Creating a video streaming service is half the battle. After the launch, you should maintain it and keep it operating. During the operation, you will likely face technical challenges and issues. Some of them can be solved by obtaining tech-focused IPTV or OTT solution. For example, an IPTV solution is what helps TVALB deliver content from one country to another.

Ensuring a reliable operation is a vital problem because the demand for online video streaming keeps growing. Companies and organizations should provide excellent quality of service and experience for their audiences to meet their needs. People want to watch high-quality videos on any device without interruptions. Otherwise, you can lose viewers because they won’t tolerate slow video loads or long latencies. Let’s dive deeper into the details.

Video Streaming Basics

Video streaming allows viewers to watch videos on their devices compatible with the Internet connection without downloading. Videos are transmitted in small chunks uploading a little bit at a time and not storing data on the device.

After a user requests your service to play a video, it starts transmitting from a server where a video is cached and stored. The server transfers a video in chunks to a video player on a user’s device, which receives and interprets it.

During the video streaming process, the UDP (User Datagram Protocol) is leveraged. It is way faster than TCP (Transfer Control Protocol). A streaming protocol is developed to be resistant to data loss, although some packets are lost occasionally. During video playback, the image quality might degrade or be skipped.

Another essential concept is buffering. It is when video packets are loading a little ahead before actual playback. Due to buffering, viewers watch videos smoothly. However, it can take longer if the connection is slow or unstable.

Factors That Influence the Speed of Video Streaming

The following factors can negatively influence the performance of video streaming:

  • Network issues – the user might have a slow internet connection, which impacts video loading.
  • Latencies and network congestion – it can take a long time for a user’s device to receive a video from a server because the connection is clogged up.
  • Receiving device – it should have a particular processing power to load a video.
  • Bandwidth – not enough bandwidth results in slowing down the stream.

3 Approaches to Stream Videos to Users’ Devices

#1 Progressive download

When the progressive download is used for video streaming, the video is transmitted over HTTP like a download. It starts playing only when enough data has been downloaded. After the playback starts, the downloading happens in the background.

When this approach is used, a user typically needs to wait a little for the beginning of playback. Also, they cannot skip some parts of the video or rewind in case the video hasn’t finished downloading.

#2 Single-bitrate streaming protocol

Developers created some protocols specifically for video streaming: for example, Real-Time Streaming Protocol. It requires leveraging a streaming server and a player on a user’s device.

With such protocols, it is possible to deliver videos in chunks and skip ahead to watch other scenes.

#3 Adaptive bitrate streaming

Adaptive bitrate streaming is a more advanced method of delivering videos to viewers.

The internet connection on the client side can be unstable and change, influencing the speed of delivery. It means that the bandwidth also changes. When insufficient, the data cannot be transmitted fast enough to keep pace with the playback. So, the video stops to buffer.

An adaptive bitrate streaming can be used to decrease interruptions. With its help, the video quality will be adjusted to the highest possible, taking into account the current bitrate and bandwidth.

CDN Can Improve Streaming

A CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a network of dedicated servers distributed geographically around the world. You can have an origin server and multiple edge servers that store your cached content. The key point is that a video will be delivered to a viewer from a server located closer to them. As a result, the video streaming process has largely improved, allowing you seamlessly provide, for example, Albanian viewers in Europe with kanale shqip.

Moreover, you receive some other benefits. For example, a OTT CDN will draw more resources during hours of increased traffic on your service and decrease resources when necessary. It also provides security against DDoS attacks.

Drawing the Line

When running a video streaming service, you should be prepared for potential technical issues that might occur. They may influence the quality of experience your audience gets. The possible outcome is customer loss if you don’t troubleshoot in time.