Low Latency Streaming Protocols, Benefits, and Choose the Right Solution

Low Latency Streaming

In order to give the best experience to the audience, you need to invest in the right streaming solutions. That can help in producing high-quality visuals and audio to enhance the experience of the audience. With low latency streaming, all this can be achieved because the lower it is it will be able to provide a real-time streaming experience. There are multiple protocols available for streaming such as DASH, WebRTC, HLS, RTMP streaming, etc. And using them, the latency can be reduced to less than a second.

In this blog, we will discuss the low latency streaming protocols and how you can choose the right service for your streams.

Protocols for low latency streaming

With emerging technology and the urge to deliver fast and quality content, the streaming protocol is always growing and advancing. With speedy delivery, you can gain as much attention and viewership as possible. There are multiple low-latency streaming protocols, and some of the most used are discussed below.


RTMP streaming can help in delivering high-quality streams to the audience and still remains the most used protocol by many broadcasters for speedy video delivery. With adaptive video bitrate, it has the capability to deliver content at different quality levels. However, it has now disappeared from most of the publishing ends of various workflows because of its incompatibility with HTML5 video playback devices. There are many benefits of using RTMP, such as

  • It has low latency and it is well established

  • It is able to support most of the encoders and media servers

  • RTMP is required by many social media platforms

With benefits, there are limitations also, and the most important of all is RTMP streaming has not been in use. And has died on the playback side, which has it no longer an end-to-end technology. And is being replaced by more modern and open-source alternatives.


HLS is HTTP live-streaming video protocol that works for delivering visual or audio content over the internet. HLS streaming is the next big thing when it comes to low-latency video streaming and ensures very low delays that can be made to half a second. In the case of simulcast live-streaming, large-scale deployments of HLS extension can require integration with CDN. This can reduce the buffering time for the audience and make their experience much enhanced. For live-streaming events, HLS is the best protocol that can be used with the right integrations and solutions. The benefits of using HLS streaming are listed below

  • Ideal for live-streaming events at any scale

  • Can provide lightning-fast deliveries of videos

  • Wider compatibility & scalability

  • Encoding at multiple quality settings

Using HLS can be interesting, but many of the organizers, vendors, or individuals are still seeing it as an emerging spec and are still implementing proper support.


SRT is a secure, reliable transport protocol and is popular among use cases that involve unstable and unreliable networks. For cloud-based video streaming, SRT is great for delivering high-quality video content over long distances. But it doesn’t have a lot of customizations and thus suffers from player support issues. For this reason, it is more commonly used for the transaction of content to the ingest point, where it is transcoded into another protocol for video playback. The benefits of using the SRT protocol are listed below

  • It is an open-source alternative to other protocols

  • Can deliver high quality with low latency

  • Can live stream across multiple unpredictable networks

With the benefits of high quality and low latency, SRT streaming is not supported by all encoders and is still being treated as a new technology. This also does not support playback.

Select the right low-latency service for your needs

There can be many factors that can influence the video latency of any live stream. When using a multi-streaming platform to simulcast streams, it is not necessary that all of them will have the same latency. The main factors that can affect this are the segment length and the streaming protocol of each platform that is applied in the transactions. Low latency streaming can address both these factors to ensure a smooth and high-quality video delivery. In order to select the right streaming service for your streams, then there are some protocols that you can look for that they support.

Video latency standard

You can choose to use standard HTTP live-streaming (HLS) or dynamic adaptive streaming (DASH) over HTTP protocol. If there is no issue using higher latency that can compromise your audience viewing experience. The normal latency of these protocols can cause a delay of around 20 plus seconds. This is great for live events with larger audiences without any interaction, and even for continuous streaming services. These streaming protocols even allow HD or 4K video quality to viewers at a massive scale.

Reduced video latency

The latency can be reduced further via HLS streaming or DASH to under 20 seconds by optimizing the streaming. With real-time messaging protocol (RTMP) and integration, you can reduce the latency to delay the stream between 20–5 seconds effectively. You can look for tuned DASH or HLS protocols for streaming that are time-sensitive but remember not to allow any interaction with the audience.

Lower video latency

To further reduce the latency below 5 seconds, you need to combine the multiple solutions. Enter or integrate with all the low latency protocols-HLS, DASH, SRT, RTMP, or others in order to match the great latency of 5 seconds of content delivery of cable or broadcasting TV.

Ultra-low latency

Ultra-low latency is considered the greatest of all and is said to be real-time video streaming, which means you no longer need to suffer delays. Web real-time communication protocol (WebRTC) is all you will need to deliver ultra-low latency streaming with sub-second latency. This is a must for giving a lifelike experience and for two-way communication in situations like web conferencing, virtual classrooms, etc. WebRTC is an open-source protocol and is supported by all the popular browsers, but not all the CDNs are compatible.


To give the best virtual and real-time experience, you need to know about the right streaming protocol. There are multiple protocols available that can be chosen and used according to your streaming experience. Low latency streaming is always preferred for live streams because it can help in reducing delays and buffering time. The latency can be reduced to less than a second, or it can differ to a minute, which will make the user go away. To choose the right protocol with a continuous streaming service, you can use the above-mentioned information. In order to give a streamlined user experience.