SPONSORED CONTENT APRIL/MAY 2018 STREAMING MEDIA SPOTLIGHT SERIES WP45
Clearly, both of these applications support only a limited
set of devices, which dramatically limits the target audience.
Let’s look at a more realistic scenario.
Scenario 2 - You are running a catch-up TV or subscription
VOD service and must retain support for existing devices and
backward compatibility to maximize reach. You must support
not just the latest iOS and Android devices, but older versions
of devices and operating systems, plus a range of popular,
new and legacy set-top box and gaming devices like Apple TV,
Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox, Smart TVs, connected Blu-ray players and more.
In this instance, CMAF can only serve a percentage of
target customers, necessitating a JIT solution for complete
coverage. CMAF will help limit the load of JIT packaging, as
the most popular devices are likely to be newer ones that can
play CMAF-compatible HLS and DASH. As a result, only very
lightweight manifest packaging would be required, and the
ability to use more shared video fragments in caches and CDNs
would improve overall delivery efficiency and performance.
Using a JIT packaging solution would allow extended
support for older devices that have not upgraded and continued
support for legacy devices that cannot be upgraded. This
ensures audience numbers are not restricted and that anyone
who wants to watch can do so on whatever device they want.
CMAF and JIT Working Together
Few streaming services can afford to dismiss broad
swaths of target customers because they’re not running
the most current set of devices or browsers. Today, CMAF
can’t serve all endpoints because they’re not compatible
with CBC, and many won’t ever be (particularly game
consoles). Beyond legacy device support, DASH itself has
variations in implementation that may prevent a single set
of manifest files from serving all DASH endpoints. For these
reasons, JIT packaging remains the most efficient way to
ensure continuing support for the broadest range of
devices and retain the flexibility to support more.
Clearly, the ability to deliver CMAF to newer devices
will streamline server efficiency and result in common
video fragments that improve server throughput and
enhance caching. However, for the vast majority of
streaming services, CMAF is most accurately considered
a supported format within a JIT packaging system, not a
replacement for it.
Figure 8. CMAF and JIT working together to efficiently serve both newer and legacy devices.