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[Blog] Streaming meets Sia

Sia is well known for backup storage, but it also excels at something else, streaming videos. Thanks to a new streaming endpoint you can now stream your favorite content from the cheapest and fastest fully decentralized network in existence.

How to get started?

If you are a developer and want to start hacking go ahead and check out our documentation. If you aren’t or you just want to try it out right away, take a look at our website first to find out how to set up a Sia node.

When your node is funded and ready for uploading files, upload a video of your choice. In this example the file is called “Sintel.2010.4k.mkv” and will be uploaded to the SiaPath “movies/Sintel.2010.4k.mkv”. If you want to make sure you are actually streaming from the Sia network and not from disk, wait until the health of the file has reached 100% and delete the local copy.

Next open your media player of choice. It doesn’t matter which one as long as it can play a file from a network location and supports the format of your file. In this example we use VLC media player. Hit CTRL + n to get to the “open media” dialogue and paste in the URL from the screenshot below but make sure to replace “movies/Sintel.2010.4k.mkv” with the SiaPath to your file.

VLC media player “Open Media” dialogue

Next hit “Play” and that’s it! VLC media player should start playing your file right away.

New challenges

While serving files from a fully decentralized cloud with high throughput is something that Sia has been good at for quite a while, streaming videos posed completely new challenges. For example a regular download doesn’t have to be sequential. Instead all pieces of a file can be downloaded in parallel to optimize throughput. A stream on the other hand requires high sequential throughput for streaming high quality 4k content but it’s also essential to keep the latency low to skip through those scary or sad scenes without long interruptions. Of course all of that needs ...

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