online casino gaming broadband bandwidth video compression

The Technology Behind Live Dealer Casino Games

Playing casino games on this site and many others like it has been possible for years now. As technology has evolved, though, it has created new opportunities for gaming. It is only relatively recently that the arrival of a true live-play experience to rival a land-based casino has been possible.

There is something about playing and interacting with a live dealer for some games—an experience that was previously lacking unless you actually travel to a physical casino. Let’s take a look at the technologies that allow players from all over the world to enjoy table games staffed by flesh-and-blood dealers without having to leave the comfort of their own homes.

Fast connectivity

First and foremost, without a suitably speedy and reliable connection being available to as many people as possible, it wouldn’t make financial sense for live dealer casino games to exist. Thankfully with the constant investment in and upgrades to networking infrastructure, over a billion people now have broadband internet access.

Furthermore, it is not just fixed line connections that are ramping up from tens to hundreds of megabits per second. The arrival of 5G networking is making gigabit-speed mobile connectivity a reality.

All of this means that more people can cope with the not insignificant chunk of bandwidth which is required to access live dealer casino games.

Video compression

Of course, even with a fast connection, it is still unreasonable for casino operators to expect players to be able to cope with a constant, high quality video streaming without deploying some form of compression. Even so-called ‘unlimited’ internet packages will often have some kind of cap on usage imposed, which is something that Google has butted up against with its new Stadia game streaming service.

The answer for live dealer casino games lies in video compression, which is the dark art of turning a complex, data-intensive source video into a more compact, lightweight form that still retains most of the quality of the original.

Video compression is incredibly challenging to achieve efficiently without making some sacrifices, yet it makes a big difference for both end users as well as the providers of such content. More data means more bandwidth being consumed and in turn means it is costlier for providers to get content to customers. For example, there is a reason that Netflix charges extra for those who want to watch movies in 4K.

This is less of a problematic overhead in a live dealer online casino context, although for operators that want to target mobile users, compression definitely has a big part to play in ensuring consistency of the experience. Even a slightly flaky Wi-Fi connection can signal problems for a streamed service if it is not properly optimized with compression.

Cloud computing

As the perfect storm of technology has developed to facilitate real-time casino games with live dealers, the centerpiece of it all is almost certainly the cloud.

Whereas in the past providers might have been forced to run their own in-house hardware to host the sites, accommodate user info, protect accounts, take payments and deliver the infrastructure necessary for high bandwidth streaming, cloud computing today allows almost all of these responsibilities to be offloaded.

A number of large tech firms compete for dominance in the cloud market today, running vast data centers which are in turn harnessed by a myriad of clients of all shapes and sizes.

The real benefit of cloud computing comes from its scalability, allowing as much or as little power and bandwidth to be offered to users in real time as demand shifts. This is ideal for live casino services as well as many others, such as video streaming and gaming.

The cloud also gives casino operators global reach, since sites and live dealer streaming can more easily be hosted and distributed in different regions without requiring significant upfront costs. Technologies like this are in part why the online casino industry is enjoying such rapid growth.

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