Today’s organizations and their audiences are increasingly leveraging the excitement and engagement of live video in multiple ways, but there are key challenges associated with online delivery. Significant latencies are inherent in the majority of online streaming video formats, causing live streams to lag by 30 seconds or more from realtime. As viewer’s consumption of online video has been increasing dramatically, one of the primary complaints with watching live events is the delay of the online stream. Beyond a viewer annoyance, streaming latency is a roadblock to new innovations to making online video a more engaging experience.


Latency is not a problem for every online live streaming application. A one-minute delay may not matter to viewers who are watching a live pay per view concert. However certain business use cases demand the lowest possible latency, such as:


Live in-event betting is one of the most recent technological advancements in legal sports betting and one that can change overall experience of watching sports and betting. Essentially, live betting allows fans to bet on in-game outcomes while the game is being played. The keys are advanced analytics algorithms that now allow sportsbooks to monitor games and recalculate odds in realtime. Fans can bet through sportsbook web sites that show a stream of the game and offer bets in realtime based on action on the field.

Online casinos

For online casinos, the ability to stream in realtime means all players instantly get to see the turn of the cards at the same time, allowing them to place their bets more quickly and increasing the number of hands that can be played each hour. The typical way online casino operates is out of large warehouse spaces where table games are setup, with live dealers and video cameras. Online players access the table games via a website on their mobile devices or computers. The display of a live stream of the table and data fields that are used to place bets and signal the action, can be on casino developed apps or third-party platforms.

Live auctions

Remote bidders participating by phone are common at auctions, but now they can be online and have a “just like being there” experience with a live video stream to participate along with those on-site. The ability to bid on items is provided by an app that shows the video stream and displays a data field allows online to participate along with those on-site. The realtime video stream ensures the online participant can signal bids with confidence, knowing that they are viewing the action at the same time as those on-site./p>


The latency of the currently popular HLS and DASH streaming formats can be reduced with small chunk delivery to as low as 6-10 seconds. But to really unlock the full potential of live streaming, latency needs to be reduced to less than one second. The technology today gaining the most traction in accomplishing this is WebRTC (Web RealTime Communications), an open and scalable industry-standard technology that uses the UDP data transfer protocol. WebRTC achieves the goal of sub-second latency by not using chunked HTTP streaming with delivery buffers and utilizing the UDP data transfer protocol, eliminating the primary contributors to latency.


The below workflow shows Limelight’s award winning Realtime Streaming solution workflow that uses WebRTC technology to deliver sub-second latency streams to viewers and also supports data sharing between content publishers and viewers. These capabilities enable new innovations in live streaming that can be leveraged to create interactive experiences for viewers.


realtime streaming


The applications for this technology are expanding rapidly as it matures, becoming more feature rich, robust, and is able to scale both in global reach and in the number of simultaneous streams that can be supported.


Limelight’s private network ensures your viewers receive the best live experiences. Unlike most CDNs, Limelight’s high-capacity private fiber backbone bypasses the unreliable public internet when delivering content via peering agreements with ISPs around the world. With complete control over routing from the content source to the user’s ISP, the Limelight CDN eliminates many common bottlenecks in the content delivery process.


Limelight Realtime Streaming addresses viewers’ primary complaint with live online streaming by helping broadcasters and other organizations deliver truly realtime streaming experiences to viewers using standard web browsers. In addition, by integrating realtime interactive data with the live video, you can create interactive social experiences that increase viewer engagement and offer new opportunities for broadcasters to monetize their live streams. Limelight is committed to helping organizations deliver the best online experiences to their viewers and maximize the value of their online content.


To learn more about how Limelight’s low latency video delivery solutions can reduce latency for your online live video delivery application, contact us at info@limelight.com