Video: Embracing a Native IP Media Distribution Format as a Next Generation Broadcast Solution

The shift to IP hasn’t gone unnoticed in the transmission part of the broadcast chain. ATSC 3.0 is a shift to 100% IP delivery over RF and seamless integration with internet-delivered programming. So, too, has DVB seen this change which they describe as a move from thinking of distribution to thinking about a service. Merging broadcast RF delivery with internet delivery is an aspiration not only to merge broadband and broadcast, but to unify what we now see as fragmentation of services.

DVB’s Emily Dubs highlights some of the standards which form this native-IP strategy such as DVB-MABR, DVB-TA and DVB-I all of which have been featured here on The Broadcast Knowledge.

Thomas Wrede from the DVB CM-S group takes a look at the use cases motivating this work. Connected devices are now ubiquitous like smart TVs, phones and tablets and the stats show that viewers want to access both linear and non-linear content on all their devices. Indeed, Thomas outlines some statistics showing that consumption of linear TV remains high. So given this, Richard Lhermitte from ENENSYS explains that they’re interested in solving a problem for customers with low bandwidth broadband. The work in the CM-S group involves satellite rather than terrestrial RF transmission so the solutions use a gateway device. Looking at business-to-business applications Richard envisions feeding 5G cell towers by delivering video services over satellite, feeding wifi routers in schools, public buildings, malls etc. and delivery to aeroplanes, boats and similar.



Delivering to consumers, we see is envisaged as bringing the satellite and/or terrestrial RF into a demodulator then a gateway device which would deliver into a wifi router where it’s delivered alongside broadband. The internet feed can also be used as a return path for DRM and other signalling. Using this method, only one headend is needed for both the OTT and broadcast feeds a change which AWS noted recently brings around cost savings and was what drove several features in AWS MediaConnect. Another similar use case is to do the same but without the return path. This is more difficult but is part of the work being undertaken. Richard also highlights the ability to deliver parts of a programme, say extra languages, via broadband but using broadcast to deliver the main parts that everyone will want access to. Similarly, using MPEG LCEVC or similar scalable codecs, the HD video can be delivered over the air with the UHD enhancement layer delivered over broadband.

Lastly, Jean-Claude Sachot from Broadpeak briefly talks about the work done with Malaysian pay-TV broadcaster Astro SINI who have been working to extend their proposition with successful tests delivering via satellite into wifi hotspots in public places. This works well as not only does it improve Astro’s proposition to the viewers, but it increases their time spent in the locations where they can watch for free over Wi-Fi rather than having to use their mobile minutes. This is a benefit to the businesses working with Astro to provide the service and for them, the added infrastructure is very low cost as this plugs into their existing Wi-Fi infrastructure.

The video concludes with a Q&A which is summarised here and the main slides can be downloaded here

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Jean-Claude Sachot Jean-Claude Sachot
Business Development Director,
Richard Lhermitte Richard Lhermitte
CTO, VP Solutions, New Market development
Thomas Wrede Thomas Wrede
DVB CM-S Chair
Emily Dubs Moderator: Emily Dubs
Head of Technology,
DVB Project

Video: TV moving to all IP – Dream or Reality?

As IP continues to infiltrate all aspects of the broadcast industry, this panel asks how close we are to all-IP TV delivery, what that would actually mean and how what technologies exist to get us there. As we’ve seen in contribution and production, IP brings with it benefits to those that embrace it, but not all of those benefits apply to every business so this panel considers where the real value actually lies.

Pedro Bandeira from Deutsche Telekom, Rob Suero from RDK, Xavier Leclercq from Broadpeak joins Wyplay’s Dominique Feral in this discussion moderated by Andreas Waltenspiel. The discussion starts with the motivations to move to IP with Pedro explaining that the services he delivers are viewed by the viewers alongside the big internet-delivered services like Netflix. As such, he needs access to the same technologies and sees a lot of innovation in that sphere. This is why he’s advocating a move away from multicast delivery of video to unicast; delivering with exactly the same technologies the giants are using.



For Pedro, streaming technology is an enabler, not a differentiator. As the foundation of his service, he wants it to be rock solid so feels the choice of partners to provide the technology is very important as he intends to benefit from incremental improvements as the base technologies improve. Part of the flexibility that unicast technologies provide, says Pedro, is removing the baggage of older technologies. He sees these as a burden when he wants the same service and quality of experience on devices as well as STBs.

Rob from Broadpeak feels that Multicast, or specifically Multicast-ABR is a really interesting technology because of the scalability and network efficiency which Pedro is willing to sacrifice to access other streaming technologies. Multicast ABR, however, delivers to the home as multicast so the impact on the telco network is minimised and only in the home is the service translated into a standard stream like HLS or DASH. In principle this allows companies like Deutsche Telekom to use the technologies he’s interested in whilst also delivering with network efficiency.

“A great technology for transitioning” is Pedro’s view of ABR Multicast. If we had the bandwidth, he feels no one would bother using it. However, he does agree that it’s useful in those markets whether the infrastructure can’t support a pure unicast offering and he does see ABR Multicast being part of his delivery strategy. He would prefer to avoid it as it requires home gateways and vendor support as well as being another point of failure. With 50 million homes in Europe on IPTV, there are plenty of services to transition.

The conversation then turns to RDK, the generically titled Reference Development Kit which is the name of an open source project, Rob explains, which abstracts the creation of new OTT apps and services from the underlying vendor equipment meaning you don’t have to develop software for each and every device. Removing the ties to OEMs keeps costs down for operators and allows them to be more agile. Dominique explains how writing with RDK may be free, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy and points to an experience where Wyplay shaved 6 seconds of latency off a customer’s service by optimising the way the app was written. At the end of the day, Dominique sees the route to a good, low-latency service as a fight with all aspects of the system including the encoder, packaging protocol, CDN, DRM latency and much more. This means optimising RDK is just part of a wide package of services that companies like Wyplay can offer.

The panel concludes by talking about learning RDK, upskilling colleagues, bringing them along on the journey to all-IP and offering advice to those embarking on projects.

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Pedro Bandeira
VP Product & New Business, Europe,
Deutsche Telekom
Rob Suero Rob Suero
Head of Technology,
Dominique Feral Dominique Feral
Chief Sales & Marketing Officer,
Xavier Leclercq Xavier Leclercq
Head of Business Development,
Andy Waltenspiel Moderator: Andreas Waltenspiel
Founder & GM,
Waltenspiel Management Consulting

Video: Making a case for DVB-MABR

Multicast ABR (mABR) is a way of delivering traditional HTTP-based streams like HLS and DASH over multicast. On a managed telco network, the services are multicast to thousands of homes and only within the home itself does the stream gets converted back unicast HTTP. Devices in the home then access streaming services in exactly the same way as they would Netflix or iPlayer over the internet, but the content is served locally. Streaming is a point-to-point service so each device takes its own stream. If you have 3 devices in the home watching a service, you’ll be sending 3 streams out to them. With mABR, the core network only ever sees one stream to the home and the linear scaling is done internally. Not only does this help remove peaks in traffic, but it significantly reduces the load on the upstream networks, the origin servers and smooths out the bandwidth use.

This video from DVB lays out the business cases which are enabled by mABR. mABR has approved the specification which is now going for standardisation within ETSI. It’s already gained some traction with deployments in the field, so this talk looks at what the projects that drive the continued growth in mABR may look like.

Williams Tovar starts first by making the case for OTT over satellite. With OTT services continuing to take viewing time away from traditional broadcast services, satellite providers are working to ensure they retain relevance and offer value. Delivering these OTT services is, thus, clearly beneficial, but why would you want to? On top of the mABR benefits briefly outlined above, this business case recognises that not everyone is served by a good internet connection. Distributing OTT by satellite can provide high bitrate, OTT experiences to areas with bad broadband and could also be an efficient way to deliver to large public places such as hotels and ships.

Julian Lemotheux from Orange presents a business case for next-generation IPTV. The idea here is to bring down the cost of STBs by replacing CA security with DRM and replacing the chipset with a cheaper one which is less specialised. As DASH and HLS streaming are cpu-based tasks and well understood, general, mass-produced chipsets can be used which are cheaper and removing CA removes some hardware from the box. Also to be considered is that the OTT ecosystem is continually seeing innovation so delivering services in the same format allows providers to keep their offerings up to date without custom development in the IPTV software stack.

Xavier Leclercq from Broadpeak looks, next, at Scaling ABR Delivery. This business case is a consideration of what the ultimate situation will be regarding MPEG2 TSes and ABR. Why don’t we provide all services as Netflix-style ABR streams? One reason is that the scale is enormous with one connection per device, CDNs and national networks would still not be able to cope. Another is that the QoS for MPEG2 transport streams is very good and, whilst it is possible to have bad reception, there is little else that causes interruption to the stream.

mABR can address both of these challenges. By delivering one stream to each home and having the local gateway do the scaling, mass delivery of streamed content becomes both predictable and practical. Whilst there is still a lot of bandwidth involved, the predictable load on the CDNs is much more controlled and with lower peaks, the CDN cost is reduced as this is normally based on the maximum throughput. mABR can also be delivered with a higher QoS than public internet traffic which allows it to benefit from better reliability which could move it in the realm of the traditional transport-stream based serviced. Xavier explains that if you put the gateway within a TV, you are able to deliver a set-top-box-less service whilst if you want to address all devices in you home, you can provide a separate gateway.

Before the video finishes with a Q&A session, Williams delivers the business case for Backhauling over Satellite for CDNs and IP backhaul for 5G Networks. The use case for both has similarities. The CDN backhauling example looks at using satellite to efficiently deliver directly to CDN PoPs in hard to reach areas which may have limited internet links. The Satellite could deliver a high bandwidth set of streams to many PoPs. A similar issue presents itself as there is so much bandwidth available, there is a concern about getting enough into the transmitter. Whether by satellite or IP Multicast, mABR could be used for CDN backhauling to 5G networks delivering into a Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) cache. A further benefit in doing this is avoiding issues with CDN and core network scalability where, again, keeping the individual requests and streams away from the CDN and the network is a big benefit.

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Download the slides from this video

Williams Tovar Williams Tovar
Soultion Pre-sales manager,
ENENSYS Technologies
Julien Lemotheux Julien Lemotheux
Standardisation Expert,
Orange Labs
Xavier Leclercq Xavier Leclercq
VP Business Development,
Christophe Berdinat Moderator: Christophe Berdinat
Chairman CM-I MABR, DVB
Innovation and Standardisation Manager, ENENSYS

Video: Multicast ABR opens the door to a new DVB era

Multicast ABR (mABR) is a way of delivering standard HTTP-based streams like HLS and DASH over multicast. This can be done using an ISP’s managed network to multicast to thousands of homes and only within the home itself does the stream gets converted into unicast HTTP. This allows devices in the home to access streaming services in exactly the same way as they would Netflix or iPlayer, but avoiding strain on the core network. Streaming is a point-to-point service so each device takes its own stream. If you have 3 devices in the home watching a service, you’ll be sending 3 streams out to them. With mABR, the core network only ever sees one stream to the home and the linear scaling is done internally.

Guillaume Bichot from Broadpeak explains how this would work with a multicast server that picks up the streaming files from a CDN/the internet and converts it into multicast. This then needs a gateway at the other end to convert back into multicast. The gateway can run on a set-top-box in the home, as long as multicast can be carried over the last mile to the box. Alternatively, it can be upstream at a local headend or similar.

At the beginning of the talk, we hear from BBC R&D’s Richard Bradbury who explains the current state of the work. Published as DVB Bluebook A176, this is currently written to account for live streaming, but will be extended in the future to deal with video on demand. The gateway is able to respond with a standard HTTP redirect if it becomes overloaded which seamlessly pushes the player’s request directly to the relevant CDN endpoint.

DVB also outlines how players can contact the CDN for missing data or video streams that are not provided, currently, via the gateway. Guillaume outlines which parts of the ecosystem are specified and which are not. For instance, the function of the server is explained but not how it achieves this. He then shows where all this fits into the network stack and highlights that this is protocol-agnostic as far as delivery of media. Whilst they have used DVB-DASH as their assumed target, this could as easily work with HLS or other formats.

Guillaume finishes by showing deployment examples. We see that this can work with uni-directional satellite feeds with a return channel over the internet. It can also work with multiple gateways accessible to a single consumer.

The webinar ends with questions though, during the webinar, Richard Bradbury was answering questions on the chat. DVB has provided a transcript of these questions.

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Download the slides from this presentation

Richard Bradbury Richard Bradbury
Lead Research Engineer,
Guillaume Bichot Guillaume Bichot
Principal Engineer, Head of Exploration,