Wowza Media Systems’ Elliot Miller Outlines Impact of SRT Alliance, Ultra Low Latency

The following comes from a blog post by the SRT Alliance authored by digital media expert Brian Ring.

The impact of Wowza Media Systems joining Haivision to create the SRT Alliance two years ago can’t be understated. Their embrace of SRT as a critical enabler for a range of use cases and workflows exposed the protocol – and the birth of the open source project – to a massive footprint of pioneering video developers and streaming media professionals globally.

Elliot Miller, Wowza SVP, Corporate Development & Legal, who previously led Wowza’s cloud service as GM for the past year, made the company one of the first to offer Ultra Low Latency (ULL) cloud streaming. He broke down Wowza’s solutions and why SRT ingest is a key capability to Wowza’s ULL offer.

“Wowza and Haivision have both been on this path for the better part of a decade, trying to find a way to solve these huge problems with streaming media, and specifically this kind of whack-a-mole zero-sum trade-off game of latency, quality, and scale,” he said. “There has always been a trade-off that undercut the value proposition of live streaming to whatever that customer engagement was. And so around the time that work was underway on our Ultra Low Latency product, we saw what Haivision was doing with the open sourcing of SRT, and we just thought, this eliminates those trade-offs. It’s just really well aligned, thematically, to move these use cases forward.”

By now, informed video tech readers know that there’s diversity of video use cases, and each can tolerate various levels of latency. That set of opportunities and challenges is what we love about the video tech revolution.

“We’ve seen really high-demand for these services in some fascinating use cases. Of course, we see a lot of gaming, both video games and gambling,” Miller said. “We’ve seen a lot of pick-up there. But there are many other interesting use cases, from auctions and eCommerce to first responders and field service.”

He explained why synchronized latency is what’s needed.

“You know, one of the things that we’ve learned about latency, there are some use cases, military use cases, for example, that demand very low latency, lower even than three seconds. But then, on the other hand, you look at interactive video uses cases, take HQ Trivia or auctions just as an example, those companies have a much bigger concern, which is synchronizing the content playback to all viewers, who are on different devices on different networks on different continents. So, sure, low latency is important for them, but it’s even more important to have synchronized latency.”

As for the company’s recently announced professional services division, Miller dissects how that sector can make a difference.

“We are in the midst of a fundamental shift in our business at Wowza and that’s a shift from offering amazing, best-in-class components of video infrastructure off-the-shelf to offering full-service solutions. Customers are focused on ground-breaking, complex projects. Video is no longer the project, it’s a component of the project. So they’re coming to us to help them build and deploy from end-to-end. In that environment, we know SRT is going to provide a lot of value, a lot of utility.”