How does CDN streaming work?

Streaming is the method of data transmission used when someone watches video on the Internet. It is a way to deliver a video file a little bit at a time, often from a remote storage location. By transmitting a few seconds of the file at a time over the internet, client devices do not have to download the entire video before starting to play it. Live streaming is when the streamed video is sent over the Internet in real time, without first being recorded and stored. Today, TV broadcasts, video game streams, and social media video can all be live-streamed.

What we should know?

Think about the difference between regular streaming and live streaming as the difference between an actor reciting a memorized monologue and improvising a speech. In the former, the content is created beforehand, stored, and then relayed to the audience. In the latter, the audience receives the content in the same moment that the actor creates it – just like in live streaming. The term live streaming usually refers to broadcast live streams: one-to-many connections that go out to multiple users at once. Videoconferencing technologies like Skype, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts Meet work on real-time communication (RTC) protocols rather than the protocols used by one-to-many live stream broadcasts.

Video Hosting

When you visit a website and watch a video on the internet, a server is involved. Your computer sends a signal to a server requesting content, which in turn gets delivered to you. You know that a CDN is made out of hundreds if not thousands of these servers. The same thing goes for video hosting platforms. While you may not see a connection, there is. While you can host videos online for free on YouTube, as a business, you’ll want a more professional streaming platform. The dedicated online video streaming service you choose will provide a network of computer servers that will store your video on their disks. It also provides a robust network connection so that your viewers can access the videos quickly and easily without any network lag.

As a business, you need the best options to begin your remote video strategy. If you stick to the free, public platforms, there will be a limit to your growth. But, if you use a secure video hosting platform and CDNs for live streaming, your growth can continue and there’s no stopping you. In 2019, over seventy-nine percent of all global consumer web traffic comes from video, most likely from HTML5. That figure continues to grow in 2020. Given this trend, HTML5 and mobile-compatible live streaming are absolutely essential for businesses. Dacast has an HTML5 player that can simply be embedded on any website. It’s white-label and fully customizable. You’re able to add your own company’s branding, colors, and more. In order to deliver your video, you can utilize the latest cutting-edge technologies and long-establish standards. Use any RTMP hardware, software encoder, or choose “HLS Ingest” via Dacast’s low-latency live streaming solution

Benefits of a Live Streaming CDN

A CDN allows you to use a widely distributed network of live streaming servers for your content. The main benefit of this approach is increased access on the part of viewers. Typically, viewers who request content from a CDN are automatically routed to the closest server, as we mentioned above. This is called the “edge” server. A viewer’s IP address generally dictates the server to which they’re directed. Additional distance between a given server and the user adds more potential latency (i.e., lag time) to the internet connection. Essentially, a live streaming CDN makes streaming go more smoothly for all viewers. A top-tier CDN reduces buffering and maximizes the quality of live video streaming.

The final major benefit is that live streaming CDNs reduce costs and technical overhead. Yes, it is possible to build your own global network of servers to deliver your content to users. However, this requires a great deal of expense (hardware, electric costs, maintenance, etc.) and a dedicated, round-the-clock staff. By using dedicated CDN streaming platforms, the hard work is done for you. Your business is able to focus on bigger problems instead of worrying about servers crashing if you create viral content.

Technical point of view on live-streaming

Once the live stream has been segmented, compressed, and encoded (all of which only takes a few seconds), it needs to be made available to the dozens or millions of viewers who want to watch it. In order to maintain high quality with minimal latency while serving the stream to multiple viewers in different locations, a CDN should distribute it.

A CDN is a distributed network of servers that cache and serve content on behalf of an origin server. Using a CDN results in faster performance, because user requests no longer have to travel all the way to the origin server but can instead be handled by a nearby CDN server. Handling requests and delivering content in this manner also reduces the origin server’s workload. Finally, CDNs make it possible to efficiently serve content to users around the world because their servers are located all over the world instead of clustered in a single geographic area.

A CDN will also cache – temporarily save – each segment of the live stream, so most viewers will get the live stream from the CDN cache instead of from the origin server. This actually makes the live stream closer to real-time even though the cached data is a few seconds behind because it cuts down on round-trip time (RTT) to and from the origin server.

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