Case Study

The Evolution
of Yourcast.TV

Mad Devs developed a secure and private video streaming service and live
video broadcasting cinema to provide entertainment experience to isolated
groups feeling homesick.

OTT-like video streaming platform & online cinema

A custom video streaming solution* was created to provide the ultimate entertainment experience to isolated groups of people feeling homesick. Access and the ability to securely watch familiar and up-to-date content on any device is something that closely resembles home and its comforts.

According to the Statement of Work, we ensured the platform’s 100% autonomous work and strictly followed the security compliance requirements. However, due to an NDA, we are not authorised to share the how-tos and best practices related to security.

blockquote
We respect the customer’s request to keep this project under the NDA and will not disclose the project name while sharing its details.

Project in numbers

Being a small, highly customised video streaming and online cinema platform, the service remains popular, with its audience sharing new feature requests for Mad Devs.

7500

viewers in the
database

6000+

active / current
viewers

500

viewers per day

280–300

concurrent viewers

Supported gadgets

The platform is available on any device and remains equally friendly to both web and mobile users. Since 2016, the project has been continuously improving to provide more options for each category of viewers.

Laptops

OTT-like Online Video Streaming Platform on MacBook Pro Laptop.
OTT-like Online Video Streaming Platform on MacBook Pro Laptop.

Smartphones

OTT-like Online Video Streaming Platform on IPhone X Smartphone.
OTT-like Online Video Streaming Platform on IPhone X Smartphone.

Tablets

OTT-like Online Video Streaming Platform on IPad Tablet.
OTT-like Online Video Streaming Platform on IPad Tablet.

Technology stack

  • Golang

    Golang

  • Django

    Django

  • PostgreSQL

    PostgreSQL

  • Nimble Streamer

    Nimble Streamer

  • Plex Media Server

    Plex Media Server

  • jQuery

    jQuery

  • Video.js

    Video.js

  • Nginx

    Nginx

Key project milestones

2016

A database of movies with descriptions transformed into online cinema with a basic content management functionality.

2017

Live video streaming of popular TV channels became available.

2018

The project was redesigned to optimise resource consumption.

2019

Added Video on Demand functionality.

2020

User authorisation ensured a more personalised experience for each user. Custom filters, such as ‘favourites’, ‘already watched’ and ‘search’, made the service more viewer-friendly.

Phase 1: Online cinema

Initially, it was decided to create a movie library with previews, duration information, etc. Purchasing videos was the easiest part. Pulling a good description for each movie from an external source eliminated the routine work related to content management. To address this issue.

blockquote
Mad Devs integrated the platform with Plex Media Server, which provides free movie descriptions via an API.

TV shows & TV series

To support the rising demand for content, the platform needed to accommodate TV shows and series. Each TV series collection was split into seasons for better navigation. Viewers could track their progress; some series were marked as already watched, and the remaining were added to the suggested content. The viewer could mark episodes as watched, or the platform did it automatically for them.

Phase 2: Live streaming technology

To provide viewers with access to their favourite TV channels, the platform needed to emulate the TV experience. To add live-streaming technology, Mad Devs leveraged its existing open-source project, Yourcast.tv.

OTT-like Online Video Streaming Platform on MacBook Pro Laptop.

What is Yourcast.tv?

Yourcast.tv by Mad Devs is used to create TV-like streams using YouTube video content. All you need is to create a list of YouTube videos that you want to stream. The streaming starts a few seconds after you save your list of videos. Read more about Yourcast.TV.

The customer purchased access to several popular TV channels streamed online, and Mad Devs added additional code to start re-streaming the channels using Yourcast.TV. As a result, the platform’s viewers received a selection of TV channel streams on their devices. HBO, Showtime and other TV channels were seamlessly added to the list of available options.

Technically, Django was used for storing stream entries for the Live TV service. The admin created the entries that the platform’s Live TV service then pulled down from Django.

Phase 3: Redesign & optimisations

To reduce traffic while re-streaming movies and TV series, Mad Devs used Nimble Streamer and Nimble Transcoder. As the source provided maximum quality, re-streaming of the ‘heavy’ content was overly expensive. To maintain high quality while reducing costs, files were split into data packages by Nimble Streamer and sent to the viewer’s browser.

As all parts of the projects were developed independently during the first two phases, Mad Devs redesigned the platform infrastructure to orchestrate all of its services. The project became more organised and cost-effective, which was important for further growth.

Full Platform Architecture:

Phase 4: Video on demand

Video on Demand (VoD) functionality was added to the platform in 2019. To adapt it to the most current VoD standards, Mad Devs leveraged Nimble Streamer and Nimble Transcoder. The viewers received access to the present-day VoD experience, enabling on-the-go movie ordering and MD5 hotlink protection.

Phase 5: User authorisation & personalised experience

In 2020, the platform launched individual user authorisation through email. With the statistics collected for each user, the project started to provide a more personalised experience based on people’s preferences. A number of new features were added to improve the existing services:

  • Full-text search across the movie and TV series databases
  • A history of interactions with various movies and TV channels.
  • Suggestions to resume incompletely watched videos.
  • Lists of favourites for both watched and desired content.
OTT-like Online Video Streaming Platform App.

The development of the platform is still a work in progress. The Mad Devs team improves it with each new iteration and borrows best practices from leading over-the-top (OTT) providers to make end users happier. The project is progressing towards a modern entertainment platform.

Plans for similar projects

The platform will remain the one-and-only NDA-protected project. However, Yourcast.TV is fully open source and can serve as a foundation for other video streaming services, assuming monetisation through subscription or advertising. With the experience Mad Devs gained building the platform, customers from the video streaming industry will be able to orchestrate back-end technologies of any complexity.

Meet the team

  • Rinat Shcherba

    Rinat Shcherba

    Backend Developer

  • Daniyar Chambylov

    Daniyar Chambylov

    Backend Developer

  • Vladimir Shebarshov

    Vladimir Shebarshov

    Frontend Developer

  • Andrew Minkin

    Andrew Minkin

    CTO

  • Erik Sultanaliev

    Erik Sultanaliev

    Backend Developer

While working on this project, we acquired extensive hands-on experience in building modern livestreaming and VoD services. We were amazed by the abundance of open-source tools available for building great OTT platforms and online movies. Yourcast.TV was the beginning; however, we now see that this internal project could become a cornerstone for many enterprise-level solutions.
Andrew Minkin

Andrew Minkin

CTO, Mad Devs