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How Edge Computing Helps Streaming Services Streamline Their Content Delivery

Discover how edge computing can optimize content delivery, streamline operations, and improve user experience for streaming services.

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how edge computing helps streaming services streamline their content delivery

Video streaming services have seen steady growth over the last decade or so. Similar to how cable and satellite TV replaced radio and theaters as the primary mode of audiovisual entertainment, the advent of streaming services has completely changed the way we consume such entertainment and is in the process of rendering traditional TV media obsolete. When it comes to the advantages of streaming services, remember the three Cs: choice, control, and convenience. This is where video streaming services have an edge over cable and satellite TV.

While these services have always been hugely popular, the lockdowns of the early 2020s catalyzed an even bigger surge in their popularity. However, this sudden influx of users worldwide also shone a spotlight on the vulnerabilities of this technology, mostly as a result of its reliance on a cloud service model. The overwhelming demand created by millions stuck in their homes led to issues such as frequent buffering, reduced quality, and sometimes even server outages, and this was only a few weeks into lockdown.

The problem is, the cloud service model has some fundamental flaws that make it unsuited to deal with the rising demands of the streaming market. The large distances between users and data centers paired with the heightened workload due to an ever-increasing number of streaming requests means this model is no longer viable for streaming. There’s only so much you can do, and beyond a certain point, you’re just beating a dead horse. So, it’s time for a switch because the future of streaming lies in edge computing.

By creating a network of distributed edge servers close to the users in a particular area, streaming services can ensure that they are bridging the gap to their users while also creating reliable streaming channels that have plenty of bandwidth to provide disruption-free service.

Advantages Of Edge Computing For Media Streaming

Increased Speed And Reduced Latency

Edge computing enables streaming services to set up dedicated edge servers for a particular city or locality. By placing these servers close to the user and caching popular content locally, thanks to the storage capabilities of the edge, streaming services can greatly reduce latency-induced buffering and increase the speed at which content is delivered to the user.

We’re talking about a server that is set up with the sole purpose of taking requests from a specific area as opposed to a centralized cloud server taking requests from around the world. Combine this with the reduced physical distance between the server and user, along with the content caching capabilities of the edge, and you have a seamless channel that supports faster content delivery with significantly reduced lag or buffering.

Enhanced Quality And Reliability

Since edge servers deal with reduced traffic and distance, streaming services can ensure that the content being sent to the user is consistently high quality.

Edge servers also spread out the workload, preventing the central server from getting overwhelmed by requests. This also means there is no central point of failure. If one edge server malfunctions, the rest of the network continues to function as intended.

Improved Scalability

Edge computing architecture naturally lends itself to horizontal scaling. You can set up more edge servers to deal with increasing demand, and since these edge servers are not overly complex or pricey to set up, you can also keep costs in check. This is in stark contrast to central servers, where you’re forced to scale vertically as the costs of setting up a brand new central server are exorbitant.

Better Response Times For Cloud Gaming

Yes, video game streaming is a thing, too. It works pretty similarly to video streaming but with an added layer of complexity. Video games are inherently interactive by design, and streaming services must ensure that these interactions are seamless and instant. This doesn’t work in the case of a centralized cloud server. The only way video game streaming (aka cloud gaming) will work is when the games are being run at the edge.

Cloud gaming works by hosting or running games on extremely powerful servers; the gameplay is streamed to the user’s device and their inputs are sent back to the server. Cloud gaming enables users to run extremely demanding and resource-intensive games remotely, which would otherwise not be possible due to local hardware limitations.

By hosting games close to the users at the edge, cloud gaming service providers can ensure quick and smooth response times. And if cloud gaming catches on, we’re looking at tech that will not just change the future of gaming but interactive media as a whole.

Closing Thoughts

Recent advancements in media streaming have completely changed the way we consume entertainment. From the elimination of local storage to the cost-effectiveness of having access to vast content libraries for a small subscription fee, this tech has also made entertainment incredibly convenient. The rising demand for streaming has necessitated sweeping changes to its infrastructure and, well, nothing does the job as well as the edge. Let’s see where it goes from here.

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Adobe Teases New AI Editing Tools And Updates In Premiere Pro

The video editing app will be enhanced with a generative extend tool, text-to-video, improved timeline waveforms, and more.

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adobe teases new ai editing tools and updates in premiere pro
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After launching the generative AI model Firefly last year, Adobe is now showcasing how the technology will be used in upcoming versions of the editing app Premiere Pro. In an early sneak peek, the company demonstrated several new features, including Object Addition and Removal, Generative Extend, and Text to Video.

The first new feature, Generative Extend, targets a common video editing problem by using AI to “Seamlessly add frames to make clips longer, so it’s easier to perfectly time edits and add smooth transitions”.

Meanwhile, Premiere Pro’s Object Addition & Removal tool will leverage Firefly’s generative AI to “Simply select and track objects, then replace them. Remove unwanted items, change an actor’s wardrobe or quickly add set dressings such as a painting or photorealistic flowers on a desk,” Adobe states.

Adobe also showcased another new feature that can automatically generate new film clips using a text prompt. To use the content creation tool, editors can “Simply type text into a prompt or upload reference images. These clips can be used to ideate and create storyboards, or to create B-roll for augmenting live action footage,” Adobe explained. The company seems to be commercializing this particular feature extremely quickly, considering generative AI video only appeared a few months ago.

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The new additions to Premiere Pro will be added later this year, but Adobe is also introducing smaller improvements to the editing app in May. The changes include interactive fade handles to enable easier transitions, an Essential Sound badge that uses AI to “automatically tag audio clips as dialogue, music, sound effects or ambience, and add a new icon so editors get one-click, instant access to the right controls for the job”, along with effect badges and a new look for waveforms in the timeline.

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