Softvelum Low Delay Protocol: low latency, high performance
Low latency has always been a hot topic for live streaming industry. Many use cases require sub-second delay between image capture and its display.
- Chatting: talking to someone means immediate media delivery.
- Gaming viewers expect to see all events real-time.
- Betting and bidding have big money at stake so you don't want to see anything behind the time.
- Security and surveillance demand real-time picture to do an immediate response.
- Second screen means you don't want to see your favorite event dozens of seconds behind TV or other devices.
With the decline of Flash and RTMP in 2020 as the main way to view live streams, the industry has been looking for new ways to deliver the media close to real-time.
Softvelum introduces SLDP - a last-mile delivery protocol for end-user devices to cover all that.
What is SLDP
SLDP is a streaming protocol based on WebSockets. Basic features are
- Sub-second delay between origin and player. Hence the "Low Delay" in the name.
- Codec-agnostic. Play whatever your end-user platform has - H.264, VP8, VP9, H.265/HEVC.
- ABR real-time support. Switching channels takes just a GOP time and each channel may use its own codec.
- Streaming over HTTP/HTTPS.
- Buffer offset support for decreasing zap time (start latency).
SLDP is supported on various platforms with our playback solutions.
You can use free apps and also purchase SDKs for these platforms to create your own solutions.
Nimble Streamer freeware media server has full support for SLDP. It takes any protocol as input and creates SLDP output streams. It produces SLDP streams with H.264/H.265/VP8/VP9 video and AAC/MP3 audio, and any SLDP player can connect to it for playback.
Amazon CloudFront has full support for WebSockets which means SLDP can be delivered via CloudFront network seamlessly.
Take a look at CloudFront setup for SLDP delivery to learn more about proper settings.
How does SLDP compare to others?
SLDP is good for low latency but how about other streaming protocols?
HLS and MPEG-DASH
Chunks-based protocols were created with easy delivery in mind hence the chunks paradigm. This means that the client needs to download at least first chunk to start the playback. The default HLS chunk size recommended by Apple is 10 seconds but you can reduce it to 2-3 seconds. However, the delay cannot be reduced to sub-second values. The same applies to MPEG-DASH, HDS and SmoothStreaming as they have the same nature.
RTMP is an excellent real-time protocol greatly fit for low latency. However, it's being declined by majors as it requires Flash for playback in the browsers. It also has some limitations for modern codecs.
Please also take a look at frequently asked questions to see advantages and best techniques of SLDP usage.
Check some snapshots of Softvelum usage to see how you can use SLDP with other products.
Now try it in your own use cases.
Contact us if you have any questions.