MIT experts find a way to reduce buffering time for streaming video with busy WiFi

Is it very annoying that it takes a long time to load a video when the Internet is busy? Gaps and pixelation can ruin

any viewing.

MIT team unveils tool to helppeople use a limited WiFi connection together. A group of researchers from the Laboratory of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence (LKNII) developed the Minerva system. She analyzes the video before playing, checking how much its appearance will deteriorate when viewed in lower quality.

Conventional WiFi protocols simply split the stream intothe required number of users. That is, if you are trying to watch a sports match on TV, and your child is watching a cartoon on the phone – you both will get half the available speed. But sports shows, unlike cartoons, require greater speed.

Minerva analyzes both videos offline anddecides which stream can be reduced in speed and which one can be added without strong losses in the final quality. Then the protocol assigns to each specific user the desired flow rate and adjusts itself from time to time, depending on the video content currently being played.
In real tests, Minerva reduced the timevideo downloads were almost half, and in a third of cases the quality was improved (from approximately 720p to 1080p). And this system works not only at home. The same principle can work to share a connection across an entire region. This makes Minerva ideal for large companies like Netflix or Hulu that need to provide a video stream to a large number of users.

Video hosting sites do not need to change hardware to use Minerva, because it is a “simple replacement for the standard TCP/IP protocol,” according to the team of researchers.