January 3, 2016

Year of 2015 overview

The new year of 2016 has begun so it's time for us to look back at what was done in the year of 2015.

We've done a lot work to make our existing products better as well as to create new products.

As always, before reading news and updates for our products, please check the State of Streaming Protocols which includes 2015 overview for streaming formats. HLS is stable, MPEG-DASH is on the rise, check other trends as well.

Let's start with the new products.

Mobile Streaming


Streaming from mobile devices became a strong trend of 2015 and our team saw this trend in our customers' use cases as well. They already used Nimble Streamer to process media coming from their users but they still needed additional tools to create their products.

We started with key element of mobile streaming puzzle - a piece of software which would allow perform media transmission from mobile device to a media server for further processing. So we created a library for Android and iOS that performs the streaming via RTSP and RTMP.

With library being ready for usage, we created a mobile broadcasting SDK which includes the library itself and a sample application that uses the library. Our customers can use it as a foundation for their own apps and services. The SDK is available for licensing with affordable prices.

The demo application from SDK called Larix Broadcaster is available in Google Play and Apple Store so potential customers can see our software in action before licensing it.

Mobile SDK can be used as part of any infrastructural solution. However, you can try it with our products to create the most efficient solution.

Nimble Streamer


Our media server was completely re-defined and by now it has an excellent multi-protocol transmuxing mechanism. Along with high performance and low resources usage, it's now the most efficient media delivery software on the market.

First of all we stepped out of Linux niche and ported Nimble to Windows and MacOS. A lot of people would like to try it first on their desktops before running in production so we gave them that option.

Another great step was to port Nimble to ARM and make it available for RaspberryPi. It also means Nimble can be deployed on any ARM-based hardware. This allows creating media servers on the smallest and cheapest hardware. Are you interested? Please let us know.

You can take a look at installation instructions to see full set of supported platforms.

Another big step was to add support for MPEG-DASH protocol. Several major streaming scenarios were covered. This includes:

  • VOD transmuxing from MP4 - for both H.264 and H.265.
  • Live streams transmuxing from RTMP, RTSP and MPEG-TS.
  • DASH re-streaming as cache-aware edge server.

The HEVC/H.265 support will soon be extended to live streaming as well.

As we started our work on DASH, our  company became an associate member of DASH Industry Forum to take part in activities related to MPEG-DASH and contribute to this industry community. We also participated in a couple of DASH-related presentations during NAB 2016 and IBC 2015.

We expect 2016 to be the year of MPEG-DASH market share growth and our team is looking forward to add more features to this set.

The live streams transmuxing feature set now many accept RTMP, RTSP and MPEG-TS to create HLS, MPEG-DASH, RTMP, RTSP, MPEG-TS and Icecast outgoing streams.

  • A full set of RTSP features was added. This includes accepting announced and pulled RTSP media and transmuxing it into RTSP playback streams as well as re-publish via RTSP further. Of course, RTSP input streams can now be re-packaged into all other protocols - HLS, MPEG-DASH, RTMP, MPEG-TS and Icecast.
  • RTMP feature set was also re-defined and it now may accept any kind of RTMP stream and transform it into all supported protocols along with re-publishing to other servers.
  • MPEG-TS now takes UDP multicast and HTTP streams and allows publishing streams via UDP in addition to aforementioned transmuxing to other protocols.

Regarding live streaming efficiency, please take a look at low latency tuning use case based on Nimble Streamer. Thanks to one of our customers who gave permission to share some of the details of his approach.

In addition to live transmuxing, a highly anticipated DVR feature set was added. So your live streams can now be recorded for further playback. To make some automation, an API was also added - see WMSPanel section below. We plan extending DVR this year as well.

This year we partnered with P2P streaming solutions providers so our customers could use P2P as an option for their media delivery infrastructure.

Speaking of infrastructure-specific features, we added automated deployment option to Nimble installation so it could be used in auto-scaling use cases, e.g. in Amazon EC2.
VOD remote storage support was also added for those who have distributed auto-scaled network to make it more efficient in terms of storage.

To keep in touch with Nimble status, we've added native status API for it. You can call it to get status of each individual instance real-time. As example, Nimble API gave abilities to create a simple load balancing approach.



One more significant infrastructural feature we added is Publish control framework. It allows controlling incoming streams to authorize and restrict users from pushing the content. This is specifically useful for mobile streaming which we mentioned earlier - that's what will stand between your publishers and your viewers.


Overall, the mentioned improvements allowed increasing Nimble Streamer installations number dramatically this year and we've increased our customers' base a lot. Take a look at some of our customers here.


WMSPanel


WMSPanel was continuously improved this year as a control panel for Nimble-based streaming infrastructure.

All Nimble Streamer control is available via WMSPanel to give maximum comfort to our customers. In addition to GUI, we added control API for all Nimble control capabilities to allow automating it.

All WMSPanel statistics now have their own API for obtaining data so our customers can download it with any appropriate frequency and make additional analysis.

Besides control UI and API, WMSPanel Deep statistics were enhanced with grouping and data comparison. This feature set is extremely popular among our users so we like adding new things there.

Dispersa


We kept on improving Dispersa streams monitoring. New checkpoints were added to improve coverage. Small GUI improvements were done to make it more comfortable for our users.




As you can see, we were working hard to continuously improve our products set in the year of 2015. We have new breakthrough products to introduce in the year of 2016 so we're looking forward to hearing your feedback and feature requests.

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