HLS Streaming and Its Importance

HLS Streaming and Its Importance

What do you know about HLS streaming and its importance?

If you wish to stream content to mobile devices then you will need to have the HLS protocol. Since mobile devices make up close to one-half of all internet usage, the HLS protocol is necessary to reach all of these users. So now we ask what the HLS protocol is. The acronym stands for HTTP Live Streaming and with it, you can reach your internet audience using their mobile devices to access your content. Your users will also be able to connect with you when they use any other means that accepts HLS.

HLS comes with fast speeds, low latency, and widespread acceptance. But you will need a bit of technical know-how (or a good third-party vendor) to ensure that your streams make it from your camera to your viewers. 

Using the HLS protocol your video content gets compressed then it is chopped up into pieces that are then transmitted over HTTP. HLS then takes all of this and combines it into the content the viewer can use to watch a steady stream of video content. HLS utilizes video and audio compression to send your content, after cutting it into segments, that would last around 10 to 15 seconds. This is streamed using the MPEG-TS container format into manifest files that were created and served by the HTTP server which keeps these files in order so that the viewer has a consistency that allows them to watch in a logical order.

Following So Far?

We will dig into the real basis of HLS streaming and the coding environment it requires. 

HLS streaming relies on two types of software:

Encoders: Input comes from a camera, and encoders transform it into video files and audio files. That data is output into a MPEG file or transport stream. 

Hosting platforms: These systems accept encoded video, and the platform segments data and places it on a server. 

In a typical process, HLS streaming involves:

  • Input: A camera takes both audio and video files and then sends them to the encoder.
  • Encoding: The encoder transforms the input into HEVC video and AC-3 audio.
  • Output: A MPEG-4 file or MPEG-2 transport stream outputs the data.
  • Segmenting: A tool breaks the stream into short media files and places them on the server.
  • Indexing: The segmenting tool maintains a list of the media files.
  • Publishing: The URL of the index file is published, and then the client software can access it.
  • Access: Viewers tap into the feed and see all the files in order, with no gaps.

HLS Streaming Creation

Apple created the HLS format and many people were suspicious of it. They were not sure why they needed a new video transmission format when what they were using seemed to be working well for them. Some devices would not utilize their current programs and only certain people could use their streamed video content. Attitudes changed rather quickly and once many people began using the new HLS, people using both IOS and android easily accessed and enjoyed the content.

Mozilla now states that there is only one browser that rejects this format out of around 20 different browsers. That one is Opera 20+. Aside from the single non-accepting browser, everyone else will enjoy your content on their choice of browser. Those using the HLS format can easily share videos. The list includes things like video games or live events such as sporting events or even your kid’s backyard birthday party.

The benefits of HLS video 

Widespread acceptance: If you want to ensure that your video can be seen on as many devices as possible with few hitches, HLS video is a good choice. 

aResponsive delivery. If your user hits a spot with low connectivity, the HLS streaming protocol will adjust. The film keeps moving, but the quality downgrades a bit. When the user gets back to a strong signal, the reverse happens. Your user doesn’t need to do anything to stay connected. 

Plenty of perks. The HLS protocol includes support for closed captions, paid to advertise, and synchronized playback of multiple streams. 

All of this is great for any business use. You can reach a large audience easily, and your program can include paid advertising to support what you are doing. 

No longer do people need to rely upon cable networks that can only be used in a single location. With HLS in place, your audience can be virtually anywhere and still get what you are streaming.

Help Is At Hand

As it was mentioned above, unless you are truly savvy with this type of video streaming, then you need some professional assistance. That assistance should come from Johnston Howse. This is a firm that is shaking up the streaming industry who do not keep up on every change possible to streaming. Johnston Howse has a staff who is very adept at setting up your network and keeping it up to date.

Finally, whatever type of streaming you intend to do with your new streaming network, call upon the leaders of the industry. Johnston Howse can help and guide you along the way to your successful streaming.