First, let's clarify the difference between live and real-time video delivery.
Live video is streamed to viewers as an event happens, as opposed to on-demand video, which is prerecorded and streamed to viewers whenever they choose.
HLS and DASH, the two leading streaming protocols in use on the web, can operate in a "live" mode, but they are not real-time protocols. Both require a certain amount of video data to be buffered in the player to guard against network rebuffering and other playback glitches. These buffers create latency. In the case of Apple's HLS, their own guidelines mandate at least three segments of six seconds each, effectively putting each viewer about 20 seconds behind "real" time.
Last week was Hackweek here at JW Player. Every six months we put aside all non-critical engineering work for one week so that our engineers and technical staff can experiment with new ideas. In some cases, these projects are not even directly related to their everyday work.
Imagine that you operate a YouTube channel with over 8 million subscribers. This would rank you among the top 500 publishers on YouTube, which means your content would be wildly popular, far surpassing the viewership most cable networks, especially among the coveted 18-24 year-old male demographic. Surprisingly, the ad revenue from your channel doesn't make you obscenely rich, but it provides a nice living, as they say, for you and the small staff of millennials you pay to create the videos.
You'd also imagine that your army of fans would make you popular with YouTube itself, since they are taking up to 45% of your copious ad revenue.
You would be wrong.
Readers of this blog may have seen my recent posts about the new AV1 video codec from the Alliance for Open Media (see "An Encouraging Development in the HEVC Patent Mess" and "AV1: The Long Road Ahead"). If you are attending Streaming Media East next week, you can watch me and some friends from Bitmovin, Viacom, fuboTV and Littlstar discuss and debate AV1, HEVC and other developments that lie ahead on the video compression horizon.
My interest in virtual reality started in 3rd grade, when I was obsessed with a book called Danny Dunn, Invisible Boy. It's about a kid who is given a dragonfly robot that can be controlled with a "telepresence helmet" and gloves. He uses his ability to virtually exist in other places to enforce justice, specifically exposing a Spelling Bee cheater and preventing the dragonfly from falling into the hands of people with sinister motives.
Earlier this month, HEVC Advance announced changes to their royalty fees for commercial use of the HEVC video compression standard. In short, these changes will make it essentially free to distribute video content on the Internet using the HEVC codec. Previously the content royalty rate was a complex matrix of rates by content type (subscription, title-by-title, etc), but it boiled down to potentially millions of dollars per year.
Last month, Apple became a founding member of the Alliance for Open Media (AOM), the project that manages development of the emerging AV1 video codec, "a next-generation video format that is . . . interoperable and open,” according to the AOM website.
The story originated simply from the word "Apple" suddenly appearing on the AOM website, yet within the video tech community it was seen as a seismic shift in the video tech industry.