Why We need Adaptive Streaming
Normally if you are streaming an MP4 file over the internet, it would be called progress streaming.In this kind of streaming, the video file remains the same throught full video play.
For example, if you are streaming a 1080p MP4 video, you will stream the same video to all of your viewers no matter what kind of internet speeds they have or what device they are playing it on.
Drawbacks of progressive streaming
- The same video file is streamed on every device
- Viewers on slow internet devices may experience buffering
- It wastes your bandwidth as the mobile viewers might only need a 540p version of the video and not a 1080p.
- It can increaes your bandwidth costs
- People can easily download MP4 files using different tools and browsers.
- MP4 videos cannot be encrypted so they may be less secure than HLS videos (which can be encrypted)
What is Adaptive Streaming
Adaptive streaming allows you to provide multiple versions of your video available for different platforms.
multiple versions of your video into different sizes. e.g. 240p, 360p, 540p, 720p and 1080p.
The video player would normally automatically switches the best version of the video that it can play on a certain device depending the device size or dimensions.
Benefits of Adaptive Streaming
- There is no buffering in the video when using adaptive streaming.
- Viewers are happy because of fast video plays and auto switch to best quality
- There is less bandwidth usage for videos as some viewers might be playing 540p and others will play 1080p.
- Huge savings in bandwidth costs.
- It's not easy for people to download small segments of HLS videos.
- The HLS videos can be encrypted with secure keys and provide better security than MP4 files.