Latency still plagues consumer video | Media Analysis | Business
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Despite the best efforts of the industry to address the issue, latency is still the biggest problem being experienced with video technology today, according to Bitmovin’s annual Video Developer Report.

bitmovin 12 sept 2018

The report — based on the views of 456 video developers at broadcasters, publishers, OTT streaming services, online video platforms and social media platforms in 67 countries — found that delivery delays can be a particular pain point for online streaming compared to traditional broadcasters, especially for live sports events. It showed that over half of global respondents (55%) and almost three-quarters based in LATAM (74%) reported such issues with their services.

The next-most-prevalent issue is ensuring playback on all devices, pinpointed as a headache by half (50%) of global respondents, almost exactly the same percentage (49%) as in last year’s Bitmovin survey.

Meanwhile, H.264/AVC dominates current video codec usage, used by 92% of survey respondents. Uptake of H.265/HEVC has expanded rapidly, to almost half of respondents (42%), compared to under a third (28%) in 2017.

Over a third of respondents (36%) plan to deploy H.265/HEVC in the next 12 months. This represents a decrease from 40% seen in the 2017 survey, reflecting a trend toward using a wider array of next-generation codecs in the future.

AV1 meanwhile has gained significant momentum, with nearly a third (29%) of respondents planning on using the codec in the next year. This is over double the rate of planned usage (14%) that was seen in the 2017 Bitmovin Video Developer Report. 15% are planning on using VP9, down on 18% from 2017.

HLS and MPEG-DASH remain the most popular choices in streaming, used by 82% and 61% respectively. However, there’s also considerable fragmentation, with RTMP used by a third (33%) and Smooth Streaming (27%) and Progressive Streaming (23%) each used by around a quarter. Usage of MPEG-CMAF has nearly doubled since last year (from 6 to 10%) and nearly a quarter (23%) plan to implement the format within the next 12 months.

Meanwhile, Apple narrowly leads a multi-device world. HTML5 via browser is by far the most widely used format for video and audio delivery, with 87% of those responding to the survey using it today. Apple iOS is the most widely supported native platform at 62% vs 60% for Android globally. The trend is consistent in most regions of the world at 65% (vs 63%) respectively in APAC, 64% (vs 59%) in North America, 63% (vs 59%) in EMEA and 63% (vs 63%) in LATAM.

Looking at support for consumer TV devices, Chromecast was revealed as the leader, supported by 42% of survey respondents compared to 36% for Apple TV, 34% for Android TV and 23% for Roku. Android TV is likely to see most momentum in the next 12 months, with 17% of developers planning to move to add support, compared to 16% for Apple TV, 11% for Chromecast and 10% for Roku.

And finally, the report found that more than one in three (36%) respondents said that they are not using any DRM/content protection system at all, peaking at 40% of respondents in EMEA. This represents rapid uptake since Bitmovin’s 2017 survey, in which two-thirds of global respondents (65%) said they weren’t using DRM at all. This could reflect a shift of premium content from traditional cable and satellite services to OTT/ online delivery.

“The online video industry is booming, with new services launching every day. The Video Developer Report reveals how developers are building services, their plans for the future and the major problems they’re facing,” said Stefan Lederer, CEO at Bitmovin.