Giraffic Adaptive Video Acceleration at CES 2015 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 23 Old Yesterday, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Giraffic Adaptive Video Acceleration at CES 2015



This bandwidth-enhancement technology could make high-quality 4K/UHD streaming and downloading a reality for many more consumers.

The specs for Ultra HD Blu-ray were announced at CES 2015, but discs and players won't be available until the end of this year at the earliest. Meanwhile, 4K/UHD content is currently available via online streaming and downloading. Unfortunately, many consumers have insufficient bandwidth to their homes to stream 4K/UHD without reduced resolution and/or frequent pauses for buffering, and downloading a 4K/UHD file can take what seems like forever. And even if you have lots of bandwidth, other factors—such as other traffic within the home, in the neighborhood, within the content and service providers' systems, and across the entire Internet—can lead to the same problems.

Based in Tel Aviv, Israel, a company called Giraffic has developed a technology that purports to significantly improve online streaming and downloading in a very clever way. Dubbed Adaptive Video Acceleration (AVA), this software-based technology is applied at the "client" end of the pipeline; it does not involve the content or Internet service providers in any way. Instead, it is implemented entirely in receiving devices, such as TVs, set-top boxes, smartphones, and tablets.

AVA starts with real-time analytics that continually monitor and analyze the bandwidth available to the receiving device, intelligently utilize and route TCP connections, and optimize home-router operation. Then, HTTP acceleration optimizes large-content delivery by dynamically sizing fragments and controlling congestion as well as implementing multi-source, multi-connection HTTP streaming. Finally, playback shaping dynamically manages the device's buffer and implements adaptive streaming ingestion.


By using multiple HTTP "substreams" in an additive manner, AVA can boost the effective reception bandwidth by a factor of 3 on average. (Courtesy Giraffic)


Playback shaping improves reception bandwidth significantly on both wired and WiFi networks. These results were obtained using Amazon Instant Video on a smart TV with Microsoft Smooth Streaming. (Courtesy Giraffic)


These results were obtained by third-party testing using 30 Mbps ADSL. (Courtesy Giraffic)

Bottom line: By improving the structure and efficiency of HTTP requests made by the receiving device, AVA can increase the throughput available to it by a factor of 3 on average. As a result, streaming 4K/UHD is much more reliable with 10 times fewer interruptions and high quality of service (QoS), and downloads can take much less time to complete. Even better, no end-user action is required—AVA is implemented by manufacturers in their TVs and other client devices and runs entirely in the background.

In fact, AVA is already installed in some Samsung TVs and the iOS video-conferencing app called appear.in. According to Giraffic, AVA is currently being used with 2 million streams per day worldwide, and there have been no support calls at all—none.

I saw a demonstration of AVA with two side-by-side UHDTVs receiving the same 4K/UHD video stream (see photo at the top of this post). One was equipped with AVA while the other was not, and both had an onscreen buffer-activity indicator. The stream had started out synchronized between the two displays, but it quickly fell out of sync as the conventional TV often paused and filled its buffer, while the AVA-equipped TV was smooth as silk with very little of its buffer even used.

I realize that many AVS members have little regard for streaming HD, much less UHD, but it is a fact of digital life that cannot be ignored. And if AVA can improve the experience—and quicken downloads of higher-quality content—I'm all for it. This technology could make streaming and downloading a viable means of viewing 4K/UHD content for many more consumers, so I intend to follow its progress with great interest.

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post #2 of 23 Old Yesterday, 02:21 PM
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See, the problem I have with tech like this is when I read about it I say: "cool, I want that". I get excited but shortly after I get disappointed because I learn it will take another 3-5 years for them to bring it to market.
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post #3 of 23 Old Yesterday, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kevon27 View Post
See, the problem I have with tech like this is when I read about it I say: "cool, I want that". I get excited but shortly after I get disappointed because I learn it will take another 3-5 years for them to bring it to market.
I certainly understand your concern, but this technology is already in Samsung TVs, so it's not pie in the sky. My biggest concern is how quickly other manufacturers will adopt it.
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post #4 of 23 Old Yesterday, 03:12 PM
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This is awesome! It should speed up the whole internet when receiving large amounts of data.

I wonder what the downside is.

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Being in IT WAN optimization is a fact of life. Sure we use high end appliances to handle the throughput, but we can get 3-5x improvement. What the content providers and hardware makers need to do is get togther and come up with some standard they can all agree upon, then between the more efficient codecs and wan optimization they may be successful getting competitive HD and 4K quality streaming.
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Originally Posted by DeadEd View Post
This is awesome! It should speed up the whole internet when receiving large amounts of data.

I wonder what the downside is.
I agree, but downside? When everyone has it, we are right back where we started
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post #7 of 23 Old Yesterday, 08:40 PM
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sounds good. how 'open' is this technology though?


I'm skeptical of anything that is proprietary or licensed. I want anything that can reduce bandwidth usage, but I hate anything that isn't universally accepted. if this requires specific brands it's unlikely to be beneficial for me. it would be nice if this was used for everything. I mean, I don't want to 'waste' bandwidth watching youtube videos either, haha. any bandwidth I can say is good news in my books, it's been years since I didn't hit my cap(or go over).

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So, Netflix 4K streaming supposedly requires about 15Mbps for "full" quality and somebody paying for 30Mbps service is only managing an 8.8 Mbps average/15 Mbps peak connection to the content provider, even with optimization? I'd be interested to see if there is any improvement in the connection speed to the content provider by going with a 100Mbps plan. I suspect that the answer is "no" and that the issue is not on the consumer's end but somewhere between the content provider and that dreaded "last mile". It might even be the ISP throttling the traffic from the content provider. In any case, I don't see how we can hope to get competitive PQ or QoS from 4K streaming as compared to physical media. Downloads could be the answer, but only if consumers are willing to wait a few hours for their movie to download. If not then content providers won't have any choice but to provide lower PQ in their downloads.
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I find all this facet of network bandwidth and control interesting. I'm not sure this is really new technology but more of a specific application of handling select traffic. Packet transmission has long been a topic based on content. However, Israelis seems very adept at finding ways to get more out of technologies or thinking outside the box. Then again, it was a couple of Israeli teen age kids that created the original "instant message" that later was adopted by AOL in its earliest days. Kudos for this possible advance in streaming that may yet reach the consumer.
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I believe we are entering an era where devices that assist picture quality in all its forms. The Giraffic device and the Darbee Darblet both fall into this category, although they do very different things. The Giraffic, by the very nature of its function, opens the doorway for less-lossy (i.e. larger file size) compression methods, which should improve picture quality and get it closer to a represtnation of the original file. There is no denying that direct access to a file via blu ray or media server results in picture quality that is superior to streaming ( @imagic 's comparison series of articles on this confirms this). I see just as much potential in this as I did as an early adopter of the Darblet before it took off. My internet speeds are rather high (300mbs), but if they built this into a standalone device, I'd jump on it in a heartbeat if for no other reason than it opens the door to better comrpession methods, which will result in better streaming quality. I don't stream on my own (I use blu rays or imported blu rays on a media server), but when it's my wife and I watching something, it's usually streaming, since, with 4k blu ray coming out within a year, and more Atmos releases around the corner, I've been holding off on blu ray purchases since CEDIA 2014.

I hope this goes far. Better compressions in larger file sizes with devices that can slap bandwidth limitations in the face = a win for everyone.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadEd View Post
This is awesome! It should speed up the whole internet when receiving large amounts of data.

I wonder what the downside is.
Licensing costs and adoption by other manufacturers...
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Do not believe high def audio is steamed. Seems like most folks would want hd audio with their 4k video.
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Still Too new! for me anyway. Then I see news about 8k. Like the new audio it's just better to wait it out until a standard is in place, and with advances in tech, man! I see the day when you buy equipment only to have it obsolete the next.
there was a time when a design was made to fit existing tech. , now they design stuff for tech that is not yet available but will be by the time the vertical designed comes to fruition.
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Honestly this does not sound like much news, besides yet another proprietary implementation of known networking techniques already employed for uses where a steady stream of data is needed on a large network (for instance the internet).

Primary use of this so far for now I believe has been online gaming, where speed of the data is now more important than the amount of data transmitted.

If I'm going to be looking no further than my own nose, I would much rather have the option to download and locally store my movies.
I'm lucky to live where fios is the norm and our average 80\80 Mbps connection with no data cap (if I would get my speeds from such a service) I would be able to download a 100GB file in less than three hours tops.

Now going makro again, I know I wouldn't have to travel more than say 10-15 miles west of where I live until FIOS is no longer an option and the best people could hope getting is sketchy ADSL, if not just ISDN dialup.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post
I realize that many AVS members have little regard for streaming HD, much less UHD, but it is a fact of digital life that cannot be ignored.
I never cared for streaming until.... We got a 50 meg Internet connection and we started watching HBO, Showtime, etc. on AppleTV in 1080p instead of the 1080i from Directv. Now, we watch HBO and Showtime pretty much exclusively on AppleTV.
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Originally Posted by kluken View Post
Being in IT WAN optimization is a fact of life. Sure we use high end appliances to handle the throughput, but we can get 3-5x improvement. What the content providers and hardware makers need to do is get togther and come up with some standard they can all agree upon, then between the more efficient codecs and wan optimization they may be successful getting competitive HD and 4K quality streaming.
I design Information Security for Navy aircraft carriers. Prior to that, I worked as a network engineer and network boundary defense engineer. As pointed out by Kluken, this is NOT anything new. This has been going on with WAN accelerators at least since the early 2000s. I was working with Riverbed WAN accelerators back then. All this is is manipulating the MTU on the router and multi-streaming the session and then combining them into a single video/audio stream at the node (this case the TV or other media device). Not sure why this is something that will take years to "develop." Becasue it's used in any modern data center to maximizes throughput.

As Scott pointed out, Samsung already has this in their TVs. It's not a new technology at all.
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Originally Posted by craiggus365 View Post
I agree, but downside? When everyone has it, we are right back where we started

I suspect what it's doing is making multiple of the same request and using whichever one is fastest. If so, it will actually make things much worse once everyone uses one.
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I design Information Security for Navy aircraft carriers. Prior to that, I worked as a network engineer and network boundary defense engineer. As pointed out by Kluken, this is NOT anything new. This has been going on with WAN accelerators at least since the early 2000s. I was working with Riverbed WAN accelerators back then. All this is is manipulating the MTU on the router and multi-streaming the session and then combining them into a single video/audio stream at the node (this case the TV or other media device). Not sure why this is something that will take years to "develop." Becasue it's used in any modern data center to maximizes throughput.

As Scott pointed out, Samsung already has this in their TVs. It's not a new technology at all.

This would only work if the bottleneck was inside your home. In my experience the connection inside your home is way faster than what the internet feeds. I have gigabit Ethernet and my streams from amazon choke from time to time. There's no way it's because of my Ethernet. I can stream HD video from my desktop to 3 TVs simultaneously and it's always smooth.
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Perhaps this news is more relevant to improving the chances of 4K/UHD streaming and downloading a reality for many more consumers.
The FCC Just Redefined Broadband So Expect Faster Internet
Quote:
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) just voted to redefine broadband as "internet which is actually fast enough to use." Now, in order to call its service broadband, companies will need to guarantee download speeds of 25 megabits per second or faster and upload speeds of 3 Mbps or faster.

BTW previous before CES 2015 it was known on the internet as Giraffic Global Video Accelerator been discussed since second half of 2012.

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I certainly understand your concern, but this technology is already in Samsung TVs, so it's not pie in the sky. My biggest concern is how quickly other manufacturers will adopt it.
I'm interested. My amazon prime account feels like its being 'throttled' lately. Anything to help with that is good, 4k/UHD/HD or not.

Any idea if the Samsung TV's you mentioned are listed anywhere or if they are advertising the feature on those TV's?
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So, Netflix 4K streaming supposedly requires about 15Mbps for "full" quality and somebody paying for 30Mbps service is only managing an 8.8 Mbps average/15 Mbps peak connection to the content provider, even with optimization? I'd be interested to see if there is any improvement in the connection speed to the content provider by going with a 100Mbps plan. I suspect that the answer is "no" and that the issue is not on the consumer's end but somewhere between the content provider and that dreaded "last mile". It might even be the ISP throttling the traffic from the content provider. In any case, I don't see how we can hope to get competitive PQ or QoS from 4K streaming as compared to physical media. Downloads could be the answer, but only if consumers are willing to wait a few hours for their movie to download. If not then content providers won't have any choice but to provide lower PQ in their downloads.
this is one reason I'm always skeptical of streaming services. there's simply too many places to put the 'blame'. even if it's as simple as Netflix and my ISP. Netflix can say it's my ISP's fault I'm not getting good results, my ISP can say it's Netflix's fault, average joe can't do anything about it.


as much as I hate cable, at least when it doesn't work, there's only one company that could possibly be responsible for that, and they know it.


what I'd like to see is one company control content, and delivery. if I upgrade my service to 4k content, I also want the bandwidth to support it.

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By Samsung, is he meaning the new 2015s coming out, or is already in the 2014's? And if in the 2014's, just the 8000 and up series?
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This look kewl tech , but i don't get one thing:


Why implement this at the client end, as while the software will work, by the time it gets to the customer, its too late, because the end point it their ISP, thus that is where we will see performance loss, not on the client's device... since the downstream from the ISP to the client is only, in my case 8Mpb down DSL (line limit), something not imposed by my ISP, but i cannot go faster than that because of my physical line limitation.

Of course, no one will stream 4K over DSL, but that's just an example... Even with fiber, it will be up to the ISP/RSP's give you, its not the customer, thus the customer can put anything they like on their end behind the ISP, but unless the connection is fast anyway, you will still see buffering and/or worse.
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