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

Is it very annoying to have a long video download while the Internet is busy? Skipping and pixelation can ruin

any view.

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 intodesired number of users. That is, if you are trying to watch a sports match on TV, and the child is watching a cartoon on the phone, both of you will get half the available speed. But sports shows, unlike cartoons, require more 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 timevideo downloads were almost half, and in a third of cases it improved quality (from about 720p to 1080p). And this system works not only at home. The same principle can work to split the connection in the whole region. This makes Minerva ideal for large companies like Netflix or Hulu, which need to provide a video stream to a large number of users.

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

A source: engadget

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