Network and Buffering Configuration

Networking Configuration

Shaka Player has separate network retry settings for each of the different types of requests: manifest, license, and segment requests. For example: you may want a failed license request to be retried differently from a failed segment request.

The three separate retry settings are found under drm.retryParameters (for license requests), manifest.retryParameters (for manifest requests), and streaming.retryParameters (for segment requests). All three structures are identical:

retryParameters: {
  timeout: 0,       // timeout in ms, after which we abort; 0 means never
  maxAttempts: 2,   // the maximum number of requests before we fail
  baseDelay: 1000,  // the base delay in ms between retries
  backoffFactor: 2, // the multiplicative backoff factor between retries
  fuzzFactor: 0.5,  // the fuzz factor to apply to each retry delay

Each time we retry, the backoff factor is applied to the delay between retries. So, for example, if the base delay is 1s, and the backoff factor is 2:

  1. initial request at time t = 0 seconds
  2. delay of 1, retry at t = (0 + 1) = 1
  3. delay of 2, retry at t = (1 + 2) = 3
  4. delay of 4, retry at t = (3 + 4) = 7
  5. delay of 8, retry at t = (7 + 8) = 15

and so on. To avoid many clients hammering a server at the same exact time, we also apply a fuzz factor. A fuzz factor of 0.5 means we fuzz the delay 50% in either direction. So if the ideal delay is 8, the actual delay will be randomly chosen between 4 and 12. To extend our earlier example:

  1. initial request
  2. delay of 1±50% (0.5 to 1.5), retry
  3. delay of 2±50% (1 to 3), retry
  4. delay of 4±50% (2 to 6), retry
  5. delay of 8±50% (4 to 12), retry

You should consider the default backoff and fuzz factors as a recommendation of best practice. The base delay, timeout, and maximum number of attempts should be customized for your application's requirements.

Buffering Configuration

Shaka Player's buffering system has three parameters, all of which are nested under streaming in the config object: bufferingGoal, rebufferingGoal, and bufferBehind. All are expressed in seconds.

bufferingGoal is the amount of content we try to buffer. For example, if this is set to 30, we fetch segments until we have at least 30 seconds buffered.

rebufferingGoal is the amount of content we have to have buffered before we can play. For example, if this is 15, we stay in a buffering state until we have at least 15 seconds buffered. This affects both buffering at startup and rebuffering later during playback.

bufferBehind is the amount of content we keep in buffer behind the playhead. For example, if this is 30, we keep 30 seconds of content buffered behind the video's currentTime. When we have more than 30 seconds buffered behind, content will be removed from the start of the buffer to save memory. This is a minimum; if the stream's max segment size is longer than the 'bufferBehind', then that will be used instead.


  • rebufferingGoal should always be less than bufferingGoal.
  • A DASH manifest's minBufferTime, if greater, overrides rebufferingGoal.

All of these settings should be customized for your application. The default values are very conservative.

Buffering and Adaptation

While we are playing, we will only buffer the currently chosen stream. We do not download other bitrates until AbrManager tells us to switch. We also (by default) do not clear the buffer when we adapt. This means that when we adapt to a different bitrate, it may not be visible for a while because the old buffer will still be used. There will be at most bufferingGoal seconds left of the old bitrate in the buffer.

Try it out

Use the code from Basic Usage and try configuring some of these parameters in initPlayer() to see how they affect playback.

Server Considerations

Shaka Player makes a number of requests to various servers while streaming. You need to make sure that Shaka has correct access to those resources. Browsers impose several restrictions on the content that a webpage has access to.

One restriction is CORS (Cross-Origin Resource Sharing). This requires network requests to be made to the same origin, or for the server to explicitly give access. An "origin" refers to the domain name (e.g., the scheme (e.g. https:), and the port (e.g. 80). If you host your assets on a different origin than your web app, then you'll need to set CORS headers on the asset server to ensure we have access. For some content, this will also require allowing the Range header by sending the CORS header Access-Control-Allow-Headers.

Another restriction is called mixed-content. If your webpage is accessed using https:, then all resources that are loaded also need to be loaded using https:. This means that the manifest and all the media segments need to be loaded using https:. This is most easily done by either having all the URLs in your manifests always use https:, or by having it not include the scheme (e.g. //

Continue the Tutorials

Next, check out DRM Configuration.