New Version of Unreal Media Server Streams Live Low Latency Video to HTML5 Web Browsers, no Plugins Needed to Play

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With new version 12.0 of Unreal Media Server software, on-premise publishers can deliver live low latency streaming to the HTML5 video element in all major web browsers; no plugins are needed to play.

Live low latency streaming to web browsers has been a challenge in last years, and no replacement to Flash or proprietary plugins (such as Unreal Streaming Media Player), was on the horizon. To address the problem, W3C proposed Media Source Extensions (MSE) to HTML5 video element. JavaScript that fetches encoded video segments from network, can send these segments to MSE for playback. By 2015, all major browsers implemented MSE. However, the "fetching" technology for JavaScript was based on chunk-based HTTP delivery standards, such as MPEG-DASH. With sending separate HTTP request for every chunk, low latency streaming is not possible. The lowest latency HLS and MPEG-DASH can offer is 10 seconds. Luckily, another IETF standard, named WebSockets, was adopted by web browsers in last years, and that allowed for a new video delivery mechanism to web browsers.

Unlike MPEG-DASH, Unreal Media Server uses a WebSocket protocol for live streaming to HTML5 video-MSE element in web browsers. This is much more efficient than fetching segments via HTTP requests per MPEG-DASH. Also, Unreal Media Server sends segments of minimal duration, as low as 30 ms. That allows for low, sub-second latency streaming, suitable for surveillance and conferencing applications.

Live demo:

For more information and a download of a free version of Unreal Media Server, visit

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