Everyone Is Streaming. Can the Infrastructure Handle It?

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Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 10:00am (PST)

COVID-19. The pandemic has shut down businesses, schools, events, and more. Governments worldwide have ordered people to shelter-in-place. The result has been a sudden and exponential increase in streaming traffic as Disney+ ramps up worldwide operations, new platforms like Quibi open their doors, and major players like PeacockTV (NBC) and HBO Max ready themselves for launch. The streaming industry knew this growth curve was coming, but the current situation is a forcing function, requiring streaming video distributors around the globe to deal with massive and sustained scale today which they were probably predicting wouldn’t happen for years to come. To meet global streaming demand and prevent potentially catastrophic breakage in internet and streaming infrastructures, the industry must collaborate on the various ways to mitigate the sudden and exponential scale. Industry associations like the Streaming Video Alliance provide the forum for such collaboration, bringing together players from across the video streaming ecosystem to help solve critical technical challenges. It is through the vibrant discussions resulting from this collaboration, that the industry can potentially come to agreement on a cohesive, overarching architectural strategy. In this webinar, we will bring together companies from across the streaming video workflow to discuss architecture and scalability topics like ABR, multicast, and delivery protocols to identify ways video distribution platforms and network operators might utilize technologies and approaches to improve scalability in the face of massive demand.

Topics Covered

This webinar will address (or addressed) the following:

  1. What kind of impacts are we seeing on the streaming infrastructure because of COVID-19? What have we learned about traffic patterns, congestion, etc.? Have mobile networks seen less video?
  2. Which streaming systems are really feeling the pinch with the sustained traffic? What are the broader implications (maybe increased I/O for servers) that nobody could have foreseen?
  3. Did we see a noticeable drop in QoE? And, if so, where did we see the problems stemming from? ISP? CDN? Geographies?
  4. Do we see netflix Open connect architecture more resilient to surge of traffic vs classical CDN? Are there architectural changes that can, or should, happen to improve delivery of high-bandwidth streaming content? In other words, have we been doing it right?
  5. What about the decision by the EU to ask Netflix and YouTube to reduce their streaming to SD during the crisis? Was this a meaningless gesture or did it have a meaningful impact on congestion in Europe?
  6. If Multicast ABR could be a panacea to network congestion, what are the issues holding back widespread deployment and adoption?
  7. The industry has been looking to better video compression as a solution to high-quality at low bandwidth for quite some time. Yet the codec wars still rage on. Does the current situation accelerate the need to settle on a standard?
  8. How is everyone dealing with monitoring and managing the streaming infrastructure now that everyone is at home? What has the current situation exposed, if anything, of the challenges of monitoring end-to-end?
  9. Let’s talk about delivery protocols. Would protocols other than HTTP enable streaming to support more concurrency at higher bitrates? RTMP? RTSP? SRT? Or are there ways to make HTTP better?
  10. What we are experiencing now in terms of traffic is probably a glimpse into the future of streaming. So, are there downstream technologies which delivery participants can implement (Open Caches in the operator network, P2P distribution support, etc.) to alleviate congestion?
  11. What has SVA done and is working on in order to improve streaming at scale?
  12. What piece of advice would you give to your six-month younger selves knowing what you know now?


Moderated by Jason Thibeault

Jason Thibeault is the Executive Director of the Streaming Video Alliance, a global association of companies collaborating to solve critical challenges in delivering a better streaming video experience and increasing adoption. Prior to this role, Jason spent eight years at Limelight Networks, a leading CDN, where he held several roles including product manager and marketing strategist. Jason is an inventor on multiple technical patents in the streaming industry and a proven entrepreneur. He is also a contributing editor to Streaming Media Magazine.

You can connect with Jason on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter.

About the Streaming Video Alliance

The Streaming Video Alliance is a global technical association addressing critical challenges in streaming video. By educating the industry on the technical nature of the issues, providing a neutral forum for collaboration across the video ecosystem, and publishing documentation that defines technical solutions, the Alliance is helping to improve the streaming video experience at scale. Over 75 companies including network operators, content rights holders, OTT platforms, service providers, and technology vendors – representing some of the biggest names in global streaming – participate in bi-weekly working group activities and quarterly face-to-face meetings. You can find out more about membership here.

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