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Broadpeak was demonstrating its nanoCDN technology at the OTT TV World Summit this week, outlining how the innovative solution can dramatically reduce bandwidth requirements and also reduce costs for streaming video. The use of multicast, rather than unicast, for the streaming is at the heart of the solution. Broadband service providers with multicast networks (like telcos where they have a classic IPTV footprint) can harness this approach.
A video stream is duplicated (multicast) within the local CDN and client software on the home gateway is then used to convert a multicast stream back to unicast. This means that once in the home, there is no change to how the video is delivered from the gateway to the various multi-screen devices, whether these are laptops, tablets or mobile phones.
Multicast may only be suitable for popular streaming video sources so the nanoCDN solution is designed to work within an existing CDN architecture. If consumers request a niche channel online, this request goes to the server and the video is routed to the home via the normal CDN set up, as unicast video. But for a popular channel (and where the multicast approach has been chosen by the content provider) the server is instructed to route the video through the nanoCDN as a multicast.
Broadpeak is confident this provides a win-win for everyone: lower costs and better QoE for the content provider, much reduced bandwidth demands on the local networks for the broadband provider and a better experience for the consumer. There is a lot of debate in the industry right now about when it will be viable to switch TV channels from broadcast infrastructure to streaming. The use of multicasting could have an important bearing on that but only within multicast enabled networks (or parts of networks).