Apparatus, system, and method for adaptive-rate shifting of streaming content

  • US 10,757,156 B2
  • Filed: 03/04/2019
  • Issued: 08/25/2020
  • Est. Priority Date: 04/30/2004
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. An apparatus for rendering a video that is adaptively received as a digital stream from a video server over a network, the apparatus comprising;

  • a media player operating on the apparatus, wherein the media player is configured to stream the video from the video server via at least one transmission control protocol (TCP) connection over the network, wherein the video server stores multiple different copies of the video encoded at different bit rates as multiple sets of streamlets, wherein each of the streamlets yields a different portion of the video on playback, wherein the streamlets across the different copies yield the same portions of the video on playback, and wherein the streamlets in the different copies are aligned in time such that the streamlets that play back the same portion of the video for the different copies each begin at the same playback time in relation to the beginning of the video, and wherein the media player streams the video by;

    requesting sequential streamlets of one of the copies from the video server according to the playback times of the streamlets by transmitting hypertext transport protocol (HTTP) GET requests that identify the selected streamlets stored by the video server, wherein the sequential streamlets are selected by the media player from the based upon successive determinations to shift the playback quality to a higher or lower quality one of the different copies of the video;

    repeatedly generating, by the media player, a factor relating to the performance of the network that is indicative of an ability to sustain the streaming of the video;

    adapting the successive determinations to shift the playback quality based on the factor to achieve continuous playback of the video using the streamlets of the highest quality copy of the video that is determined to be sustainable at that time; and

    presenting the video for playback by providing the requested streamlets in order of ascending start time.

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