What Causes Video Streaming to Slow Down?

Posted in Latency, Streaming, Technology on May 24, 2022

Digitization at a faster and faster pace has made streaming the most popular means of monetizing content, growing audiences, and keeping ahead of trends. To do so quickly and reliably, the streaming provider must align a few principles and technologies.

While virtually all devices sold today will have the capability to digest information reliably, the feed is often only as reliable as the content provider optimizes it to be. With that in mind, StreamGuys wants to highlight the most common problems that come with streaming high-quality content and posit our platforms as a one-stop solution for optimizing, monetizing, and monitoring your streams.

Slowness = Buffering

First, the most common form of slowness in streamed content is buffering. If you have experienced start/stop playbacks or jumpy cuts between different footage portions, you are already familiar with buffering and how it can frustrate the viewer.

Buffering is the process of downloading a particular quantity of data before starting to play music or a movie while streaming audio or video over the Internet. When there are temporary transmission delays while the content is played, having a pre-loaded supply of audio samples or video frames reduces disturbance. A few seconds of delay is often introduced into even a live broadcast at the source.

For digital content (through a high-speed satellite connection), buffering is typically unnecessary. The same goes if an internet connection is fast enough to keep up with playback. However, this is not always the norm over the Internet, where packets might pass through several routers on their way from source to destination. In this arrangement, delays can occur at any point, and content delivery networks may become necessary to deliver content promptly across vast geographic regions.

To fix issues in the context of buffering, there are a few common problem areas you can examine.

Common Streaming Problems (and Solutions)

Below are a few picks for common buffering issues and what users and streamers can examine to change performance interruptions at both the streaming and ingest levels.

High-Quality Streaming Content - High-quality media streaming is frequently beset by delays, leaving viewers frustrated. Sound, video subtitles, and other aspects are broadcast independently during live video streaming and later synced on the smartphone. To minimize buffering sessions, switching from high definition to lower resolution is a common way to avoid annoyance on the user end.

Adaptive bitrate is a better solution. By using adaptive bitrate streaming, it is feasible to avoid fast dropouts. This method modifies video quality based on the user's available bandwidth and connection. It enables uninterrupted viewing of feeds and better integration of multiple content streams (such as subtitles or metadata). You may also set up automatic backup connections for all of your streaming software's major components.

Check Your Encoders - Because of the wide range of devices used by viewers, encoding live streaming accurately is critical. The streaming provider's data processing protocol influences device compatibility and video playback capabilities. The streaming protocol is intended to improve the transmission in order to prevent video crashes or buffering delays. Choosing an improper streaming protocol might leave viewers frustrated and out of answers, especially when their devices are new and network connections are stable.

Choosing the correct streaming protocol and encoding is the solution for organizations looking to minimize buggery. Begin by first working with a content delivery professional to select the streaming protocol and encoding that is optimized for the type of content you want to produce. For added security, install and debug the most recent version of the streaming program on your device's operating system to ensure you have the most up-to-date software.

How Packed Are Your Channels? - A large number of users can wreak havoc on your streaming security and, as a result, your data transmission speed. Segmenting your stream might become impossible for wide broadcasting, but consider other channels that might be segmented through monetization. Random users must be unable to access closed commercial streamings. It refers to things like interviews, secret appointments, sneak peeks, and demos, among other content.

One solution here is to limit viewership through an authentication system. The stream can only be viewed by those with a token thanks to built-in token authorization (a StreamGuys specialty). You may also use an online registration system to keep track of your viewers' activities.

No matter what, any solution should be easy to use and not too time-consuming for viewers—ideally functional out of the box. This ensures that your channel remains secure and unaffected, even during peak hours.

Through better stream management, encoding solutions, and channel distribution, your viewers can experience much better streams and uptimes while you focus on profit generation and ad revenue.

To upgrade or augment your tech stack reliably, choose StreamGuys and our competitive suite of streaming solutions. Contact us to learn more and to explore better streaming and monetization today.

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