January 5, 2014

Improving HLS startup time and latency with Nimble Streamer

One of the issues for HLS streaming is a latency between initial playlist request and start up of playback. Mostly the latency value depends on the chunk size and throughput of viewer's network. Knowing that default chunk size is 10 seconds, no wonder most of players make significant start time for HLS stream. Nimble Streamer now solves this problem for VOD streams by reducing size of start up chunks. Let's see how it works.

Nimble Streamer is capable of re-packaging of MP4 into HLS, i.e. transmuxing MP4 into VOD-mode HLS stream. What we can do on server side is to change chunk size.
  • First chunk is made 3 seconds long. So player gets this chunk and starts playing it immediately.
  • Second chunk is 4 seconds long. Thus while the first chunk is being played, second one is downloaded pretty quickly.
  • Other chunks are 6 seconds long. Now streaming goes on so there's no need to break the stream into small chunks.
This improves HLS VOD playback experience allowing concentrating on further content delivery. Since Nimble Streamer can be used re-streaming HLS, it can be used as a foundation for robust and scalable HLS content delivery.

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Related documentation

Nimble HTTP StreamerNimble Streamer overview videoCalculating HLS statisticsMP4 transmuxing to HLS VOD streamingStreaming VOD with Nimble StreamerHLS re-streaming set upNimble Streamer HTTP hotlinking protectionWMSPanel Slideshare

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