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SRT Alliance Unveils First Wave of Open Source Support

August 22, 2017 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Steve Vonder Haar/ Wainhouse Research

At least one open source initiative in the world of streaming appears to be garnering momentum.

The SRT Alliance - an open source effort launched earlier this year by Haivision and Wowza Media aiming to create a standard protocol of transporting video data - this week said that 22 streaming vendors have signed on to integrate Secure Reliable Transport (SRT) capabilities into their product offerings.

Vendors jumping onto the SRT bandwagon include the likes of Brightcove, Harmonic and Limelight. The complete list of new SRT partners clusters mostly around vendors focusing on consumer-oriented "over-the-top" streaming services and providers of encoding and distribution infrastructure for video sent over the public Internet.

Haivision and Wowza launched the SRT Alliance in April with the goal of making Haivision's once proprietary "Secure Reliable Transport" technology available on an open source basis. In most simplistic terms, SRT employs software to encrypt streaming data at the originating server and decrypt it at the player where it is viewed. Other protocols applied during the transmission process enhance the quality of the video that can be transmitted via a limited network connection.

For Wowza, the move to integrate Haivision's SRT capabilities provides enhanced security and better abilities for distributing video on a low-latency basis via the Wowza Streaming Engine. For Haivision, widespread adoption of SRT would plant the seeds for a broader streaming ecosystem, making it easier for Haivision to integrate its products with the solutions of other vendors and potentially expanding the market for Haivision's offerings.

Conspicuous in their absence in this week's SRT Alliance partnership announcement were vendors of enterprise streaming solutions. It still is not clear whether established enterprise streaming platform vendors, such as Qumu and VBrick, are likely to view the SRT Alliance as friend or foe. While the availability of SRT capabilities offers the promise of improved distribution solutions, it is possible that some vendors will look on the open source initiative as an alternative that would dilute the competitive advantages associated with their proprietary corporate streaming networking solutions.

Representatives of the SRT Alliance said that this week's partnership announcement represents just the first wave of support for the open source initiative. Wowza is expected to release an update to its streaming engine product later this summer that will include SRT capabilities for the first time. That roll-out, SRT supporters say, will set the stage for established platform providers - many of whom integrate Wowza's solution into their own offerings - to more actively embrace the SRT Alliance program.

The SRT Alliance partners are targeting the IBC trade show, slated for September in Amsterdam, as a venue for promoting additional SRT activities. These plans include events designed to educate end users on key aspects of the SRT open source program.

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