Internet live broadcasting traffic in the U.S. hit a record peak this week with the President Obama’s speech. Millions of cubicle employees watched (or tried to) online video of the inauguration ceremonies. It was the most-viewed live video event in Internet history.
CNN.com fed 1.3 million live streams simultaneously. Over the nine-hours ceremony, CNN provided more than 21.3 million video stream. During the Election Day, it had ‘only’ 5.3 million streams.
CDN provider Akamai, who worked with New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Viacom and other outlets, reported a record-breaking day, feeding up seven million video streams at one time. Akamai noted a 54 percent spike in worldwide internet traffic tied to people hunting down news online. Total traffic on the Akamai network surpassed a rate of more than 2 tereabits per second at 12:15pm.
Facebook teamed up with CNN.com to put a stream of personal status updates next to video coverage. Twitter did the same with CBS.
Despite these impressive raw figures, many people were unable to access video, and many Websites –we tried CNN, NYT, ABC, NBC- had trouble keeping up the overwhelming demand. Those frustrated users turn to old television to watch the speech.
CNN posted a note to visitors saying they were in line to receive a working stream. CNN called that feature the "Waiting room".
However, CNN and other media explained that the viewing troubles may have been more a result of the limited Internet capacity coming to offices and houses, rather than a lack of overall bandwidth from the media companies.
The viewing troubles may have been more a result of the limited Internet capacity coming to offices and houses, rather than a lack of overall bandwidth from the media companies, according to Mr. Woodcock.
“The United States continues to suffer from less-than-robust bandwidth, due to inadequate government attention and limited competition between Internet service providers like AT&T and Comcast”, said an analyst in the New York Times. President Obama has acknowledged the problem.
Best and worst Video sites
In terms of performance, CBS had the best quality and the most reliable stream. CBS TV Stations had the best looking video quality by far with at least seven HD quality streams to choose from (Multiple camera angles). Clean and crisp design and great frame rate. It also had video of all the inaugural speeches going back to Roosvelt, and an embedded Twitter feed from CBS stations' editorial team that highlighted different elements as they happen. The HD player was 959 pixels wide. Video was powered by Silverlight, Move Networks, and Vertigo (which built the player to support pre-roll video ads along with companion banner ads.)
MSNBC, C-SPAN and Hulu were the worst, with times where the videos were not even load. ABC News, Associated Press, BBC, Fox, New York Times, Presidential Inaugural Committee, SKY news, USA Today, UStream... not very impressive. (Read Dan Rayburn's experience).
Some people also tried watching the inauguration on a Nokia N95 over WiFi. They went to AP via Ustream via Skyfire. In the rush, the stream slowed down.
(Read the news story in Spanish at IBLNEWS: Toma de posesión: internet, webcast, revolución tecnológica, leer la noticia)