The Broad Picture: Delivering Live Video Streams Via Satellite
February 1, 2017
Multicast ABR: a game changer for live video streaming via satellite
Satellites provide a great infrastructure for broadcasting live content to large geographical areas. Since next-generation devices (e.g., tablets, smartphones, connected TVs, and OTT STBs) mainly receive adaptive bitrate unicast streams, one would think that using satellites to address them is impossible and that it is only relevant to use satellite for the main screen. However, satellite is perfectly suitable for http delivery to any screen, especially when a massive amount of bandwidth is at stake, which is more and more the case with the rise of UHD, HDR or VR360 content. Keep reading to find out how multicast technology is a game-changer for video streaming.
Reaching millions of end-users with one satellite stream
With Broadpeak technologies, content providers can seamlessly convert unicast streams into multicast. The setup is simple! We install a Broadpeak BkE200 transcaster server in the headend and our multicast ABR application, nanoCDN, in the CPE of the subscriber, to convert the multicast stream back into unicast.
Broadpeak’s solution revolutionizes live multiscreen video delivery via satellite by removing all of the hurdles related to peak hour consumption. Regardless of the number of viewers, the same bandwidth is used over the network. Leveraging subscribers’ home CPE equipment as part of the content delivery network infrastructure, nanoCDN makes live multiscreen video delivery to any device truly scalable.
Decrease latency regarding live events
For users to have a good live viewing experience, operators must consider the latency involved with delivering “real live” content. Sport events and news channels require very low latency to avoid frustration from end-users, who do not want their program to be spoiled by advance Twitter notifications, SMS, or by hearing the reactions of their neighbors!
Thanks to nanoCDN technology, Broadpeak decreases live latency by 80 percent. Streaming optimization and playlist manipulation technologies are at the heart of these improvements.
Multicast ABR to feed remote sites
Broadpeak’s solution is not only intended for satellite operators, it also addresses telecom and cable operators that use a satellite contribution link. Given that the satellite link between the central headend and local headend is expensive, using unicast at this level to stream content to several local headends can be very costly.
Relying on the power of multicast, Broadpeak’s solution dramatically reduces operators’ costs and makes live multiscreen delivery affordable. Broadpeak’s technologies first convert the unicast stream into multicast. The multicast stream is then sent to different local headends and converted back into unicast. Telecom operators can use each local headend as a delivery point of presence (PoP).
For each PoP, Broadpeak provides a streaming server with the nanoCDN application that allows operators to convert the incoming multicast stream into unicast and to deliver it in the distribution network. The unicast stream is distributed to subscribers’ homes, and live content can be watched on any device.
- Scalability for live multiscreen content (1 million viewers → 1 multicast stream)
- Maintains the benefits of adaptive streaming technology for a superior quality of experience
- Addresses all device types in the subscriber home
- Supports live pause TV mode
- No extra delay