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BaM™ Product Highlight: Broadpeak nanoCDN™

Mon 25, 11 2019

Broadpeak nanoCDN™ with Ultra Low Latency and Device Synchronization

New devices, including tablets and smartphones, enable television viewers to enjoy live sports and news anytime, anywhere, however latency remains a real issue. It’s not uncommon for consumers to be watching a soccer match and hear their neighbor shout “Goal!!!!!” before seeing it happen. Video streaming delays frequently occur nowadays and can be especially unsatisfying during live sports events.

Traditional IPTV video services typically experience low delay because there is guaranteed bandwidth and a requirement for limited buffering in the set-top box (STB). For Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) video streaming in HLS, HSS or MPEG-DASH, it’s a whole different scenario. Secondary screens such as connected TVs, smartphones, and tablets are accessible on various unmanaged networks (i.e., 3G, 4G and OTT) where the HTTP ABR streaming format is used. HTTP is a best-effort protocol, not initially designed to manage live video delivery that requires regular data sending. It is therefore necessary to use an important buffering at the player level to guarantee service continuity without stalls, with the buffer absorbing the irregular aspects of the HTTP traffic. Player buffer accounts for 70 percent of end-to-end delay.

Broadpeak’s nanoCDN solution resolves this issue by using multicast ABR technology at the network level, enabling operators to successfully stream video without massive buffering on the player side to guarantee a good quality of experience. The solution involves deploying a unicast-to-multicast transcaster in the head-end and multicast-to-unicast agents in the home gateways, allowing players to decrease their buffer sizes to 1s – the same level as traditional IPTV – instead of 18 to 30s, bringing latency down to 7 or 8 seconds instead of the typical 30 to 40 seconds.

Broadpeak’s nanoCDN solution improves live streaming experiences thanks to decreasing the latency. Latency measured in a perfect condition network of a lab, will be the same as a real-life system. It won’t depend on the network condition at a given time. IPTV moving to a full ABR system is a true breakthrough for operators.

IABM Judge

But 7 to 8 seconds is still too high nowadays. Hence, Broadpeak’s added support for the next-generation CMAF standard and chunked transfer encoding (CTE) technology to its nanoCDN solution, bringing latency for video streaming down even further — to 2 seconds and below. 

CMAF includes a low latency mode that allows encoders to generate sub chunks or fragments that are smaller than the chunks traditionally used for HLS and MPEG-DASH. By combining low latency CMAF format with the CTE technology at the level of its unicast to multicast transcaster component, Broadpeak’s nanoCDN solution allows operators to send video chunks while they are being processed. Prior to CTE support, the transcaster would need to process the full chunk before it could be sent to the next phase of the delivery chain, introducing a delay of a chunk’s length (2 to 6s). The combination of both elements — smaller chunks and delivery of chunks before they’ve been fully processed —lowers latency in the head-end.

Broadpeak’s nanoCDN solution is the only multicast ABR technology available on the market today that combines multicast delivery with CMAF and CTE, enabling operators to stream live content with no delay and guaranteed quality of service. For subscribers, nanonCDN increases their satisfaction during live events, ensuring sports fans never miss a second of action because of latency. Winning the BaM Award™ recognizes these tremendous achievements.

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