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Engineers at the BBC claim to have solved one of the most common complaints about watching live TV via broadband - the sometimes lengthy lag between the TV broadcast and the online video.

This delay is caused because online video has to be broken down into smaller packets to be delivered to users, which takes longer than sending a signal over the airwaves.

It has always been an issue for live streaming, but the problem really came to prominence this summer during the World Cup. Millions of people tuned in via the internet to keep up with the tournament for the first time, but many were disappointed to learn the signal was between 30 seconds and a minute behind broadcast TV.

This meant many of the big moments were spoiled when people could hear their neighbours cheering for goals they hadn't seen yet.

However, this could become a thing of the past, as BBC Research and Development claims it has discovered how to eliminate this delay. It says it has been able to create smaller packets - which reduces lag - without them being more inefficient to process, which has been a barrier until now.

The result of this is that online viewers can enjoy live events at the same time as if they were watching on TV.

While the innovation is not yet ready to be rolled out to the public, it will be demonstrated at the International Broadcasting Convention in the Netherlands this week.

The BBC also stated the cooperation of the entire broadcasting industry will be needed to get the system up and running, but suggested the technology may be available by the next World Cup in 2022.

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