Shocking realities of streaming live VR video

by VideoCoin | September 11, 2018

Virtual reality is fast moving from experimental technology to widespread immersive computing that will change how we learn, work, socialize, and even live. The next big hurdle for VR is video live streaming for a more lifelike experience. And, with the growing burden of video live streaming comes the demand for live stream hosting.

Video live streaming is being used by everyone from churches to business to sports leagues to government because of its ability to show, not tell, and generate high levels of engagement. Adding VR to the mix will only add to the excitement and engagement, and that means an increasing need for quality, affordable, and available live stream hosting.

The Burden of Live Stream Hosting

Video live streaming requires an enormous transfer of data. Many factors contribute to just how much is needed, like whether or not a viewer watches the entire broadcast or the length of your program. Also, upload capacity and download capacity are two sides of the same coin; both are important, and yet they are drastically different.

The producer of a live stream video is primarily concerned with upload capacity. In general, the uploader will require more capacity than the downloader, at least twice as much for a smooth presentation. The uploading side of video live streaming requires more work due to the necessary processing and encoding before the video is ready to be viewed by users.

All this uploading, processing, and downloading in real-time takes massive amounts of resources, including powerful dedicated servers. For instance, a tier-1 content delivery network (CDN) like Akamai uses over 240,000 servers spread across 130 countries. Here are some general guidelines for video live streaming:

  • 1 viewer hour requires 0.644 GB of streaming
  • 100 viewer hours require 64 GB of streaming
  • 1,000 viewer hours require 644 GB of streaming
  • 5,000 viewer hours require 3,220 GB (3.22 Terabytes) of streaming
  • 10,000 viewer hours require 6,440 GB (6.44 Terabytes) of streaming

(Note: 1 viewer hour is equal to 1 viewer watching your live stream video for 1 hour)

VR Live Stream Hosting Data Usage

According to an article in Forbes, “There are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created each day at our current pace… Over the last two years alone 90 percent of the data in the world was generated.”

The demands of VR live stream hosting are vast, as users expect experiences to catch up with real-world living. In order for this to happen, massive amounts of storage, computing power, and bandwidth will be necessary. Cisco has determined that 82% of all online traffic will be composed of video live streaming by 2020.

So how much streaming capacity is currently used, and what will be necessary for VR live streaming? Consider these facts:

  • Users watch 4,146,600 YouTube videos every minute of every day; that’s 1 billion hours every day.
  • Netflix subscribers watch 140 million hours of content each day
  • Each day 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram
  • Each day, 1.2 billion songs are streamed from the internet

Now factor this into that incredible set of numbers:

  • The average 5 MB song file requires 3 seconds to download at 15 Mbps.
  • The average 2 GB SD movie requires 20 minutes to download at 15 Mbps.
  • The average 12 GB 1080p HD movie requires 2 hours to download at 15 Mbps.
  • In order for a 720p VR video stream to download without interruption, a 50 Mbps connection is required.

Even when considering the vast amount of data that is streamed from the internet every day, and how fast it can be acquired, the last bullet point above still stands out. It is obvious that VR will consume considerably more resources than current levels of video live streaming.

A Look at the VR Live Stream Hosting Future Landscape

A number of innovative solutions are being developed that will only increase the demand for more and better VR video live streaming hosting. Three in particular will directly contribute to greater numbers of users, which creates more demand for resources.

Standalone VR

Standalone VR offers a midrange user experience in a wearable, self-contained headset without wires or attachments to any other device. Falling somewhere between mobile VR and performance VR, this option is already offered in the new Oculus Go, available in 32GB or 64GB models. Look for more Standalone VR options as users demand more accessibility and freedom. Of course, a nearby wireless network and smartphone is required.

Increased Usability

As VR headsets become more usable and easier to set up, the number of users will increase. The ideal goal is out-of-the-box usability, with the least amount of setup steps needed. And of course, easier to use means more users, which translates into more bandwidth, storage, and hosting solutions needed.

Technologies that Improve VR Performance

Solutions are already being tested to solve the major hurdles of computing power and bandwidth needs. One such option called Foveated Rendering works with existing computing technology and eye tracking software to conserve processing power at the main computer.

As technology allows more use of existing networks, we will see an explosion in VR experiences available:

  • VR Movies
  • VR Shopping
  • VR Education
  • VR Social Interaction

Again, as companies develop ways to shove more data through existing networks, making for better VR experiences, the number of users will increase, thereby increasing the burden of bandwidth, storage, and hosting.

Solutions for VR Live Stream Hosting

Bandwidth is a top hurdle for VR video live streaming, with even the most basic 360 experience demanding at least 25 Mbps. Considering that VR streaming HD level content will require 80-100 Mbps, and higher quality VR experiences will demand much more, the bandwidth hurdle is high.

Fortunately, in addition to technologies that seek to push more data through existing networks, the average US broadband speed is on the rise, approaching 50 Mbps in many places. Also, a few major ISPs are installing fiber networks capable of Gigabit speeds.

On the live stream hosting front, VideoCoin offers a decentralized video platform that is redefining the process of creating, storing, and distributing video content, including VR. Unused cloud computing and storage can be harnessed through this blockchain-enabled system, with its own protocol token, managed and conducted on a peer-to-peer basis.

This will reduce hosting and storage costs from 50-80%, while ensuring high-quality encryption and distribution solutions. Increase privacy, reduce costs, and remove the middle vendor that imposes so many restrictions on your streaming options. Contact VideoCoin today for more information about how you can get in on the ground floor.


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