High-quality online video with less rebuffering

Monday, August 14, 2017 - 09:32 in Physics & Chemistry

We’ve all experienced two hugely frustrating things on YouTube: our video either suddenly gets pixelated, or it stops entirely to rebuffer. Both happen because of special algorithms that break videos into small chunks that load as you go. If your internet is slow, YouTube might make the next few seconds of video lower resolution to make sure you can still watch uninterrupted — hence, the pixelation. If you try to skip ahead to a part of the video that hasn’t loaded yet, your video has to stall in order to buffer that part. YouTube uses these adaptive bitrate (ABR) algorithms to try to give users a more consistent viewing experience. They also save bandwidth: People usually don’t watch videos all the way through, and so, with literally 1 billion hours of video streamed every day, it would be a big waste of resources to buffer thousands of long videos for all users...

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