Proxy Support for HTTP Adaptive Streaming
Not long ago streaming video over the Internet included only short clips of low quality video. Now the possibilities seem endless as professional productions are made available in high definition. This explosion of growth is the result of several factors, such as increasing network performance, advancements in video encoding technology, improvements to video streaming techniques, and a growing number of devices capable of handling video. However, despite the improvements to Internet video streaming this paradigm is still evolving. HTTP adaptive streaming involves encoding a video at multiple quality levels then dividing those quality levels into small chunks. The player can then determine which quality level to retrieve the next chunk from in order to optimize video playback when considering the underlying network conditions. This thesis first presents an experimental framework that allows for adaptive streaming players to be analyzed and evaluated. Evaluation is beneficial because there are several concerns with the adaptive video streaming ecosystem such as achieving a high video playback quality while also ensuring stable playback quality. The primary contribution of this thesis is the evaluation of prefetching by a proxy server as a means to improve streaming performance. This work considers an implementation of a proxy server that is functional with the extremely popular Netflix streaming service, and it is evaluated using two Netflix players. The results show its potential to improve video streaming performance in several scenarios. It effectively increases the buffer capacity of the player as chunks can be prefetched in advance of the player's request then stored on the proxy to be quickly delivered once requested. This allows for degradation in network conditions to be hidden from the player while the proxy serves prefetched data, preventing a reduction to the video quality as a result of an overreaction by the player. Further, the proxy can reduce the impact of the bottleneck in the network, achieving higher throughput by utilizing parallel connections to the server.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorEager, Derek L.
CommitteeMakaroff, Dwight; Keil, Mark; Teng, Daniel
Copyright DateDecember 2013
HTTP Adaptive Streaming