Server side, play buffer based quality control for adaptive media streaming
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Existing media streaming protocols provide bandwidth adaptation features in order to deliver seamless video streams in an abrupt bandwidth shortage on the networks. For instance, popular HTTP streaming protocols such as HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) and MPEG-DASH are designed to select the most appropriate streaming quality based on client side bandwidth estimation. Unfortunately, controlling the quality at the client side means the effectiveness of the adaptive streaming is not controlled by service providers, and it harms the consistency in quality-of-service. In addition, recent studies show that selecting media quality based on bandwidth estimation may exhibit unstable behavior in certain network conditions. In this paper, we demonstrate that the drawbacks of existing protocols can be overcome with a server side, buffer based quality control scheme. Server side quality control solves the service quality problem by eliminating client assistance. Buffer based control scheme eliminates the side effects of bandwidth based stream selection. We achieve this without client assistance by designing a play buffer estimation algorithm. We prototyped the proposed scheme in our streaming service testbed which supports pre-transcoding and live-transcoding of the source media file. Our evaluation results show that the proposed quality control performs very well both in simulated and real environments.
KeywordsAdaptive streaming Quality control Media streaming Server side
This research was supported in part by the MKE (The Ministry of Knowledge Economy) and NHN Corp., under IT/SW Creative research program supervised by the NIPA (National IT Industry Promotion Agency) (NIPA-2012-H0505-12-1011), and in part by the ICT R&D program of MSIP/IITP [2014(10041971), Development of Power-efficient High-performance Multimedia Contents Service Technology using Context-adapting Distributed Transcoding]. Won Woo Ro is the corresponding author.
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