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Kasenna receives patent for capability-based streaming

Kasenna, a Mountain View, CA-based software technology company, has received a patent for a technique that solves one of the critical problems in video over broadband networks - the lack of uniform connections. By automatically adjusting bit rates it ensures the best quality video content is delivered over different types of networks; such as ADSL, VDSL, or cable.

The technology (US Patent 6,594,699) is incorporated into Kasenna's MediaBase XMP video delivery platform. It enables broadband service providers to support more markets over a variety of networks with a single video-on-demand (VOD) platform. This is the seventh patent awarded to Kasenna for technologies related to content delivery. The company said it expects to receive eight additional patents that are currently pending.

For home broadband users connectivity can range from very low rates (such as 128 Kbps) to rates that are suitable for delivering broadcast or DVD-quality video (2 to 6 Mbps). Users at the low-end of the bandwidth spectrum may use a video compression format such as MPEG-4 whereas broadcast-quality video would be carried in MPEG-2 format in high bandwidth environments.

Client device capabilities compound this problem in that some users may have Microsoft Windows Media player installed on their personal computer while others may be using digital set-top boxes with their TV. The challenge for operators is to deliver the "right" video at the rate and format that the user's network and client device can support.

Kasenna's streaming management technology addresses this problem using a program that communicates with a video server to establish essential parameters: such as network bit rate, client capability, and availability of decoders to select the optimum stream that can be delivered over the network. At the server end, videos with different encoding formats and rates that represent the same content are managed as a single logical entity by the server, reducing the management complexities associated with handling multiple content types.

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