Highlights from the 2023 SRT InterOp Plugfest with YouTube

This year’s SRT InterOp Plugfest was a pivotal event for testing interoperability and compatibility within the streaming industry. Beginning on May 9th and spanning an entire week, this year’s Plugfest showcased remarkable participation and engagement from vendors, resulting in extensive device-to-device tests and fostering the continued growth of the Secure Reliable Transport (SRT) protocol. Keep reading this post for some of the key highlights from this year’s event! 

An increase in participation and testing

There was an impressive turnout for the 2023 edition of the SRT InterOp Plugfest with 32 vendors actively participating and collectively providing 55 devices and software solutions for testing with other members of the community. Throughout the event, a total of 2,257 individual device-to-device tests were conducted, demonstrating a 51% increase in testing compared to previous years. This surge in participation reflects the growing importance of SRT interoperability within the streaming industry.  

The benefits of collaboration

The collaborative nature of the Plugfest was instrumental in sharing knowledge and developing best practices within the SRT community. Engineers and experts from different organizations including Appear, Blackstar Group, Bitmovin, Canon Inc., Cinegy GmbH, Cloudflare, Colorfront, Evertz Microsystems Ltd., Epiphan Video, GlobalM, Gridshot, Haivision, Intinor, Live X, Matrox, Nanocosmos, OBS, Rivet, Ross Video, Sienna, Streamworks, Switcher.ai, TAG V.S., Techex, Telstra, Tellyo, ToolsOnAir, VideoLAN VLC, Volkert Software, Wowza Media Systems and YouTube came together to exchange insights, troubleshoot challenges, and optimize their solutions for seamless integration with SRT.  

This collective effort not only improves individual products but also drives the overall advancement of the SRT ecosystem.   

YouTube Live introduces SRT

As part of this year’s Plugfest, YouTube introduced their “Live Verified Encoder Program” which aims to ensure the production hardware of vendors seamlessly interfaces with YouTube Live using SRT. This exclusive early access was given to Plugfest participants to test SRT as a replacement for RTMPs ingest and to start populating the YouTube Live Verified Device list on their help center.  

The feedback given by the participating vendors was very positive, highlighting the low latency, good coverage of nearby entry points, and independence of codec choice such as H.264 or HEVC up to 4Kp60.   

Participants of the program will be contacted by YouTube in early June. 

A world record longest SRT inter-vendor chain

During Friday’s testing, what started out as a fun idea developed into a significant test. An SRT live stream from a Haivision Makito X was made available to be picked by the next instance, which made the stream available again for the next solution in the chain. The chain involved nine different vendors, all successfully connected via the SRT protocol – Haivision, Sienna, Tellyo, GlobalM, Blackstar Group, Techex, Live X, OBS Studio, and Switcher.ai. Notably, the video and audio signals remained error-free across all 18 hops, two times around the world.  

Although latency was not fine-tuned during the spontaneous growth of the chain, it was surprisingly low. As a final highlight, a multi-view showing 16 hops in order of the chain was streamed to YouTube Live, utilizing the SRT protocol.

A special thank you goes out to all of the SRT Alliance members and to YouTube for taking part and contributing to another successful SRT InterOp Plugfest. More than 80 engineers worked together for a week, living the collaborative spirit of open source software. Such a great to community to work with!  

Watch the VOD of the SRT InterOp Plugfest Kickoff Webinar

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