These days, our internet speeds are usually fast enough where we can stream videos directly without encountering any buffering. However, there are times when the network might be especially congested, which is when we might experience videos starting and stopping due to buffering.
It can be annoying, but it seems that thanks to the work of researchers at MIT’s CSAIL, they have come up with a way to potentially get around the issue. Dubbed “Minerva”, this is a system in which it will analyze a video before it plays in order to check to see how much they might be impacted should they be played at a lower quality, which usually does help with buffering due to lower quality videos requiring less data.
For those unfamiliar, bandwidth sharing isn’t usually always smart. Basically, it takes whatever bandwidth that’s available and splits it up amongst the number of people using the internet. This is regardless of whether you might need more bandwidth than the other user. However, Minerva makes things smarter by analyzing which videos could benefit from more bandwidth than the other, and will allocate it accordingly.
So far, initial tests have found that the Minerva system managed to reduce rebuffering time by half. This system holds a lot of promise as it could also have commercial use where streaming services could potentially benefit from it as well, not just the end-user.