Adaptive Bit Rate is a transformative technology that allows for very high quality, seamless video viewing over the internet. It represents the end result of more than 12 years of development on internet streaming technologies.
Adaptive Bit Rate streaming is a method of streaming that builds upon the best features of previous streaming formats:
- It uses HTTP as its data transfer protocol, making it CDN friendly, firewall friendly, proxy friendly, and simple.
- It uses multiple bit rates to provide the best experience to users on different connections, across the noisy internet, or on different mobile devices.
- It uses keyframe aligned video to insure that the switch from one bit rate to another is never visible to the end-user, except as a change in quality. For instance, it should not require rebuffering or cause a stutter in the frame rate to change bit rates.
- ABR streaming is what has allowed for a true TV experience using Internet streaming - maintaining quality high enough for large-screen HD viewing while adapting to moments of bandwidth shortage or connection hiccups.