Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Operators can cherry pick CDNs with Broadpeak
The ability to combine multiple CDNs for pay TV service is now enabled by French video delivery firm Broadpeak through a package called umbrellaCDN.
This allows operators or content providers to route linear or on demand material via the most suitable CDN at a given time, according to various criteria designed to optimize cost and quality of service.
“Content providers and operators are constantly looking for new ways to improve the video delivery process,” said Jacques Le Mancq, president and CEO of Broadpeak. “Our umbrellaCDN perfectly complements our existing CDN solutions by enabling content operators and providers to balance traffic between multiple CDNs, with the end result being a superior quality of experience for high-value content and the best cost and quality trade-off for standard content.”
Service providers can set rules for CDN selection under three classes: quality of service, to pick the CDN offering the best quality in a given region; load balancing, where sessions are split between several CDNs to avoid congestion on any one; and quotas, to restrict the maximum number of sessions allocated to each CDN. Within these classes, the routing between CDNs can take account of various other varying factors, including the end user’s location and Internet Service Provider, content type, and time of day, week or year.
According to Le Mancq, this umbrellaCDN complements the nanoCDN it launched at IBC 2012 in September and expanded through a partnership with French home software specialist SoftAtHome the following month. This recruits the end Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) to extend the CDN all the way to the home and relieve congestion on edge as well as core networks. With a traditional CDN solution, multiple unicast streams are replaced with a single transmission as far as the service provider’s edge network but not beyond. Broadpeak’s nano CDN then cuts in by extending the single transmission across the edge network as far as the CPE, which participates as an end node in the CDN.
A key benefit is that operators can exploit existing multicast IP networks to deliver content into homes while introducing adaptive bit rate (ABR) streaming for the final delivery to optimize quality over the access network, all without any new CPE. Quality of Experience is enhanced further by using the end user’s hard drives on home devices, if there are any, to store content ahead so that operations like pause and rewind can be executed with less chance of stuttering or buffering delay.
SoftAtHome’s component is its latest software release SOP5, also announced during last year’s IBC. This runs on a wide variety of home gateway and set top boxes, and enables managed IPTV and OTT adaptive streaming to be used together. This helps ensure that the home installation works smoothly with nanoCDN, to cooperate in combining managed multicast delivery with OTT streaming.