Adaptive Bitrate (ABR)

StriveCast Streaming Dictionary

Learn about key concepts, technologies, and terminologies in the video streaming industry.

Adaptive Bitrate Streaming focuses on delivering content to the user as efficiently as possible.
A smoothly running stream mainly determines the success of a stream and the quality of the experience. The transmission of online video should ideally take place without buffering and in good quality. A high video resolution makes the stream look as realistic as possible, but also requires a good internet connection so that the video runs fast and without buffering. However, not every viewer has the same network constitution.

If the connection partially deteriorates, the stream can no longer run smoothly: Buffering occurs. Then we need ABR to solve this problem. That happens by producing multiple versions of the same content at different quality levels. In addition to the high-resolution version, there are versions of the video compressed into a lower bitrate. Depending on the user’s internet connection, the user receives the lower quality (–> less loading time) or the better quality (–> higher loading time).

Every version gets its playlist of video chunks. They consist of many short segments of the video, which are stored as .ts. If the user’s internet connection improves or declines, he could get the next segments at a different quality level. That is an efficient way to avoid loading times.

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