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Low Latency Video Streaming – a Complete Guide

Ishita Banik Published on : 27 May 2022
Low latency video streaming


Low latency video streaming is the common focus for most of the VOD businesses. Why? Minimized buffer time, seamless streaming, better viewer experience – the advantages are unlimited.

The global VOD streaming industry is set to reach $1,690.35 billion by 2029 from its benchmark of $372.07 billion in 2021, as stated in a recent market report. With the competition getting tougher gradually, it has become even more important to focus on the customer experience to secure your market position. Streaming quality and customer experience go hand-in-hand and low latency video streaming can help you offer optimum customer experience.

No matter whether you have an OTT business, or any other VOD monetization platform, opting for low latency streaming is a good idea to take the viewer experience to a whole new level. But, what exactly is this low latency video streaming or how to achieve it to ensure better customer experience? We will answer all while guiding you through all you need to know about low latency streaming.


What Is Low Latency Video Streaming?

Video latency is defined as the delay between the time a video gets captured or broadcasted and the time when the audience can watch it. For live streaming, it mainly refers to the time gap or delay between capturing an event and the video being watched by the audience. 

While there is always some latency in any video streaming, it is recommended to keep it as low as possible. Generally video streaming latency is expected to be kept within 100 ms to ensure a seamless streaming experience for your audience. 


Also Read: Top Video Encoding Formats 2022


Why Low Latency Video Streaming?

There are innumerable reasons why low latency video streaming is the ultimate goal for online streamers. Here we have listed the top reasons to why low latency streaming streaming is pivotal for your VOD business –

Real-time Viewing Experience

Low latency live streaming is crucial to offer your audience a real-time streaming experience. For live streaming events, shows, gaming, sports streaming, live shopping etc., it is important to ensure lag-free streaming so that the audience can watch it in real-time. 

If the latency is high, then there will be no purpose of streaming such events live. So, if you want to stream in real-time to your audience, then you must ensure the latency is as low as possible.


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Seamless Streaming

Buffer-free streaming is the basic requirement to ensure good customer experience, hence, low streaming latency is of high importance for any streaming. For the streaming services that are more focused on real-time delivery of the streaming content, low latency is even more significant. 

Live auctions, streaming, gaming, live stream with chat, and live shopping are some of the top examples where low latency is a must-have criteria to deliver the streaming content on time. But, even for VOD streaming, it is recommended to ensure low latency streaming to offer lag-free quality streaming to the viewers.

Better User Engagement

User engagement plays an important role for video streaming, especially live streaming. If the video content delivery is delayed, then it may hamper real-time user engagement. 

For instance, for streaming a live shopping event, it is necessary to deliver the content in real-time or else half the purpose of such events will be gone. Low latency streaming reduces this possibility by delivering buffer-free seamless video streaming content.


Also Read: UDP Vs TCP Which One Is Better for Streaming?


How to Choose the Right Low Latency Video Streaming?

Now that you have a better understanding on the low latency video streaming, you need to know – how to enable low latency video streaming. There are multiple factors on which low latency streaming depends significantly such as transmission protocols, transmission segment lengths, and others. Let’s have a look at the different types of low latency streaming.

Low Video Latency

Low video latency generally refers to the latency of 5-1 seconds. The low latency streaming protocols such as SRT (Secure Reliable Transport) and RTP (Real-time Transport Protocol) are  suitable in this case for the content delivery in cable TVs and for other professional broadcasts.

Ultra-low Video Latency

As the name suggests, ultra-low video latency refers to the lowest latency for video streaming and is highly sought-after for nearly real-time video streaming. WebRTC (Web Real-time Communication) is the proper protocol for such real-time video streaming latency including the cases of online meetings, virtual town hall meetings, and other real-time two-way communications taking place over the internet.

Reduced Video Latency

Reduced video latency refers to the video streaming latency of 20-5 seconds. The RTMP (Real Time Messaging Protocol) will help you achieve this reduced video latency. By using HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) or DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) protocols, you can reduce the latency even further.

Standard Video Latency

Standard video latency implies the video latency of +20 seconds. If real-time video streaming is not of your utmost priority, then this can be your preferred video streaming latency. standard HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) or DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) protocol comes into play here. 

Also, this video latency is suitable to deliver HD or 4K video quality on a very large scale. So, if live audience interaction is not your concern or for VOD streaming, this option is suitable for you. 

Most types of professional broadcasting require a delay of about 15 seconds, whereas ultra-low latency can be as low as 1 second. Low latency is expected for any video streaming be it live streaming or VOD streaming and based on other factors such as audience interaction, real-time experience, streaming protocols etc., you need to decide on how low is good for your video streaming latency.


To Conclude

Video streaming latency is an important factor that helps you at various levels – ensuring better customer experience to high customer engagement. At the same time, this is often overlooked by the streaming businesses, especially by the new entrants in this industry. A buffer-free quality streaming experience is one of the must-have factors to consider if you want your streaming business to be successful in the long run.


The above guide will help you choose the right video latency for your video streaming. Muvi One, an all-in-one video streaming platform, ensures buffer-free seamless streaming for your audience, be it live streaming or on-demand video streaming. Furthermore, Muvi offers a range of competitive solutions such as your own branded app & website, built-in scalable CDN, multiple monetization models, SEO optimization tools, and user engagement tools, to name a few. Take a 14-day free trial now to explore more (no credit card needed)!

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Written by: Ishita Banik

Ishita is a Content Writer with Muvi Marketing Team. Apart from business writing, she is also an acclaimed author of three best seller romantic thriller novels. In 2020, she got featured in The Hindustan Times, a leading news portal as an inspirational Indian author.

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