Cast4All is a Belgian company offering Satellite Multicast Services in the Business to Business market. One of the future applications is the distribution of movies to the projection locations. EVS Broadcast and Cast4All agreed to work together informally in this ARTES 4 project. EVS Broadcast is a Belgian company that develops, manufactures and markets digital systems for the video and audio industry. For the Digital Cinema market, EVS is developing the Cinestore complete solution. The objective of EVS is to offer a complete, modular solution for distribution and storage of digital cinema content on the projection location. The contribution of Cast4All is the development of a multicast management platform including an advanced Forward Error Correction (FEC).
The key issues of the project are:
- Coping with very large files (50 to 100 GBytes)
- Providing an error free delivery using Forward Error Correction
- Remote management and Control of the receiving equipment.
In the Digital Cinema world it is of key importance that the movies can be distributed quickly and reliably in a multicast mode. This will result in a considerable cost saving in the distribution process. Apart from Digital Cinema, Cast4All will apply the developed software in its Multicast Network and services offered to the business to business market.
The global structure of the Multicast Communication Management platform is presented in the System Architecture figure.
The network architecture is based on the distinction between:
- Communication services at application level, available to users and applications.
- The transport communication network, taking care of the actual communication.
- The transport control or management software, connecting the applications and the network.
The Multicast Communication Management or MCM software deals with the transport control or management tasks. Persistent state is maintained in a central fault-tolerant database. This database is accessed through an application server, providing scalability and transactional integrity, and containing the actual MCM business or application logic. Four different components or server modules implement the different functionalities to interface with the application services and the communication network.
The development plan consists of three phases:
- Design and development of the various components of the Cast4All Multicast Management Platform (MCM)
- Integration of the MCM in the overall EVS Broadcast system
- Test and demonstrations in a real Digital Cinema environment throughout Europe
The developed software has been reviewed and accepted.
Currently we are working on:
- Testing live transmission huge files (more than 50 GByte)
- Integration of the software with the EVS cinema hardware
We plan the final pilot demonstration on April 18th in the cinema theatre at the Barco premises in Kortrijk, Belgium.