Panopto Defines Modern Video Streaming

New White Paper and Infographic Help Organizations Understand the Shift to Modern, HTTP-based Video Delivery

SEATTLE, May 14, 2015 – Panopto, a leading video platform provider, today announced the availability of a new white paper and infographic that help businesses and universities plan for efficient video content streaming across their networks. The white paper, entitled “Modern Video Streaming in the Enterprise: Protocols, Caching, and WAN Optimization,” describes the shift from legacy streaming protocols to HTTP-based video delivery. The paper also defines 7 elements that characterize modern video protocols, and provides information on how web caching and WAN optimization technologies work in conjunction with modern streaming.

The white paper and infographic can be downloaded from Panopto’s website:

A Seismic Shift in Video Delivery
Modern Streaming Infographic (Panopto) - ThumbnailIn the past several decades, changes in video technology have frequently occurred through seismic shifts in ecosystem support. The triumph of VHS over Betamax, the subsequent shift from VHS to DVD, and the rise of H.264 have all followed a pattern in which the industry rallies around a technology and solidifies its position in the market.

In 2015, the next sea change is underway. Legacy video streaming protocols built on overlay networks, custom protocols, and specialized servers are giving way to chunked, connectionless, HTTP-based “Modern Streaming.”

Modern video protocols, including Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), MPEG Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (MPEG-DASH), Adobe’s HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS), and Microsoft Smooth Streaming share seven defining characteristics:

  1. Chunked delivery: Video files are divided into short multi-second fragments that are sent across the wire.
  2. HTTP communication: Video segments are sent across the internet or corporate WAN using the HTTP protocol. Specifically, all Modern Streaming communications rely on TCP ports 80 (for unencrypted traffic) and 443 (for SSL-encrypted traffic).
  3. Stateless interaction: When a client is watching a video stream, each request for subsequent video segments is independent of previous requests.
  4. Cache-friendly: Modern protocols work in concert with HTTP caches that are ubiquitous on the internet, in content delivery networks (CDNs), and in many corporate networks.
  5. Adaptive-bitrate (ABR) playback: Videos delivered using modern protocols are encoded at multiple quality levels. During playback, the client makes adjustments dynamically to minimize buffering while providing a high-quality viewing experience.
  6. Passive network architecture: When video fragments are in transit on the network, intermediary nodes simply route the fragments toward their final destination, and in some cases, also cache the fragment.
  7. Internet-intranet symmetry: Modern protocols treat corporate WANs no differently than the public internet.

Organizations that implement their live and on-demand video infrastructure using Modern Streaming stand to benefit from reductions in cost and network management complexity, and from improvements in scalability and the playback experience.

For organizations with video infrastructure built on legacy streaming protocols like RTMP, MMS, and RTSP, and organizations that have invested in multicast video, Modern Streaming represents an inflection point. Although continued investment in legacy video technology limits near-term disruption, it prolongs an inevitable technology transition, increases the eventual cost of switching, and limits the choice of technology providers who are actively divesting from the technologies.

“Modern Streaming drastically reduces the complexity and cost of delivering video to today’s enterprise networks,” said Eric Burns, CEO of Panopto. “Rather than treating video as a special case, Modern Streaming leverages the architecture of the internet and corporate WANs to deliver video efficiently without the need for proprietary streaming servers, overlay networks, and other declining video technologies.”

About Panopto
Panopto’s mission is to help anyone share knowledge using video. Since 2007, the company has created software that enables businesses and universities to create searchable video presentations in minutes from any device. Privately held, Panopto was founded by technology entrepreneurs and software design veterans at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science. For more information, visit

Published: May 14, 2015