September 10, 2018
The Expway Multicast ABR Secret Sauce
The Expway Multicast ABR solution revamps the Multicast ABR market, with a new CDN agnostic solution, which finally enables OTT services to span flawlessly across mobile and fixed networks. This new solution defines a new era of TV, replacing all traditional IPTV and digital TV by pure OTT TV with the HD Video quality users demand and the scalability broadband operators need. But what makes it so unique? In this blog, we explore its secret sauce.
Expway’s Multicast ABR solution is composed of key products that have been proven, tested and deployed by leading network operators and mobile device manufacturers across the globe. These include the Expway Multicast Server, the Expway Multicast Controller and the Expway Multicast Agent. Lets look at some of their key features.
The solution supports DASH and HLS audio/video streaming formats. It transmits multiple qualities of audio/video streams simultaneously: e.g. SD for smartphones, HD for most TV sets, 4K for high-end TV sets, even 8K for the happy few. The solution features low latency and zapping time.
It supports Push File delivery in Multicast. This feature can be used to push VoD or system updated to a large population of end-users with a limited cost. It can perform trickle casting or burst casting depending on your scenarios: update the software of all your boxes, deliver a large VOD over night, an entire EPG or a quick advertisement to be watched immediately by all teenagers.
The solution also features a powerful Forward Error Correction (FEC), patented by Expway. It can repair most transmission errors without data re-transmission, saving significant amount of bandwidth and avoiding costly and inefficient retransmission servers.
Expway Multicast ABR seamlessly switches to Multicast and back to Unicast. It automatically switches to Multicast whenever heavy traffic is detected for a specific channel and in a specific region – the solution does that automatically and transparently for the end-user!
When integrated with a CDN, all first-screen and second screen applications, browsers & players will transparently benefit from multicast ABR, without even knowing it. The Multicast Agent will effectively transform the multicast streams to unicast streams expected by legacy apps, browsers and players.
It significantly reduces the number of CDN caches. Additional CDN caches need to be deployed when traditional ABR consumption grows. Expway Multicast ABR provides a caped investment, which is extremely tolerant to consumption peaks and growth.
The Multicast Agent generates reports about the quality of the multicast transmission (some DSL lines generate transmission errors rather annoying for any OTT service). It allows the operator to fine-tune his system and increase overall customer satisfaction.
Other features include local and geo-redundancy, and the capability to run over any virtualisation framework. The Expway Multicast Agent runs on any OS. It also works on Home Gateways and Set-Top Boxes.
Of course, other more secret features are included, which we cannot reveal in a blog post. But, if you contact Expway, we will be glad to tell you about them. Don’t worry, we won’t kill you afterwards. We will only ask you to sign an NDA.