TV Quality TV Quality

Both Live and On Demand video delivery over the Internet today is viewed on high resolution devices. HD TV’s, Tablets, PC’s and phones all have high resolution screens. When standard definition or “web quality” content is delivered to High Definition devices, the visual experience is poor, so audiences tune away. The quality is not good enough for consumers to pay for or watch for any lengthy duration. The impact is significant for ad based business models, and less sticky business models for subscription services.

Fixing this problem is the cornerstone of the Octoshape innovations, and the reason why Octoshape can power profitable media experiences on the Internet.

Octoshape uses a patented transport technology to overcome these challenges on the Internet. This technology provides:

  • The highest quality video achievable on best effort broadband or mobile networks
  • Sustained quality throughout the viewing experience, rather than shifting up and down
  • Global reach, without the need for server infrastructure in country or near the consumer

This chart represents actual client data demonstrating the results against the largest content delivery deployments in the world.

What is the problem?

The fundamental problem is a bottleneck in the primary transport technology for traditional streaming solutions. All traditional video delivery technologies (RTMP, HLS, HDS, Smooth Streaming) all use TCP as their base transport protocol.

TCP by design has aggressive throughput back off mechanisms in place to ensure the end user receives data reliably. In laymen’s terms, it sacrifices video quality for reliability. The job of TCP is to make sure every piece of data is received, but it is not designed to sustain a given bit rate (which directly translates to video quality). In this way it is not well suited to deliver video over the Internet. With TCP the throughput (or bit rate) you get out of a given connection between the user and the video server is not governed only by the speed of that connection, but more so by the distance the user is away from the server, and the packet loss or congestion that is occurring on the Internet.

For instance, you may have a 10 Mbps Internet connection, but have difficulty sustaining a 500kbps video stream. With TCP, the data throughput through your Internet connection looks a bit like an hourglass, sometimes having high throughput, and sometimes not. When there is no packet loss and servers are close, throughput is high. As soon as any packet loss or congestion occurs TCP backs off aggressively to make sure you get every piece of data. The trade off is it also sends you less data, until it determines that the connection has cleared.

Below is a picture of what this looks like:

Adaptive bit rate was created as a workaround for this deficiency in TCP. This explains why HTTP or TCP based technologies are so dependent on Adaptive bit rate technologies. Since TCP cannot sustain the throughput required for a uninterrupted viewing experience in high resolution, traditional technologies need to shift bit rates every few seconds to match the highs and lows of throughput over the Internet.

What is the solution?

Octoshape has created a distribution technology using another standard Internet transport (UDP), that is not subject to the same quality issues. Our UDP implementation is designed specifically for sustaining high quality video delivery. To replace the reliability characteristics of TCP, Octoshape has implemented patented resilient coding schemes in the data that ensure the video is received at the end user. The Octoshape technology is designed to facilitate this resiliency without sacrificing the video quality, making it superior to any traditional video delivery technology on the Internet.

Insanely technical innovation, in a simple elegant implementation.