BBC solves the World Cup streaming delay


The BBC says it has worked on how to eliminate streaming lag”, which causes the live TV to be delayed for a few seconds, when looked online.

Many online viewers of the football World Cup in the summer, heard the neighbours cheering on the objectives they had not yet seen happen, because the online stream was a few seconds behind the TV broadcast.

BBC Research & Development has said that it has managed to “eliminate” the delay.

However, its software is not ready to be launched to the public yet.

Live TV watched online is often at the origin of several seconds, because it is more reliable to send the video on the internet that disseminate it.

The issue also affected Amazon the broadcast of the US Open tennis tournament. Analysts of the diffusion firm of Phenix, said the online dissemination was often up to 45 seconds behind the tv broadcast.

When the video is online streaming, it is divided into small packets, which are reassembled by the receiving device.

If each segment is very short, the treatment becomes ineffective. However, if they are too long, there is more time between the TV broadcast and online stream.

The BBC said it found ways to create smaller segments which can be passed through the system more quickly. He said that the viewers of the resulting line would see the action “at the same time, as they would see if they watched it on TV”.


“With the sport, it’s irritating if you’re watching something that is 20 or 40 seconds behind the live TV,” said Jake Bickerton, the technology editor of the industry magazine Broadcast.

“The BBC has also done trials of the World Cup in streaming 4K [ultra high definition HDR content. Not only is there a delay, but consumers need to have really good broadband at home.

“It’s not going to be easy to get something compressed to a point where he can get the viewers at home thanks to the broadband very quickly. If the BBC is able to reduce the latency, it is a good thing to go ahead.”

Innovation will be at the poster of the International Broadcasting Convention, which begins Thursday in the netherlands.

However, the BBC has said that it would need the cooperation of the entire broadcasting industry to get the system up and running.

He suggested that the technology can be the time of the next World Cup in 2022, and could be issued to the existing equipment with a software update.