How to win the streaming war

Content, but not without a state-of-the-art player

How to win the streaming war

Content, but not without a state-of-the-art player

In recent years we’ve seen a fast expansion of streaming providers trying to get into the market and win their subscribers’ share. There is literally a war on the market with each provider finding creative ways to attract the viewing audience to their platform. The methods range from offering attractive subscription packages to expanding on different multimedia devices (smart TVs, Set-Top boxes, handheld devices, gaming consoles), to offering attractive and exclusive content available only on their streaming platform. That content makes a turning point for an average user to subscribe to a specific content publisher. Content is the X factor of the modern streaming era!

However, that comes with a price, and the subscribers are paying it. Managing all the subscriptions with different streaming services and cost optimization of monthly/yearly subscriptions (there are many attractive streaming providers out there), is a challenge to a modern user. Content aggregation is where traditional TV operators can step in. They are in a position to aggregate content from various publishers, freeing the end user from subscription to multiple services, and helping them significantly reduce monthly costs and manage content from dozen of publishers’ apps.
In today’s fast-paced world, the TV operator’s focus should be on keeping up with the needs of their customers. They should also follow trends and offer their services on a wide pallet of multimedia devices which need to be equipped with a multimedia player of great scalability, high performance, rock solid stability, and a powerful AV quality user-experience.

State-of-the-art multimedia player technology

Here we reference to a developed powerful multiscreen multimedia player of the new generation that runs on any modern platform available on the market. The player runs on Android and Linux based devices, smart TVs, Apple products, VR glasses and even in a car with modern infotainment system.
Yes, our player engine runs on any system and it looks awesome!

Five key principles defined and followed through:

  1. Cross-platform engine and wide multimedia devices coverage
  2. Stability delivering a great user experience
  3. AV quality to ensure best viewing experience
  4. Robustness of the solution
  5. Continuous learning principle

Over 10 years of experience and knowledge gathered from use cases all over the globe are incorporated in this new gen player software. With a clear mission to follow the mentioned five principles, the developed multimedia player is becoming a state-of-the-art customizable solution providing the best-in-class user experience targeted to meet the customer’s needs.

The core of the player engine is implemented in C++ programming language. This allows for platform independence and adaptability to a pallet ranging from old legacy Linux based STBs to modern products such as iPhones, VR glasses, and cars. The multimedia player is architected as a modern, lightweight, streaming protocol adaptable engine that generates the same user-experience on all platforms. Newly developed features and functionalities are becoming automatically available on all platforms (respecting the platform’s physical limitation), providing the customers with deployments on multiple devices to immediately benefit the newly developed player extension and deploy it in parallel on their subscribers’ base.
The platform specific integration layers are implemented using native technologies and programming languages for a given platform.

The player engine is designed so that it can easily be extended to support new streaming protocols (either internal or external to the player). Beside most popular streaming protocols (like DASH, HLS, MSS, File protocol), the interfaces are exposed for external feeding, allowing for customer proprietary streaming protocol implementations to be hidden from the player.

A powerful subtitling engine implemented in C++ is connected with the player for parsing and rendering of different subtitling formats and types for various worldwide regions.
ABR algorithms used for adaptions strategy are carefully developed to satisfy different user viewing experiences trying to force the streaming protocols to consume the highest available layers/representations. The player comes with a number of predefined adaptation strategies. Furthermore, the domain experts are on disposal to work with customers and find an optimal adaptation, retry and timeout strategies for given unmanaged network conditions.

The multimedia player platform integration packages are designed to provide detailed instructions, source code examples, code snippets, sequence diagrams and more, to ensure smooth integration process, in case our engineering is not directly performing the integration.

A powerful advantage of the developed multimedia player solution is the support for the old Linux and RTOS based devices. The player represents a bridge between the two worlds enabling modern streaming protocols and technologies to run on a legacy hardware, giving a “new life” to the old hardware and extending their lifetime. In a time of a global crisis with lack of hardware components and huge lead times, TV operators find this possibility very important. Integration of the player on legacy hardware saves (dozens of) millions of dollars for hardware replacement.

The future

Engineering team developing the player is composed of architects and engineers with very strong background in AV pipe, platform/HW level experience, integration skillset, deep OS knowledge and DRM system integration. The player integration experience with customers is supported by various subject matter experts to ensure absolute customer satisfaction and integration to make paying customers happy with QoS.

What the future holds is hard to predict. This is something we all witnessed and experienced in early 2020. However, one thing is certain – we are staying committed to the five key principles which make the foundation of the player, and we are keeping up with industry standards to provide the smoothest and the best possible integration services for our customers and partners. We are continuing to develop the cutting edge features and functionalities to help get new content distributed and enjoyed by people all over the world.

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