There nothing more frustrating than trying to watch a video on a slow internet connection shared with a bunch of other users. When everyone in your house is trying to stream at the same time via Wi-Fi connection, it ruins the experience of watching a movie or TV show by causing skips, endless buffering, and ugly pixilation.
A team of MIT experts have come up with a tool to solve this issue. The group from the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have developed the Minerva system which analyzes videos before playing them to check how much they would be impacted by being played at a lower quality, Engadget reports.
Fast-moving videos like sports events require fast connection, while watching cartoons doesn’t require much and traditional protocols for Wi-Fi sharing simply split the available bandwidth by the number of users. With a limited Wi-Fi connection, that would be O.K. for cartoon watchers but sport lovers get hit. Minerva can analyze both videos in an offline phase to see which would benefit from being allocated more bandwidth and which could be served using lower bandwidth without the quality suffering.
Minerva system, which in real-world tests reduced rebuffering time almost by half, is not only applicable to small households, but could be used to share internet connections across entire regions.