SRT floodgates open, setting stage for yet another fruitful NAB

The SRT (Secure Reliable Transport) Alliance was graced with a stampede of sign ups late last week as 39 new video technology vendors joined the low latency protocol body. SRT’s rise to prominence in two short years since being open sourced has been nothing short of remarkable – but what really triggered this latest rush and what is the significance?

There is barely a vendor in the Faultline Online Reporter ecosystem missing from the SRT Alliance membership list now, which is testament to its ongoing work in developing the technology stack for low latency streaming across any network, to and across cloud-based infrastructures. The en masse sign up is clearly geared towards getting the attention of broadcasters with NAB 2019 just around the corner, where a number of technical panels aim to build on momentum for what is now widely regarded and accepted as the streaming industry’s dominant protocol.

Live encoding expert Haivision, one half of the SRT Alliance’s founding fathers (the other half being Wowza), told Faultline Online Reporter that the 39 new members signed up over a period of weeks and months, but they were simply bundled into one press release for convenience and of course a splash of dramatic effect. Two more announcements are going out soon, Haivision promised us, one of which will be announcing a new member. A new member being honored with its own announcement strongly suggests a major name. In addition, there will be an announcement about its SRT broadcast panel which will feature Fox News Channel, TV Globo, Red Bee Media, Media Kind and Haivision.

Notable new names on the alliance list include Imagine Communications, Net Insight, Ooyala (recently bought by Brightcove), Red Bee Media and Telestream.

Despite the SRT Alliance being backed by the clout of Microsoft Azure, the signature of a second cloud computing giant remains elusive, as we make it five months now since we were first informed about early discussions between the SRT Alliance and AWS. The joining of hands between Azure and AWS would certainly mark a milestone moment in SRT’s adoption and would help drum up support from the all-important service provider sector – while the more immediate focus has been on getting the protocol into OTT video software and relevant streaming platforms.

Part of SRT’s momentum is its content agnosticism, working with any codec, albeit the emerging AV1 codec which currently isn’t on Haivision’s radar, for as the company told us AV1 is extremely compute-intensive so the focus is on HEVC until demand is there. Of course, TCP (transmission control protocol), which is used in ABR by Apple HLS, DASH, Adobe HDS and Microsoft Smooth Streaming, is also content agnostic, as is UDP. But SRT’s main selling point is allowing for both packet resends and different levels of forward error correction, depending on the condition of the network.

At NAB, Haivision will be joined by prominent SRT advocates including Microsoft, Bitmovin, Wowza, Deluxe, Gogo, Al Jazeera, Avid, and MediaKind, among others, hosting three separate panels covering implementations and best practices, as well as using SRT and cloud broadcast services to accelerate production in the Microsoft Azure ecosystem. The final panel will show Finally how broadcasters are using SRT for low cost live contribution and distribution.

Additional companies recognized by the SRT Open Source Project to recently joint the SRT Alliance include: AirenSoft, American Public Television, Ant Media, BCNEXXT, Bolin Technology, Brava Play TV, Broadcast Guru Technologies India, Camerize, Comprimato, Costain, DDVTech, Dream Chip Technologies, Easy Live, Enensys, Hexaglobe, HTV Communications Services, IFBBW, IMC, IMT/Vislink, International Datacasting, ISoft, Larsen & Toubro Media Group, LTN Global, M2A Media, Medianova,, Smart Mobile Labs, Televideo, TV Syndicate, Vector 3, Videstra, VouchPro, Watchity, and Yamaha.

It brings the SRT Alliance’s membership to over 200 names, with more than 60 exhibiting at NAB.

Head of Media Management and OTT at Red Bee Media, Steve Russel, said, “We are increasingly distributing video for high value live events, often on a temporary basis for customers that demand high quality over secure and reliable networks. SRT enables us to expand our customers’ reach while adhering to our preference for Open Standards.”