HLS Streaming & Storage

What is HLS video storage?

HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) is a streaming protocol developed by Apple that breaks a video into small, segmented files that can be played back in sequence. HLS video storage refers to the amount of storage space required to store the segmented files that make up an HLS video.

How does adaptive streaming work for HLS videos?

Adaptive streaming works by detecting the viewer's internet speed and device capabilities and automatically adjusting the resolution of the video to provide the best experience. This is achieved by dividing the video into small segments and creating multiple versions of each segment in different resolutions. The video player then selects the appropriate resolution for each segment based on the viewer's internet speed and device capabilities.

What causes slow video loading during the initial run?

HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) is a popular video streaming protocol that divides a video into small segments or fragments, each of which is delivered over the internet using HTTP. When a user requests to watch a video using HLS for the first time, the video fragments are not yet available in the cache of the CDN (Content Delivery Network) server. Therefore, the CDN needs to fetch the video fragments from the cloud storage where the video is originally stored. This process may take some time when the fragments are being requested for the first time.

Once the video fragments are fetched from the cloud storage, the CDN caches them for faster delivery to subsequent users who request the same video. This means that the subsequent requests for the same video will be served faster since the video fragments are already available in the cache of the CDN server.

Due to variations in network conditions, some users may experience slow loading of the video fragments during the first request. This can happen if the network conditions are poor or if there is jitter (variation in delay) in the network. In such cases, a small percentage of requests (usually around 1-2%) may experience slow loading of video fragments compared to the other requests.

In summary, once the fragments are cached, subsequent requests are served faster.

How is the storage calculated for HLS videos?

HLS video storage is calculated based on several factors, including the duration, bit rate, and resolution of the video. The longer the video, the higher the bit rate, and the higher the resolution, the more storage space will be required to store the segmented files.

In addition to these factors, it's important to note that HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) videos are typically converted into multiple resolutions, ranging from 240p to 1080p. This multi-resolution approach is designed to help save on bandwidth costs. By offering videos in various resolutions, our platform optimizes the viewing experience for users with varying internet speeds and device capabilities.

Here's why the size of videos may increase on our platform:

  • Resolution Variety & No buffering: When we provide multiple resolutions for the same video, it means we are storing multiple versions of the video at different quality levels. This variety ensures that users with slower internet connections can still enjoy the content at a lower resolution, saving them from constant buffering.

  • Bandwidth Cost Savings: While storing videos in multiple resolutions may increase storage requirements, it results in significant bandwidth cost savings. The video player on our platform dynamically selects the most appropriate resolution based on the user's internet speed, ensuring smoother playback with less buffering. This means that users are not forced to download high-resolution videos when their internet speed may not support it, ultimately reducing their data usage and providing a better overall experience.

  • Cost Efficiency: It's important to highlight that the storage cost increases only once when the videos are initially saved in various resolutions. However, these videos can be played hundreds or thousands of times. This cost-efficient approach allows us to benefit from savings on bandwidth costs, as the same video can be efficiently delivered to numerous viewers without incurring additional storage expenses.

In summary, our platform optimizes HLS video storage and delivery by offering multiple resolutions to cater to diverse user needs. While this may lead to larger storage requirements compared to the original uploads, it results in substantial cost savings for our customers by reducing bandwidth consumption, minimizing buffering, and ensuring a seamless viewing experience regardless of internet speed.

What are the storage and transcoding limits for my videos?

Our system will have transcoding and storage limit based on your plan limits.

Let's consider your plan has a limit of 300GB storage. In that case, our system will have a storage and transcoding limit of 300GB per 30 days. If you delete all your 300GB files, you'll have 300GB of space shown in the dashboard, but if you've transcoded 300GB within the last 30 days, new videos won't transcode. Your limit renews daily based on the past 30 days. While you may want to upload and delete 300GB every day to maintain 300GB free space, consistently transcoding 300GB daily would result in reaching the maximum limit of 9000GB for both storage and transcoding, which is not feasible for your plans due to the resource-intensive nature of transcoding. Therefore, our system enforces a 30-day 300GB limit on both storage and transcoding to manage resource usage.

Same sample would be true for other plans based on your total storage limits.

Can deleting videos automatically free up storage space?

Let's consider a scenario where you have a DynTube account with a 1TB storage limit. Every day, you diligently upload 1TB worth of videos to our cloud, only to delete them the next day and replace them with fresh 1TB videos.

Here's where things get interesting. On the 30th day of the month, when you delete all the data and proceed to upload the next batch of 1TB videos, the dashboard will innocently display that you have used only 1TB of storage. However, our system takes into account the cumulative amount of data (30 TB) uploaded over the entire month.

So, even though your usage (after deletions) at any given point in time remains at 1TB, the actual transcoding and storage resources required to accommodate your daily uploads amount to a total of 30TB. That's because each day, 1TB of fresh data was added, resulting in a cumulative total of 30TB over the course of the month.

Please note that you get the upload limits back on the 31st day and our system monitors this situation daily. So for example, if you have a 2900GB storage limit and upload 100GB data every day, your limit will be reached on the 29th day and you will not be able to upload data on the 30th day. However, you can resume uploads on the 31st day.

Does the storage required for HLS videos increase if multiple resolutions are used?

Yes, using multiple resolutions for HLS videos will increase the storage required as each resolution requires a separate set of segmented files. Therefore, using multiple resolutions will add to the video size and require additional storage space.

Are there any benefits to using adaptive streaming for HLS videos?

Yes, there are several benefits to using adaptive streaming for HLS videos, including:

  1. Improved viewing experience: Adaptive streaming adjusts the video quality based on the viewer's internet speed and device capabilities, ensuring that the video plays smoothly without buffering or interruptions. This provides viewers with a better viewing experience, regardless of their internet connection or device.

  2. Bandwidth efficiency: Adaptive streaming saves bandwidth by reducing the amount of data that needs to be transmitted. By adjusting the video quality based on the viewer's internet speed and device capabilities, the video player can reduce the data rate, minimizing the amount of bandwidth required to stream the video.

  3. HLS video streaming can be encrypted, providing an additional layer of security for the video content, preventing unauthorized access and protecting intellectual property and revenue streams.

  4. Cost-effectiveness: By reducing bandwidth usage, adaptive streaming helps to minimize the costs associated with data transmission, making it an efficient and cost-effective way to stream videos over the internet.

  5. Accessibility: Adaptive streaming allows viewers to access the video content from a variety of devices and internet connections, including mobile devices and low-bandwidth connections.

Overall, adaptive streaming provides a better viewing experience, improves bandwidth efficiency, and offers cost-effective video delivery, making it an essential component of modern video streaming services.

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