza Streaming Engine, Adobe Media Server, or open-source alternatives such as Nginx or Apache to set up your HLS server. There are also many HLS-compatible players available, such as the HTML5 video tag and the JW Player.
You can live stream your event, programs, and so on across players, devices, and platforms. Let your audience enjoy uninterrupted live streaming on your platform with low latency regardless of their internet connection. Be it your player or any third-party player, deliver HLS content with HLS URL so that the audience can stream on any player on your website and apps.
Less than 15 Seconds of Latency
To achieve less than 15 seconds of latency, you may need to use a streaming protocol that is specifically designed for low-latency applications.
One popular low-latency streaming protocol is WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication), which uses peer-to-peer communication to reduce the delay between the live event and the viewer. WebRTC allows for sub-second latency, typically less than one second, and can be used for a wide range of applications including video conferencing, online gaming, and live streaming.
Another option is SRT (Secure Reliable Transport) which is a low latency video transport protocol that is optimized for the delivery of high-quality, low-latency video across the public internet. SRT can deliver sub-second latency and is compatible with a wide range of encoders, decoders, and players.
Another option is Low Latency HLS (LL-HLS), which is a variation of the standard HLS protocol that reduces the latency by reducing the time it takes for the client to receive the initial chunks of the video stream. It typically reduces the latency to around 5s.
When choosing a low-latency streaming solution, it’s important to take into account the specific requirements of your application. You should also test the solution with your specific hardware and software to ensure that it meets your needs and provides the desired level of performance.
Simple to Set Up and Use
Another option is low latency CMAF (Common Media Application Format) which is an industry standard that allows to bundle video and audio in a single package. It’s supported by most of the CDN and player providers and it’s based on HTTP and chunked transfer encoding which makes it simple to set up and use.
Another option is SRT (Secure Reliable Transport) which is a relatively simple protocol for low latency streaming. It uses standard transport protocols (UDP and TCP) and it’s compatible with a wide range of encoders, decoders, and players. SRT is simple to set up, it’s easy to troubleshoot and has a low footprint on the resources.
Generate the HLS URL of your live stream from Live’s CMS and embed it to your website, mobile, and TV apps. Let your audience play the live stream on the player, be it yours or any third-party player.
Low latency live streaming is a technique used to deliver live video content with minimal delay between the event and the viewer. It’s important for many real-time applications such as video conferencing, online gaming, and live events. When choosing a low-latency streaming solution, it’s important to take into account the specific requirements of your application, the resources available, and the technical expertise of your team. Simple to set up and use options such as WebRTC and SRT can be a good choice for those with less technical experience, while LL-HLS is a good option for those who are already familiar with HLS. Deliver HLS content across platforms with Muvi Live. Go Live with Your eSports Tournaments, Corporate Events, Shows, Training Sessions on Web, Mobile & Connected Devices! Take a free trial to explore low latency streaming experience.