Trying to watch an online video is sometimes the most irritating task. An endless wait for buffering, downgrading to 144p for viewing and pausing in live streams is a problem faced by many people. MIT has designed a tool that will help users overcome the issues of viewing videos over shared WiFi.

It has always been a pain trying to watch videos over shared WiFi and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has developed the "Minerva" tool to help users fix it. According to Engadget, the tool checks videos before playing them and assesses how the quality of playback will be impacted because of the speed of the internet.

It can replace the traditional TCP/IP protocol on video streaming platforms and can work without using any hardware, which makes it easy to implement across large audiences.

Traditional WiFi bandwidth is split between users' protocols. If you are watching a video on your smartphone using the home WiFi network and another user joins in to watch a video on a different device, the bandwidth is split into two. It is similarly further split according to users. This cuts bandwidth and causes issues with streaming and watching videos online.

Minerva will analyze videos before they are played in an offline manner. It will check which video should get better bandwidth and assign accordingly. For example, if you are watching a live sports match and another user is watching a pre-recorded video, it will assign more bandwidth to the live match. It will do this so that the live match does not get interrupted. It will also keep adjusting according to videos being played.

According to MIT's tests, Minerva was able to reduce buffering time by half and resulted in improving the quality of playback in at least one-third of cases. The change in playback quality was equal to that of switching from 720p to 1080p. The tool can be even employed across large regions and used on video streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu and YouTube to provide better streaming quality to users.

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