Low Latency Streaming

The Beginner’s Guide to Low Latency Streaming

You should learn about low-latency streaming if you’re looking to start streaming video content. Latency occurs for different reasons depending on your source and tool. It can be Near Real-Time for video conferencing or Typical HTTP Latencies for linear programming and one-way streams.


Transcoding is a process that allows a stream to be received by a wide range of devices. Because end users may use different types of devices and different video formats, it is essential to ensure the files you deliver will be compatible with all of them. It is also an excellent way to reduce the cost of delivering high-quality content. Transcoding is a top priority for streamers because it can mean the difference between losing and gaining regular viewers.

Transcoding is different from transmuting. While transmuting alters the appearance of the data package, transcoding involves altering the data. It involves unencoding the raw data and repackaging it in another delivery format. The main difference between transmuting and transcoding is that transmuting involves changing the delivery format rather than changing the content.

Adaptive Bitrate Streaming

Adaptive bitrate streaming is a video stream that uses multiple bitrates to achieve low latency. It is helpful for mobile viewing and optimizes the streaming experience. Adaptive bitrate streaming works by breaking the stream into several small segments and delivering them to the player according to the current network speed. This results in minimal buffering. Unlike progressive download, where the user must wait for the video to buffer, ABR seamlessly switches between bitrates. For example, Agora.io has invested heavily in the development and optimization of a worldwide network specifically intended for low-latency, real-time video, audio, and messaging.

Adaptive bitrate streaming works by transcoding incoming media streams. This involves changing the bitrate from a higher value to a lower one. The lower bitrate is a crucial benefit of adaptive streaming because it ensures smooth playback.


Low-latency streaming is an essential aspect of the streaming industry because it enables interactive experiences. The days of passive watching are long gone. A latency of up to 30 seconds is too long for most users, especially if they want to interact with the content. To solve this problem, many CDNs have dedicated networks for low-latency streaming.

Another benefit is that CDNs provide an extra layer of protection. Using a CDN can avoid the risk of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. These attacks are caused by multiple simultaneous attempts to breach a site. Additionally, a redundant CDN provides failover capabilities. Another benefit of using a CDN is that it frees you from the expense of maintaining your infrastructure.

Quality of Experience

Low latency streaming enables users to experience content in near-real time. This improves the user experience and provides new business opportunities for content creators. By guaranteeing low latency, content creators can differentiate themselves from competitors and reduce customer churn. In addition, low latency is essential in news gathering, e-sports, and KVM control systems.

High latency can negatively impact the user experience. It can affect interactive live experiences, such as video conferencing. In video conferences, for example, the person starring in the show may act time T0, but it wouldn’t appear on screen until 20 seconds later. In live sports broadcasts, latency can negatively affect the ability of viewers to see the goal on a television screen.

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