52 ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE castLabs
To meet the changing needs of developers and end users, castLabs’ has upgraded its SDK for browser-based video players At the NAB Show, castLabs’ Thasso Griebel is speaking about the new player version at the Debate Theater on 21 April at 12:40pm THE PLAY’S THE THING aking its debut at this year’s NAB Show is castLab’s latest digital player solution for web browsers. The company provides software
It also features a new ultra low-latency livestreaming feature. “Slowly, the industry has figured out that, with video streaming over IP, it wants to compete with broadcast networks, which means that we need a latency of three to five seconds. If we’re equally fast or faster than broadcasting OTT, then we’re good,” Griebel explains. While castLabs claims to have achieved this in the latest web player version, Griebel points out that the version does have some technical dependencies specific to each browser. The developer adds that ultra low-latency livestreaming is inevitably a work in progress as all vendors face challenges. “I haven’t seen perfect solutions yet for ABR switching, for instance. There are low-latency custom protocols out there, but their requirements haven’t yet been made public,” says Griebel. He adds that castLabs’ SDK is public specifications-driven and its low-latency story focuses on community specs like low-latency HLS or CMAF low latency. “We don’t want to force customers into a walled garden,” he explains. “Employing publicly available specs allows for transparency and gives our customers open access to all the tools they need to create really customisable solutions.”
in size by “between five- and eightfold” according to Griebel, enabling an easier and swifter deployment cycle. The company also wanted to release a web-based player more in line with what developers today expect in terms of UI customisation. “Building UIs is something developers are good at – they can build applications and user apps – they might not know everything about video streaming, but that’s what we’re here to help with,” he adds. In all versions of castLabs’ SDKs is the firm’s proprietary ABR algorithm, which uses network estimation and video buffering to guess the highest possible frame rate that can be sustained over time. “It is highly configurable, so you can get to the best possible streaming experience for your users. If you know that 95% of your users sit on fast internet, for instance, then maybe you want to allow them to go directly with HD renditions, so they have good quality from the get-go.” The new SDKs also offer event tracking to measure user interactions and monitor video quality by placing events in the stream. The firm is working closely with ad agencies, as well as analytics vendors such as Conviva, Mux, NPAW, Nielson and others, to develop this feature.
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