Video Quality of Service (QoS) Improving but 4K Video is Still a Long Way Off
Security, Bandwidth, and QoS Challenges in the Way of 4K Video Adoption
With streaming media, the Internet distance doesn’t equal geographic distance. Whether on the public Internet, a private intranet, or a local area network, the distance between two physical points is rarely a network straight line. Thus, geographical mileage is only one component of distance, but often not the most important one.
In 2013, the average Internet distance between a requesting user’s location and the content’s stored location was between and network connection hops. International connections can take significantly more hops. At any network hop, traffic could be slowed down, held up, or stopped altogether. With static content, variability is not much of a problem. Assuming the information is available either at the primary location or elsewhere, Internet protocols will re-request the missing information until it is fulfilled or until a certain amount of time elapses. There may be a delay, but the content gets through.
Streaming media is not as tolerant of network delays as static content, primarily because the overriding qualification for streaming delivery is not speed of download. A 30-minute video cannot be viewed in twenty minutes. Instead, streaming media requires constant bandwidth availability and consistent connection reliability during transmission. There are five areas where providers of technologies and services have improved the capability for delivering streaming media, but more work is still required.
Higher Content Quality: Content owners must balance playback quality with delivery costs and performance constraints. New codecs such as High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) are allowing content owners to do more with less, but there is still a long way to go before the bit rate, frame size, and other aspects of playback are able to support 4K.
Better Servers in the First Mile: Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and content providers increase the serving rate and simultaneous user capacity of their servers or supplement their networks with streaming-capable caches to meet the volume of incoming streaming requests. But 4K requires 5–6 times the current average bitrate, which will require a lot more hardware.
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