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Focus on low-latency OTT streaming at NAB 2017, as NBC Sports calls it a game-changer

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Low-latency OTT was an important theme at NAB this year. We reported recently how Sye from Net Insight enabled ultra-low delay of live OTT streaming and synchronization of those streams with broadcast TV feeds, enabling Pirelli World Challenge to provide a second screen driver-cam experience. This capability makes it possible to extend sport across multiple screens, with each screen providing a different camera angle or experience without creating a disjointed experience where each feed is at a different point in a race or a sports game.

This kind of technology also removes the danger that people watching on an OTT delay hear about goals or wickets before they have seen them. Net Insight were demonstrating the Sye concept this week at NAB 2017.

At NAB Show this week, Harmonic was also highlighting the importance of low-latency OTT and the impact it can have on the viewing experience, claiming it can match the latency of live broadcast. The company offers a low-latency streaming workflow that is made possible by a combination of packaging content in the new Common Media Application Format (CMAF) and HTTP chunked transfer encoding.

“An emerging media standard for OTT delivery, CMAF reduces the need to package content separately for HLS and MPEG-DASH devices. The use of the new format in Harmonic multiscreen packaging and origin solutions not only improves the OTT viewing experience by reducing latency in live streaming, but it also simplifies OTT distribution workflows,” the company explained.

Darryl Jefferson, VP, Post Production Operations, NBC Sports Group, comments: “Low latency for OTT is extremely important, especially for the delivery of live sporting events. Any lag time that exists between what’s happening in real time and being viewed on screen is truly unacceptable to viewers nowadays. We’re excited about the developments that Harmonic is making in the area of reduced latency for OTT video and expect it to be a game-changer for broadcasters and other content providers as they strive to deliver the best possible quality across all devices.”

Harmonic emphasised that lower latency when streaming live events is a key goal for OTT operators. “Live television broadcasters generally delay live content for approximately seven seconds; delays for live OTT streaming are more in the range of 30-60 seconds.”

Akamai also used the Las Vegas event to highlight its ability to deliver low-latency OTT thanks to its liveOrigin product, which itself is part of Media Services Live, a suite of products designed to bring scale and reliability to live streaming. liveOrigin enables 10-second latency, addressing the need for online and broadcast content to play back for viewers near-simultaneously.

“This feature dramatically reduces what has traditionally been a 30-second-or-more delay between broadcast signals and online streams,” the company declared. “It is particularly important for broadcasters and live sports and news providers.”

You can read more about Akamai’s liveOrigin, which also provides broadcast-quality ingest, a self-healing network and monitoring and reporting, here.




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