Even with a lightning-fast internet connection, you’ve likely experienced re-buffering – whether in the form of total stoppage or a transition from high to low quality – in the recent past. Sure, streaming technology is improving, but at the same time there are more households with smart TVs consuming content on Netflix and Hulu. Couple that with multiple devices in the same household connected to broadband, and the result is bandwidth issues.
In comes Giraffic, a Tel Aviv-based company that has pioneered “Adaptive Video Acceleration” (AVA), technology designed to eliminate re-buffering issues. Samsung will incorporate the technology in its 2014 smart TV and BlueRay player lineup. AVA accelerates content that is streamed or downloaded to the device’s native video player without any further integration or implementation required by the content provider. “Rather than relying on a single stream,” Giraffic CEO and Founder Yoel Zanger tells Lost Remote, “Giraffic’s AVA requests multiple data sessions from the content servers for smaller pieces of a video stream, then stitches them all back together for seamless playback.”
We spoke with Zanger about how AVA works, what viewers with AVA-equipped devices will notice, and why re-buffering and suboptimal resolution is a persistent problem.
Lost Remote: How exactly does Giraffic’sAdaptive Video Acceleration technology work?
Zanger: Giraffic’s Adaptive Video Acceleration (AVA) technology outsmarts Internet limitations in order to increase throughput for faster and smoother video streaming. AVA virtually eliminates buffering for a reliable, high quality streaming media experience over any Internet connection.
Rather than relying on a single stream, Giraffic’s AVA requests multiple data sessions from the content servers for smaller pieces of a video stream, then stitches them all back together for seamless playback.
To illustrate, let’s say you queued up a movie on Hulu. When you press play, AVA immediately starts analyzing the data that is being received from Hulu’s video server and how reliable or jumpy that stream is, and then starts requesting not just one http request for that video, but several smaller fragments of that – all for the same video stream. With several streams going, AVA will take bits and pieces of each one dynamically, depending on how reliable and fast those sub-streams are. It then puts all the pieces in order and serves up the video to the viewer.
LR: What will viewers at home actually notice when AVA technology is being used?
Zanger: Testing by Samsung and other major device manufacturers have shown the near total elimination of rebuffing. Viewers of OTT services will receive more reliable quality of service (QoS) meaning: more consistent viewing quality without jumps from hi to low resolution, and also viewers may see a higher quality stream (1080 vs 720), offering true HD playback. AVA is also an enabler of 4K (UHD) streaming, which requires not only extremely fast Internet connectivity, but a reliable throughput of bandwidth during the entire duration of the movie playback.
LR: Why has re-buffering and suboptimal resolution been persistent problems for so long?
Zanger: Though Internet infrastructure is constantly improving, at the same time video consumption and the video streaming quality is increasing at a much higher rate. As a result, the congestion on the Internet is getting more severe because of this huge growth in consumption. Additionally, with the rise in popularity of streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu, consumers are watching even more TV and movies over the Internet. In fact, according to Cisco, over 60 percent of the total Internet bandwidth today is video alone.