low latency video streaming platform

How To Improve Your Low Latency in Video Streaming? (Quick Tips)

Learn More About Video Streaming

You might be wondering what does the term latency mean? In layman’s terms, low latency video is the time delay between input and output, also known as lagging. In short, latency is the culprit when a game is on and you hear your neighbor cheer for a boundary while you’re still waiting for the player to hit the ball. 

In other words, we can say that latency is responsible for those three awkward seconds when a reporter on the scene stares into the camera before answering the anchor’s question. That said, latency can vary and low-latency networks can reduce this delay to a much greater extent. 


“If your audience frequently watches live video content, then latency can have a significant impact on their video viewing experience.”


Ultra low latency video streaming is especially important in interactive live video streaming platform as high latency can have a significant impact on end users’ experience. In fact, low latency has become a major selling point in an increasingly competitive market. 

Providing a low latency streaming platform to your audience has become an essential strategy for staying ahead of the competition. With that being said, let’s dive into what low latency video streaming is and how low-latency video streaming services could actually help any online video platform in the long run.

So, let us get started!!!

What is Low Latency Video Streaming?

ultra low latency streaming

Low latency streaming is when your audiences are able to watch the live streaming within five seconds. Yes! You heard right. The live-streamed video reaches your viewers in less than five seconds; if it is in the case of conferencing, the latency is near real-time, thanks to the development in technology. 

Quality can be 4k or HD, but if the video is delivered to your audience later, it may cause issues. The importance of balancing quality and latency cannot be overstated. Whether it’s screen-to-screen interactions, interactive streaming, remote operations with video streams, online video gaming, or video calling, keeping latency low is unquestionably important in today’s technological world. 

Among the several video streaming service providers, only a handful of top OTT platform providers are able to deliver absolute low latency video streaming to their desired audience. 

 
Want To Build a Low Latency Video Streaming Platform For Your Business

Why Is Video Latency An Issue? 

When it comes to video-on-demand, latency is not an issue, but when it comes to real-time communication or live streaming, this delay becomes problematic. Virtual events, online education, webinars, and all-hands meetings all require as close to real-time video streaming with low latency. 

According to ABI research, live streaming will grow 10% to 91 million subscribers by 2024. Despite this, many OTT platform providers looking to enter the live streaming market face latency challenges. The good news is that some of the top OTT platform providers make the most of cutting-edge technologies to provide the audience with the lowest latency video streaming possible.

How Does Low-Latency Streaming Work?

Now that you understand what low latency is and why it is critical for any online video streaming platform, you may be wondering how you can deliver lightning-fast streams with the lowest possible video latency.

Low-latency video streaming, like most things in life, has tradeoffs. To find the right mix for you, you must balance three factors:

  • The efficiency of encoding and device/player compatibility.
  • Geographic distribution and audience size.
  • Video complexity and resolution.

To be frank, the streaming protocol you select has a significant impact, so let’s look into that.

A streaming protocol is a set of rules that defines how data communicates across the Internet from one device or system to another. The method of segmenting a video stream into smaller chunks for easier transmission was standardized by video streaming protocols

Businesses all over the globe are confident that HTTP-based Low or Ultra Low Latency streaming protocols will ultimately triumph in this battle. The reasons are quite simple: these protocols require much less work to implement in legacy infrastructure, benefit from more support across devices and browsers, scale more easily than WebRTC, and can be adopted by a greater number of companies due to lower licensing fees. 

This is why we developed an end-to-end HLS video player capable of providing an unparalleled low latency video streaming experience. We believe that, in the not-too-distant future, HLS will be the single streaming protocol capable of meeting all video streaming use cases.

Also read – How adaptive bitrate streaming optimized for user experience? 

What Causes Low Latency In Video Streaming?

low latency video streaming

Latency is caused not only by the speed with which a signal travels from point A to point B, but also by the time it takes to process video from raw camera input to encoded and decoded video streams. Depending on your delivery chain and the number of video processing steps involved, a variety of factors can contribute to video latency. While these delays may seem insignificant on their own but they quickly add up. Some of the main causes of latency are described in the below section. Do check it out. 

1. Poor Internet Connection:

When it comes to video latency, one of the most common causes could be a poor internet connection. If the connection is slow or unstable, the video may tend to lag or buffer, ruining the overall video experience. 

2. Low-Quality Hardware:

Another potential source of latency could be due to faulty hardware. This includes a video camera, encoder, and decoder. If any of these components is underpowered, latency occurs, making real-time video streaming difficult to enjoy.

3. Weak Encoding Process:

The encoding process is in charge of compressing video data in order to send video signals over the internet. If this process is not carried out correctly, video quality may suffer and latency may increase exponentially. 

4. Distance:

The distance between the audience and the video source can also have an impact on the overall latency. The greater the distance, the longer it will take for the signal to reach the viewer. As a result, streaming video from another country usually gets delayed to some extent.

5. Server Load:

The server load is directly proportional to the number of users watching the video, which can have a greater impact on the overall latency. In layman’s terms, if the video lags during a live match, it means that the server is overloaded.

6. Streaming Protocol Issues: 

The streaming protocol can also cause video latency. Delays may occur if the streaming protocol is not optimized for dynamic adaptive streaming.

7. CDN Issues:

A video content delivery network (CDN) is a computer system that delivers content to viewers. High latency video streaming can be caused by a malfunctioning CDN. For best results, it is recommended to use the best CDNs for video streaming.

How Does Latency Affect Streaming Video Platform?

When the time it takes for a video to reach its audience and be received back at the other end is longer, the overall quality of the streaming output suffers. If you are a true cricket fan who enjoys watching the game while it is being played on a ground thousands of kms away, you will be disappointed when the final results are streamed minutes after the event has occurred. 

low latency streaming

Similarly, your viewers do expect a glass-to-glass experience when they watch your live stream. Some of the common causes of latency in video streaming are given in the following section. 

1. Synchronizing:

High latency can cause the video and audio to be out of sync, which is one of the most common problems. This is due to the fact that audio signals travel faster than video signals. As a result, the audio frequently precedes the video, which can cause issues with lip-syncing and real-time video streaming.

2. Buffering:

Another common issue is that latency can cause the video to buffer or pause while it loads. Viewers may become irritated as they wait for the video to catch up. Most of the time, the audience may leave the video in the middle and never return to it.

3. Low Video Quality:

In some cases, latency can degrade the overall video quality. This is due to the video signal being compressed more than necessary to reduce latency. As it turns out, the video may appear pixelated or blurry. 

4. Rewind And Fast-Forwarding:

Latency can also make it difficult to rewind or fast-forward through a video. This is due to the fact that the video data must return to the viewer before proceeding.


Data Speaks More Than Anything – According to a recent study, the majority of video streams still lag behind cable broadcasts in terms of delivery speed, which is unfortunate. On the other hand, some of the top OTT streaming solution providers offer a crystal-clear glass-to-glass experience with noticeably lower latency, which is great news for streamers who want to keep their audience cheering.


How To Overcome Low Latency Video Streaming? 

video latency

There are several methods for reducing video latency without sacrificing much on the picture quality. The first step is to select a hardware encoder and decoder combination designed to minimize latency, even when using a standard internet connection. 

The most recent generation of video encoders and decoders can maintain low latency (as low as 50ms in some cases) and enough processing power to use HEVC to compress video to extremely low bitrates (as low as 3 Mbps) while maintaining high picture quality.

How to Choose the Right Low Latency Streaming Service for Your Needs?

Now that you have a better understanding of low-latency video streaming, you need to select a suitable low latency streaming platform, taking into consideration the protocols that they support.

1. Standard Video Latency (+20 seconds)

If high latency won’t degrade your audience’s streaming experience, then use standard HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) or DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) protocols. These protocols are excellent for VOD or live events with large audiences who do not interact much. Also, this type of streaming allows for HD or 4K video quality at a massive scale.

2. Reduced Video Latency (20-5 seconds)

By optimizing your streaming chain, you can further reduce your standard latency (HLS or DASH protocols) to under 20 seconds. You’ll get closer to the 5-second mark if you use RTMP (Real Time Messaging Protocol). Above all, look for tuned HLS or DASH protocols for time-sensitive streams that do not allow audience interaction.

3. Low Latency Video (5-1 seconds)

To further reduce latency, multiple solutions must be added and combined. Low-latency video streaming protocols include LLHLS, LLDASH, SRT, and RTP/RTSP. Great for any stream that needs to match cable TV’s 5-second content delivery.

4. Near-Real-Time Or Ultra-Low Video Latency (-1 second)

Ultra-low video latency is considered to be real-time video streaming, which means there will be no longer any delay. If you want to deliver competitive live streams with sub-second latency, you’ll require WebRTC (or web real-time communication). This is essential in situations requiring two-way communication, such as online meetings and virtual classrooms. 

To Sum Up 

Low latency video streaming is an important factor that can help you on multiple levels, from providing a better customer experience to increasing customer engagement. At the same time, this is frequently overlooked by most streaming companies, particularly new entrants. A buffer-free streaming experience is one of the most important factors to consider if you want your video streaming business to be successful in the long run.

Customers always want the best service, and their expectations are constantly rising. To be frank, we all expect lightning-fast load times and smooth video playback when streaming on-demand videos. What may be less obvious is that, whether we realize it or not, that expectation from the end user is gradually transferring to real-time video communication and live streaming applications as well.

VPlayed is obsessed with providing the best developer and viewer experience for the end user. So it’s no surprise that we spend a lot of time thinking about and staying current on video protocol development in order to provide business owners with the best video on-demand solutions and ultra low latency video streaming platform.

“Get ready to deliver ultra low latency video streaming with your own customized OTT platform”

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. What Is Video Streaming Latency, and Why Does It Matter for Users?

Video streaming latency is the delay between the produced content and when it reaches the viewer. Lower latency is crucial for users as it ensures real-time interactions, reduces buffering, and enhances the overall streaming experience.

2. Why Is Low Latency Important for Video Streaming?

Low latency is vital as it minimizes delays, providing users with a more responsive and engaging viewing experience. It is especially important to stream live events and interactive content.

3. How Can I Reduce Latency in Video Streaming?

To reduce latency in video streaming, you can employ advanced video codecs, optimize encoding parameters, and strategically utilize Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). In addition, implementing chunked streaming, where content is divided into smaller segments, and adopting protocols like WebRTC, designed for real-time communication, can contribute to reduced latency and a more responsive streaming experience.

4. What Are the Primary Factors Contributing to High Latency in Video Streaming?

High latency often stems from encoding delays during content production, network congestion leading to slower data transfer, inefficient streaming protocols causing delays in content delivery, and excessive buffering as a result of inadequate bandwidth.

5. How Does Low Latency Benefit Video Streaming Experiences?

Low latency leads to immediate content delivery, reducing buffering and enabling seamless interactions. In other words, it is ideal for live events, gaming, and other applications where real-time engagement is essential.

Brindalakshmi Rajkumar is a blogger & digital marketer. I'm enthusiastic about learning about new advancements in the video streaming services & online video platform in the market. I collaborate with various organizations and help analyze their competitors to provide them with better strategies to improve and keep their businesses up to date.

16 Comments

  1. Matthias Urner Reply

    Hello Vplayed, we’re planning to develop a platform capable of hosting multiple live streams with low latency streaming technology, alongside an integrated payment system. I’m seeking information on the budget required to create an online video platform with these features, as well as comprehensive details on what the process entails.

  2. Wendell Mccormick Reply

    Hi, If we could get low latency live streaming, it would be a bonus, though it’s not mandatory. We are also harvesting the livestream to create a library of VOD videos archiving the classes broadcast from the studio. Additionally, we have a separate (and soon-to-be very large) library of third party VOD content that needs to be transcoded into HLS so it can be adaptively streamed on-demand to the equipment. We are using a combination of AWS MediaLive, MediaPackage, MediaStore, CloudFront, and Elastic Transcoder to achieve this result. It works, but as I said before, we’d like something that our stakeholders could more easily use, and we lack the resources at this time to create a full video appliance or platform for their use. So, given this information, could we replicate this setup? And if so, what are the technical and financial details?

  3. Danielle Leonard Reply

    We have a video conference solution focused on low latency video streaming. Our focus is on musicians creating content and we are looking for a white-label live-streaming solution such as yours.

  4. Willard Powers Reply

    Hi, Looking to build a live-stream gaming platform. Live stream capabilities will need to include multiplexing, ad-insertions,ultra low latency video streaming, and data analytics. Streams begin from mobile devices and are delivered to other mobile devices, and desktops. I am looking to build a long-term partnership with a streaming service.

  5. Kristina Ward Reply

    Seeking Low latency platform, VOD, 17000 viewer hours per month, multi-language translation, english to “X”. Clients use polling in their presentations, so a 10sec or less latency is a must.

  6. Guadalupe Barber Reply

    Hello, we are looking for a low latency streaming for HTML5 player for live streams that we encode ourselves to Hls and RTMP. Could you please tell us if your Player product is compatible with a setup like that where we would plug in an HLS manifest or a list of RTMP streams? Or does your player have to be used together with your own Encoding solution? In either case, please also let us know what kind of best case latency we can expect with your Web Player?

  7. Lila Garrett Reply

    Good morning, I am currently looking into streaming services for live events as a backup/redundancy/potential replacement for our current provider. As such I have a few questions about the VPlayed service: – Do you offer RTMPS? – Do you also offer CDN services? Can we use another CDN service if required? – Do you offer ultra low latency streaming (low: 2-3sec; ultra-low: ~0.5sec) – Can DVR function (viewers can skip back, start late, etc) be disabled if needed for certain events? Will a recording of the stream be available if DVR is off? – Can the stream be embedded (ideally in an iframe)? Embed code straight into our webapp? – What is the maximum resolution? – Can we stream from Zoom Thanks in advance for your time. I prefer to communicate via email. Kind regards,

  8. Erika Stevens Reply

    Hey there, I want to know the budget to create a online video platform with low latency streaming protocol, and to know all details

  9. Ella Owens Reply

    Hi, I’m want to launch Gary V’s streaming service. We are looking for a low latency streaming platform with high usage, subscription model capabilities, and live streaming options.

  10. Candice Grant Reply

    HI, I contacted you over a week ago regarding whether you can use Amazon S3 stored video to create a streaming site on your platform based on online video platform and know what is low latency. I haven’t heard anything. We have over 2500 videos as purchasable downloads and we are exploring going into subscription streaming. Our site is gmvbodybuilding.com. Please let me know whether you can support S3 or not.

  11. Priscilla Dennis Reply

    Hello, Can please help me to start a streaming service with low latency video streaming and send me the quote

  12. Kristopher Reed Reply

    Hi, We own a best online video platforms entitled AFRICAN DIASPORA NETWORK TV (ADN-TV). We are looking to replace our current OTT service provider with a low latency streaming who can locate advertisers for our FAST & AVOD channels and has unlimited storage capability at an affordable price.

  13. Ed Lloyd Reply

    Hi, we require ultra low latency solutions( ~7sec) for our events live streaming. Is it possible & may I know the cost

  14. Cassandra Franklin Reply

    Hello, I am a software architect at Johnson Health Tech, one of the world’s largest exercise equipment manufacturers. We are currently creating a Peloton-inspired brand of fitness equipment with integrated video streaming. I created a prototype video platform for us using the AWS media services, but we’re interested in a turnkey solution because it’s easier for non-technical stakeholders to use and evaluate. I’ve been reaching out to other players in this space like Dacast and Brightcove, but I was pleased with that I saw on your website, so I wanted to reach to you, as well. We are streaming RTMP push out of a studio in Taipei, and encoding it into HLS for broadcast to the equipment because we need adaptive bitrate streaming. I tuned the HLS to be as fast as I could get, but it’s not and I would like to know what is video latency & how it works.

  15. Miguel Nash Reply

    HI,we are looking for a low latency video platform to host our live shopping website and application. We intend to sell products through live streams. How it works is that individual streamers, as well as brands, are able to connect to our live stream and stream their products and content to customers. Customers can then purchase the products if they are satisfied with what they have seen.

  16. Owen Hernandez Reply

    Hi, We want our platform to be able to host multiple live streams at a low latency streaming service as well as have an integrated payment service. We have estimated that within a year, there would be over a million combined users and sellers.

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