Best Practices for Reducing Live Streaming Latency

Project Status:

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The project has been completed.


June 19, 2019

Estimated Completion:

June 30, 2020
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Problem Statement

Live streaming has soared in popularity over the past year. But many viewers complain about the lack of synchronization between live streaming and broadcast. Streaming can be, at times, over 30 seconds later than what is being simulcast through traditional broadcast. The issues with latency, for streaming video, can result in viewer dissatisfaction and potential subscriber churn.

Project Description

As the popularity of live streaming has grown, it has become increasingly important to mitigate inherent latency in segmented HTTP streaming video. Many of the initial formats, such as HLS and MPEG-DASH, did not take into account the desire for synchronization between traditional broadcast and a streaming counterpart as live streaming had not yet taken hold. But as more major broadcasters and rights holders are pushing their live content, such as sports, through streaming platforms many of those formats (and others) have adopted low-latency modifications. Still, the format is but one piece of the entire streaming workflow and there are numerous other technologies and components which are not specifically optimized to reduce live streaming latency. It is critical to identify all of the technologies involved in streaming and understand where remediation or optimization can occur improve the overall latency of the streaming experience.

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Published Documents

Version: 1.0

Date Plublished: 02/28/2021

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SVTA5021: Best Practices for Reducing Live Streaming Latency

Over-the-Top (OTT) video streaming is accelerating towards a tipping point where broadcasters are simulcasting their content to both OTT and traditional broadcast customers. This has raised concern with the latency delta between broadcast and OTT streams. In addition, new OTT use cases have emerged that demand the lowest possible latency. This paper explores techniques available to streaming video distributors to reduce the latency of their streaming content from encoder to screen.

Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of this project include:
  • Analyzing the entire streaming workflow, identifying all components or technologies, and addressing their potential impact to the overall latency of the streaming experience
  • Recommendations for improve latency through the optimization of components or technologies within the workflow

Project Scope

The document produced by this project WILL PROVIDE:
  • An analysis of the use cases driving the desire to reduce live streaming latency
  • A detailed look at the different technologies and components within the streaming video workflow and what their contribution to the overall latency might be
  • Recommendations of best practices for optimizing different technologies and components within the streaming video workflow to remediate latency
The document produced by this project WILL NOT PROVIDE:
  • A recommendation of one specific technology over another to mitigate latency


The following members have contributed to this project. Click on their name to visit their profile. If they have not published their profile, the link will redirect to their LinkedIn profile.

Additional References

The following references can help you gain understanding about low-latency live streaming:


The following presentations delivered during Low Latency Streaming working group sessions may provide additional information about this project.

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