Flussonic 2023 Highlights: Top 12 Updates Solving Real Problems for Our Users
Our clients are the engine of our development, and more than 50 percent of new opportunities arise from inquiries to our support service. We take pride in implementing over 100 changes every month, expanding the capabilities of our clients. Today, we want to summarize the year, talk about our most significant changes that bring maximum benefit to our clients and make a substantial contribution to the streaming industry. Let’s review the key moments together.
Problem: Many of our customers and partners encountered limitations with Watcher when building distributed video surveillance systems. Watcher lacked the flexibility needed to implement specific scenarios and business logic.
Solution: The introduction of Flussonic Central, a cluster management subsystem spun off from Watcher, marks a turning point for customers and partners engaged in in-house development. This allows them to harness Watcher’s streaming capabilities while constructing their surveillance systems on top of Central with tailored business logic. Central brings about a significant reduction in resource consumption for installations with 500 cameras or more, achieving more efficient orchestration and reserves for all Watcher installation components.
Throughout this year, our focus has been fine-tuning Central for Watcher and video surveillance tasks. In the coming year, we plan to expand Central’s capabilities for various Flussonic Media Server clustering scenarios, catering to TV, online streaming, and event broadcast tasks.
Challenge: Backing up multicast typically involves a complex reconfiguration of your existing system.
Solution: Now, you can effortlessly back up multicast without the need for intricate system reconfigurations. Ensure reliability without the hassle of reconfiguring sources and consumers. The backup occurs seamlessly, with two Flussonic Media Servers “listening” to each other, eliminating the need for a third server installation. Additionally, Flussonic effectively backs up third-party multicast sources, making our solution a universal backup for multicast.
Challenge: Online streaming has become an integral part of our lives, but the fragmented support for video codecs other than H.264 in various browsers jeopardizes the quality and accessibility of content.
Solution: AV1 isn’t just about efficient encoding to save resources; it’s a crucial aspect of modern online streaming. Transitioning to AV1, with its 20-80% efficiency improvement over its predecessors, is not just about resource savings; it’s the key to ensuring your content is accessible across all browsers. AV1 is now widely supported in browsers, thanks to the introduction of affordable graphics cards this year. Without AV1 support, online streaming falls short. Flussonic provides AV1 support for playout and transcoding, ensuring your content reaches every user on any device.
Challenge: Deploying software in a private cloud that is not adapted for it creates significant challenges for the CTO
Solution: For a company transitioning to Kubernetes, embracing it for all aspects is the logical step. Integrating Central and Watcher into Kubernetes eliminates the challenges associated with deploying and managing our software in a private cloud for the modern CTO. The cluster becomes self-regulating, ensuring smooth system operation even when the admin is off duty.
Challenge: Haivision’s SRT library (libsrt) is primarily geared towards integrating with endpoint devices, posing implementation challenges for server software. In the creation of a system with dynamic publication generation, its current implementation necessitates the manual copying of stream configurations to all servers where the client can publish.
Solution: Flussonic’s unique SRT implementation addresses this challenge. Our approach centralizes the storage of SRT publishing configurations. Now, when a client accesses a port on one of the publishing server pool, the stream configuration and SRT password are dynamically retrieved. This eliminates the need for manual copying, ensuring smoother integration with server software.
Challenge: Video surveillance providers face challenges in obtaining approval to publish mobile apps on marketplaces (App Store, Google Play, etc.), creating a cumbersome and time-consuming process.
Solution: Integrating the mobile app for Watcher with the web-based PWA simplifies the user experience, providing a streamlined native feel. This not only benefits users but also accelerates the time-to-market for video surveillance service providers.
7. Mobile-Optimized UI: Flussonic Access Anywhere, Anytime
Challenge: Interfaces prove inconvenient to use on mobile devices, hindering accessibility.
Solution: Adapting all new interfaces across our products—Media Server, Watcher, Central, Client Area —for mobile devices enhances usability. This ensures that users can access our products seamlessly from any location worldwide and on any device. Additionally, web push notifications expedite technical support request resolutions.
Solution: Flussonic Media Server’s WHIP/WHEP implementation addresses this challenge by establishing a standard for exchanging signaling data. This breakthrough allows the integration of software from different vendors, enabling our software to seamlessly operate in heterogeneous broadcast systems with low latency. Moreover, WHIP/WHEP’s HTTP protocol simplifies automatic load balancing in a cluster of streaming servers.
Challenge: Previously, safeguarding essential segments of the Watcher video archive from premature deletion relied on a system of locks (DVR_LOCK) placed on each streamer. However, as the cluster’s streamer count and transfer frequency increased, implementing this mechanism became challenging and did not guarantee the safety of crucial data.
Solution: Flussonic addresses this challenge by transferring the complexity of distributed state management to Central and introducing a novel data model - episodes. This enhancement provides a unified approach to managing crucial segments of the video archive, seamlessly integrated with MAMS (Media Asset Management System). Furthermore, archive organization operations have become more cost-effective, and the archive itself is more resilient to failures. The archive metadata is stored in a dedicated Central database, while the archive content is stored on the most optimal node in the cluster.
Challenge: In the past, Flussonic had an ad insertion system confined to pre-rolls, strictly following a schedule that didn’t sync with the video stream content. SCTE35’s ad tagging worked in isolation, limiting the ad monetization avenues for our clients.
Solution: Now, we’ve unified these two functionalities. This integration empowers Flussonic to deploy tailored ads for each client, offering individualized control over timing and shielding against ad blocking. These enhancements cover all devices, including basic set-top boxes, providing our customers with more precise ad insertion choices.
Challenge: Previously, Flussonic lacked native support for the LL-HLS (Low-Latency HTTP Live Streaming) delivery protocol. This limitation hindered the ability to broadcast low-latency H.265 video, particularly on Apple devices.
Solution: Following a significant internal refactoring that included updates to the foundational HTTP server frameworks in Flussonic, direct support for HTTP/2 technology has been integrated into the system. This advancement enables seamless compatibility with the LL-HLS low-latency delivery protocol. Users of iPhones and other devices can now experience low-latency streaming, including content encoded with H.265 codec, addressing a previous gap in availability compared to WebRTC.
Challenge: Previously, when utilizing MPEG-TS technology for HLS broadcasting, playing content in the H.265 codec (HEVC) was confined to browser compatibility. This posed challenges for customers seeking to deliver high-quality content seamlessly across various platforms.
Solution: To address this, we migrated to fMP4 technology within HLS broadcasting, effectively resolving the issue. Now, content playback in the H.265 (HEVC) codec is accessible on all browsers that support this codec. Furthermore, we’ve implemented Fairplay DRM (Apple) support for fMP4 technology, allowing for the streaming of premium content alongside standard Widevine support.
Flussonic remains committed to addressing your challenges, enhancing the flexibility, efficiency, and convenience of streaming. Stay at the forefront of innovation, providing your customers with a broader range of choices and a more dependable service through Flussonic solutions.
Chief Product Officer
Overseeing the development of customer-centric products that address industry demands and emerging trends