South African tech company promises end to video buffering


SA youth radio station YFM has launched YTV, a service that streams live video content of its studio. What sets the service apart is that the video feed is able to scale itself dynamically depending on the viewer’s bandwidth so there is no need for the visual feed to buffer.

The project is the pilot site for technology developed by Immedia. Developed over three years in conjunction with the University of Cape Town and the CSIR, the software is called Adaptive Real Time Internet Streaming Technology (Artist) and the company hopes it will help bridge the gap between bandwidth supply and content demand.

Inmedia director Bevan Andries says the benefit of Artist in the radio environment is that it adds “eyes to ears, faces to voices and the visual to the audible”.

The service is only available on Windows for now, but YFM music and digital manager Mervyn Sigamoney says the station hopes to take the technology onto mobile platforms via iOS and Android applications in coming months, as well as to Apple desktops and laptops.

Andries says the adaptable bitrate aspect of the technology means it is ideally suited “to developing markets like ours where bitrates vary vastly between users”. He says the technology is also good for the global mobile device industry because data networks are becoming increasingly congested. “All networks are experiencing increased congestion, and products like this should help to ease that.”