How to Stream Videos without buffering using HLS protocol?

Published On February 16th, 2023 5863How To

These modern days are filled with instant entertainment where we watch movies endlessly on the go. The development in technology is urging to discover new upgrades in the streaming trend.

As we all are aware of a video streaming website or application that stream videos without any issue such as a buffer-free online video streaming platform that demands high-grade technology.

A live streaming app or website requires pretty good technology that backups the entire VOD platform. Thus, HTTP Live streaming protocol is the top-rated streaming protocol that has been used in major Live streaming and OTT platforms such as Netflix, Hotstar, and Amazon Prime.

So, here comes a live video streaming solution for broadcasters, online tutors, enterprises, and others to stream video content across the globe without any buffering. And now you have come to your final take on which technology performs behind buffer-free video streaming on websites.

Let us dig deeper into the HTTP live streaming (HLS) protocol to have a clear and insightful understanding of it.

What is HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) Protocol?

HTTP Live streaming (also known as HLS) protocol is an adaptive bitrate streaming communication protocol which was first implemented by Apple Inc. The video format which is obtained from HLS is m3u8.

Advantages of Hls Live Streaming

  1. HLS offers adaptive streaming technology which is the best protocol for watching a video without buffering.
  2. This provides streaming of content as on-demand (VoD) and also stream the content in live.
  3. Prevent unauthorized access and privacy of the video can be optimized by DRM solutions.
  4. Addition of multiple audio and subtitles in single video content is also possible.
  5. Insightful analytics can also be added to examine the growth of video content.
  6. To reap profits from every view, video monetization platform features help to excel in your video streaming business.

The Working of Hls Protocol

At foremost, a video is been uploaded to a server which is of any format such as mkv, mp4, .mov, 3GP and much more. The entire video is been transcoded to m3u8 and stored in several cloud infrastructure such as AWS, Azure & so on.

The uploaded video will be converted into chunks based on the bit-rate which is demanded by the users. The video content will be transcoded into the respective format which is been assigned by the user.

HLS workflow

Further, the HLS URL contains a set of URL based on bitrate called a Playlist. At initial, one of the URL from the playlist is been loaded and played a fraction of seconds which contains a set of break down streams so-called .ts file.

The client is then responsible for requesting the appropriate playlist depending on the available bandwidth. It works by breaking down streams or video assets into several small MPEG2-TS files (video chunks) of varying bit rates and set duration using a stream or file segmenter. One such segmenter implementation is provided by Apple.

The segmenter is also responsible for producing a set of index files in the M3U8 format which acts as a playlist file for the video chunks. Each playlist pertains to a given bitrate level and contains the relative or absolute URLs to the chunks with the relevant bitrate.

What is HLS Adaptive Streaming

Adaptive bitrate streaming is a technique for dynamically optimizing the compression level and content quality by delivering the best quality of video to any specific user. The ABS matches to the bandwidth available at the user’s end in order to deliver the quality the user demands.

Reason to Choose Hls Adaptive Streaming

  1. Network issue is very commendable.
  2. Screen issue is not seen.
  3. Buffer-free streaming of video content.
  4. Diverse supported platforms.

Logics of Hls Adaptive Streaming

On considering the master playlist that contains file. The master file is mapped with a playlist file which represents like below section.

hls ts file format

When there occurs network change, this will lead to slow down the network. Once the issue is detected, the playlist is changed based on network speed automatically according to the bandwidth. This, in fact, results in playing the video in a buffer-free mode and changes been made in the quality of the video as per the users wish.

hls video format playlist creation


Adaptive bitrate streaming is being the single most important factor in delivering the optimum quality to the viewers. However, the entire technologies are not created in a way that is equal but the HLS protocol fits into all the online video streaming players to offer buffer-free streaming to the devices you need.

Sundar Krishnamorthy

Hi I'm Sundar. Interested in digging deep into business management tools and IPTV media technologies. Love to blog, discuss and share views on business management tips and tricks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Request Demo
Request Demo