“HLS streaming is the

industry standard for

global live streaming.”

-Shawn West, Managing Partner, Worship Channels

With the release of Android 5.0 Lollipop comes a host of new features as well as several big fixes. A few of these updates are critical to improving the video playback experience. In this post we’ll provide an overview of video playback improvements.

Ok, let’s dig into the Lollipop updates. Higher quality streams at lower bitrates are now possible with support for the HEVC codec. In addition, tunneled hardware video decoding makes the OS (operating system) significantly more efficient by saving on power consumption and extending battery life during video playback. Most importantly several bugs have been addressed that greatly improve HTTP-Live-Streaming playback.

Let’s take a look at the HLS bugs that were squashed in this release.

Improved Adaptive Bitrate Switching – One of the key features of HLS delivery is the ability to switch between bitrates in real time as network conditions change, as they often do. Unfortunately the streams would sometimes freeze on previous versions of Android when ABR switching started. This has been fixed by Android.

In the m3u8 manifest file the EXT-X-DISCONTINUITY tag often appears when there is a change in the type of media segments. In previous versions of Android these packets were discarded. Now, if the packet has been queued already and is explicitly discontinuous they no longer get discarded. m3u8 No Longer Required – Before Lollipop, the HLS path required the .m3u8 extension on the manifest file. This is no longer required.

Built in Stream Tests – Two stream tests have also been added. One of these verifies redirects within the HLS stream, and the other verifies query strings when interpreting relative URLs.

All of the differences between KitKat 4.4 and Lollipop 5.0 can be found in the ChangeLog.

About the Author:

Matt lives at the intersection of marketing and technology. At he is able to leverage years of technical expertise to deliver effective marketing communications to a highly technical audience.

Read the full article:

Advanced reading:  “The Current State of Android and Video”