Who doesn’t love sitting down to binge the latest great show? And with streaming services increasing all the time, more and more providers are embracing technologies that allow them to provide video content through browsers and a variety of dedicated apps.
There are a few key streaming formats that support most streaming content. HLS is one of the most common formats these days, originally intended as an alternative to Flash to stream over the internet. DASH operates in a similar manner over HTTP, and both formats break videos up into chunks that are encoded at different levels of quality. Then there’s Microsoft Smooth Streaming, and a host of other smaller protocols. Multiplied by all the different user devices including mobile, desktop and dedicated streaming boxes, the result is dozens if not hundreds of combinations that your company needs to support for a smooth streaming experience.
Businesses that rely on streaming are finding it increasingly difficult to gain visibility into the process itself. You might have a general idea if your streaming is functioning or not, but with traditional application performance tools you might have no insights into how well it’s performing. If you’re getting 200k per second it’s not going to be a good user experience, but traditional monitoring systems might only see that the app is functioning without giving you information to help you put that into context.
The Apica Difference
Apica is designed to give you a complete end-to-end picture of your streaming performance from the user’s perspective. We provide you with templated scripts that are ready to go out of the box and can be reused in testing and production environments. There’s no need to download extra software or make changes on your side to the scripts. All you need to do is point the script to the location of your video assets for testing, and you’re ready to go with no need for specialized training. You can select the number of video chunks you want to use and Apica will do the rest.
Apica functions as a virtual player, similar to watching a streaming service such as Netflix in your browser. Our platform will allow you to accurately simulate the content delivery for a wide variety of vendors, from origin to the user. It’s as close as you can get to playing the content. The Apica solution is ready out of the box to use with HLS, and if you’re using a different format our experts will be there to help you set it up for accurate performance.
Benefiting Traditional Broadcasters and Beyond
As more live TV broadcasters begin streaming content over the internet, they are relying more on OTT for their streaming but don’t have the depth of experience with online broadcasting that they have for over the airwaves. Apica can help provide that visibility to help them understand the performance of this new technology.
In addition to testing the functionality of the streaming itself, Apica’s active monitoring platform also includes load testing to help you scale performance with the audience. This helps you ensure the success of a new launch, such as HBO debuting its new streaming platform with Apica’s help.
Apica’s advanced technology is even helping industries where even the smallest latency in video streaming can be disastrous. We worked closely with an online gambling customer. As a non-standard streaming application, the unusually short chunks of video can cause difficulties with the delivery platform. Apica’s templated scripts and load testing helped them meet their performance needs, giving them a significant competitive advantage.
One of the most demanding and competitive application environments in the business world today is video streaming, and performance is vital to delivering the ideal customer experience. The Apica monitoring platform has the capabilities to make your streaming a success. You can learn more about our technology here.