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Opera Mini 9 Web Browser Adds Internet Video Streaming Optimisation

Thursday, November 6th, 2014 (9:46 am) - Score 5,564

Opera Software, which is perhaps best known for their web browser of the same name, have moved to help Mobile Broadband (3G and 4G) customers and operators to better manage their data allowances and network capacity by adding a new technology that optimises video streaming via the Opera Mini 9 Browser for iOS devices (iPhone and iPad).

According to Cisco, mobile video represented 53% of the world’s mobile-data traffic at the end of last year and is forecast to reach 69% by 2018. As a result mobile operators are keen to find new ways of optimising related content in order to keep their costs down and deliver the content as and when customers require. Opera’s SkyFire division claims to have developed a partial solution to this problem, called the Rocket Optimizer engine.

In essence this works in the background to perform several clever tricks, such as caching popular video in the cloud and real-time transcoding of video streams (e.g. a mix of compression, Adaptive Bit Rate tweaks and conversion using a more efficient video standard), which apparently doesn’t diminish the quality of the content. It also has the ability to detect connections that might be having performance problems and only applies the optimisation to those who need it.

Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software, said:

This is the first time video optimization has been integrated into a web browser, so your browser can now take pride of place as your favourite video app. Video snags are a small problem, but an annoying one — a pothole on the internet highway. And Opera fixed it.”

Opera claims that its new mobile video optimization solution can instantly optimize nearly any video (e.g. Flash/FLV, Flash/MP4, H.264, Apple HLS and RTMP etc.), which it believes could provide an average boost in bandwidth capacity of 60%. Apparently this also includes MP4 progressive download videos, which they say account for an estimated 70% of iPhone and iPad video and 50% of all web video. It also works on HD quality video, which other solutions are known to struggle with.

The move would appear to build on Opera’s past solutions, such as the popular Turbo Mode in their web browsers, which uses a mix of compression, cache and proxy servers to shrink the requested WWW content down to a smaller size and thus deliver it at a faster rate. Naturally this also means that the end-user consumes less data, which has benefits for your usage and bills.

But it’s worth remembering that such features won’t benefit everybody and most mobile video tends to be downloaded using specific apps, as opposed to being pulled down using a web browser. Likewise some video streams are already as compressed and optimised as you can feasibly make them.

Sadly there’s no word on when this feature might arrive for Android users of the browser, so instead here’s a nice video to explain how it all works.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar DanielM says:

    a huge press release just to say they are changing a few proxy settings.

    i could do this myself in ten mins probably using squid proxy

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      The underlying system is a lot more complex than Turbo Mode, it’s quite a difficult thing to do some of the things they’re doing in real-time and apply it intelligently only where needed.

  2. Avatar Paul says:

    As usual – Android’s left behind again. Businesses which take preference to a specific mobile operating system are somewhat disappointing, why not develop and aim to release both around the same time.

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