An Alliance to Drive High-Quality Video Streaming

 

Content producers, service operators, and technology providers in the video creation and delivery ecosystem face steep challenges in their efforts to deliver a consistent “broadcast quality” experience for online video. People now watch video just about anywhere and on just about any connected device. And all users know that the experience of watching online video can be pretty spotty as you move from provider to provider and from device to device. In the words of the Streaming Video Alliance (SVA), it’s the “Wild, Wild West” out there.

The SVA is working to help organizations overcome today’s online video delivery challenges by developing best practices designed to enable anyone in the video ecosystem to build scalable, high-quality streaming services. This industry alliance, founded in 2014, spans the streaming video value chain, from network operator and service providers to technology developers and content owners. While the SVA’s members are a diverse group, they share a commitment to solving the critical challenges facing the video industry as they work to driving continued consumer adoption.

Already, the SVA has reached some significant milestones in its efforts to establish industry standards. In December, the alliance announced the publication of the Open Caching Request Routing Functional Specification. This specification can be applied by vendors to build compliant products, a process that has already started. On Jan. 3, the SVA announced that trials based on the new specification were getting under way.

These proof-of-concept trials will incorporate the specification for request routing in ISP networks to optimize delivery and ensure superior quality of experience (QoE) for live and on-demand video streaming. Participants in the trials include Charter, Limelight Networks, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, Qwilt, Verizon, Viacom, ViaSat, and Yahoo.

At Intel, we wholeheartedly support the goals of the SVA. We are a founding member of the alliance, and we participate in three of the organization’s seven working groups: Ad Insertion/Audience Measurement, Quality of Experience and Open Caching

In the Ad Insertion/Audience Measurement working group, we are collaborating with Nokia, Ericsson, and other organizations to examine the challenges of implementing advertisements, measuring audience engagement, and monetizing intellectual property when consumers watch video on their laptop and mobile devices.

In the Quality of Experience working group, we are working alongside FOX Networks, Major League Baseball, and Wowza Media Systems, among other organizations, to address the challenge of online streaming of content that meets viewer expectations. Consumers want a “broadcast quality” experience, whether content is displayed on their phones, computers, or televisions. The QoE working group aims to provide a framework for the collection, analysis, and reporting on metrics that will help content providers ensure viewer satisfaction.

And in the Open Caching working group, we are focused on establishing the underlying technical and functional requirements for implementing an in-network, open caching system that will relieve network burdens of an ever-growing end-user demand for online video. Other companies involved in this effort include Verizon, Comcast, and Ericsson.

These are just a few examples of the great things being done by Intel and other members of this organization. If you’d like to learn more, you can review the output of our working groups, join an upcoming webinar, or even become a member of the Streaming Video Alliance.