Optimizing Your Network for Video Streaming: the Basics
Delivering HD-quality video to a global audience puts demands on enterprise networks. You need to ensure that all your internal and external viewers have a quality experience, regardless of the device they use to watch your webcast or webinar, without disrupting mission-critical business on your corporate network. To do this, you need to ensure your network is optimized for delivering video streaming content.
Here are a few technologies to look for in your webcasting platform. They help to optimize video streaming on your network and ensure that your audience always has a quality viewing experience.
Adaptive Bit Rate
With adaptive bit rate streaming, your video or webcast player can detect the amount of available bandwidth a user has and then adjust the video quality accordingly. Even users on a congested network or a lower-speed connection will get the best viewing experience possible. Buffering and video freezing is minimized.
If your network is already set up for multicast, some webcasting platforms can stream to the multicast source in your network, so users don’t need to connect to the Internet to view your video webcast. They can watch it on your internal multicast network instead.
This form of caching minimizes the load on your network. When multiple users are requesting the same video download but from different offices, for example, the users’ queries will go to a local cache box, or node on the network. If the video is present in the cache box, it’s delivered to the users. If it isn’t present, the request goes to the main server. Each file is transferred only once between the main server and the office cache box, no matter how many times the file is requested in the future.
Efficient Distribution and Performance Metrics
If you’re using a webcasting platform, such as Convey, encoded video streams are transmitted to a content delivery network (CDN), which is a system of distributed servers that sends streams, webpages, and other content to end users based on their geographic location. This approach ensures that the content is streamed through servers located closest to the viewers, reducing buffering time and stops and starts.
Additionally, you should look for a webcasting platform that enables you to see how video streams are performing on your network. This data is invaluable to monitor network performance in real time and also to improve viewing experience at individual locations in the future.