Weekly Update - 8/11/2017

One of our community members, @chrishobcroft, is collecting ideas and feedback for products and applications that people would like to see built on top of a decentralized video network. No idea too big or small. Send in your ideas here. Look for the results to be cleaned up, organized, and shared soon.

Adaptive Bitrate Streaming
As of this week, Livepeer and the Livepeer Media Server (LPMS) support adaptive bitrate streaming (ABS). This means that video players embedded into browsers and native apps can test their current bandwidth and optimize to play a stream at whatever the maximum bitrate the user’s connection can support. You might see an ultra HD video on your smart TV with an ethernet connection, and a much faster loading, lower quality video on your phone’s 3G connection, limiting your data usage.

Protocol and Payments
The Livepeer protocol now supports payments. The mechanism is:

  • Broadcasters deposit funds into Livepeer.
  • As transcoders do the work of encoding and distributing video they can check the broadcasters balance to make sure there are enough funds available to cover the work.
  • At the completion of the work (or at any intermediate point) they claim the work they did. The payment for this claim is deposited into escrow.
  • They then verify the work they did.
  • And then there’s a period of time where observers can provide proof if the transcoders didn’t bother to verify the work they were obligated to. When that period ends the transcoder can release the fees to themselves and their delegators from the escrow.
  • If they violated any step in the process or their work didn’t verify, the broadcaster receives a refund.

There is a whole timing schedule for how and when transcoders can release the fees and delegators can claim their share of the fees. We will update the whitepaper to describe this in detail shortly.

Livepeer, Sia, and the Decentralized Internet Infrastructure Discussion
I had a chance to discuss Livepeer on a panel with David Vorick from Sia about Decentralized Internet Infrastructure at the online 100x investors conference. The video should be available here. Though I’m not sure if registration is required. I think Sia is an amazing project that has done an incredible job of executing in a technically focused way, kept decentralization at the forefront, and built a community organically amongst people who are excited about the technology for the right reasons. We would definitely love to help support live streaming through Sia, just as we would like to help support it through the other decentralized web platforms like Swarm and IPFS.