What is Adaptive Bitrate Streaming? How does it work?

So when you watch a 1280 x 720 pixel HD video on a screen that is 1920x1080px, you could find some blur and pixelation in the video quality, this is the scenario where Adaptive bitrate streaming takes up the challenge in delivering quality video without any buffering.

Let’s Walk through the detailed information about Adaptive Bitrate Streaming.

What is Adaptive Bitrate Streaming?

Adaptive bitrate streaming is a technology that ensures to deliver video to the user in the most usable video quality to each user in the most efficient possible way.

It was demonstrated – past doubt – that ABS was required when it came to connecting video streams with users, no matter where they were.

To put it in more technical, ABS is a technique used in streaming multimedia over computer networks where the traditional video and audio streaming are carried using streaming protocols such as RTP and RTSP, nowadays the adaptive bitrate streaming technology is based on HTTP.

Encoding & Adaptive Streaming

After a clear observation about the adaptive bitrate streaming, let us understand the types of Adaptive bitrate streaming.

Types of Adaptive Bitrate Streaming:

  1. Adobe Dynamic HTTP Delivery
  2. Apple HTTP Live Streaming
  3. Microsoft Smooth Streaming

Adobe HTTP Dynamic Streaming

HDS enables both the on-demand and live adaptive bitrate video transmission of mp4 media over a typical HTTP connection. The open-format solution enables online video streaming publishers to enhance existing networks and cache to deliver media to adobe media platforms with the utmost efficiency.

Apple HTTP Live Streaming

This live streaming protocol lets you send any live or prerecorded audio/video to any ipad, iphone devices or Mac on an ordinary web server. It can easily adjust to any playback quality to match the available speed of the wireless network or bandwidth.

Microsoft Smooth Streaming

This type creates multiple files from one single source file. The entire multiple outputs will be combined into a single tar file to unpack later.

In understanding the different types of adaptive bitrate streaming, the purpose of adaptive bitrate streaming is as important as anything.

The Purpose of Adaptive Bitrate Streaming In Today’s Entertainment & Live Streamings

To connect with the users – no matter wherever they are – all you need is adaptive bitrate streaming.

The mobile viewers having poor connections have to wait longer to watch videos and load games, adaptive bitrate streaming has changed the scenario to adapt any screen size and network bandwidth.

If you want to reach your target viewers – wherever they might be at any point of time – Adaptive Bitrate Streaming is something you should consider.

To deliver high-quality streams to users with extraordinary bandwidth and processing, adaptive bitrate streaming is the tool you need to implement in your live streaming and VoD applications.

Instead of creating one live stream at one bitrate, the transcoder helps to create multiple streams at multiple bitrates and resolution with the help of a media server software. Then the media server sends the highest quality stream to every viewer’s device and based on the internet speed.

The Working of Adaptive Bitrate Streaming

The working of adaptive bitrate carries different stages to deliver an excellent viewing experience across the devices and connection speeds.

The transcoding allows you to create multiple numbers of files from one single source through the process of transrating and transizing.


It takes the compressed file and decompressing to alter using some specific ways. Basically the encoded file into decoding.


It’s the subcategory of transcoding. This helps in changing the bitrate of uncompressed files on different internet connection speeds.


This helps to resize the resolution to different screen sizes. It’s another subcategory of transcoding.

The overall length of the data transmission is broken down into chunks of 2-10 seconds in length using the transcoder. This helps the adaptive bitrate streaming player to shift different encodings depending on the available resource. The video player whichever renditions and processing to stream.

The Growth of Adaptive Bitrate Streaming To Today’s Technology

In the early days of the internet transmission, RTMP was the go-to-market method for streaming over the internet, the transmission of linear streams through RTMP was lightning-fast delivery but the protocol encountered streaming through firewalls.

Then, it was the intro of HTTP-based technology which were progressive downloads sent over regular web servers. The technology acted as a method where you downloaded the video while watching and didn’t optimize for different screen-size and connection speed. According to a recent survey, almost 67% of publishers of OTT players opted to use HLS as the primary streaming protocol for its benefits.

Wrapping Up

Connectivity and uninterrupted services have heightened customers’ expectations. Fortunately, adaptive bitrate streaming is easily accessible to streaming providers. To deliver exquisite content with high-quality to your viewers across devices, top OTT providers like GudSho have developed with an adaptive bitrate streaming to offer seamless streaming across any device and screen sizes.


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