The aim of the project is to develop a system for multicasting popular multimedia content to end users of a satellite broadband service. By accurately predicting popular content, the system can lower the total bandwidth use for the satellite broadband operator. At the same time, the system can enhance the use experience of watching video and similar content from an online source.
The project's main premise was that the demand for video rich media is rapidly gaining popularity over the traditional internet. In the UK and worldwide, the demand for video over the internet is increasing at a lightening speed with the increase in fast broadband connections to homes and the emergence of more service providers that are offering content streaming services on a commercial and non-commercial basis.
Although it is a win-win situation for service providers and end users, the demand in the market has proven problematic to the ISP’s who gain no or little from providing “fat pipes” for enabling these services to their users while bearing the costs of providing and running the infrastructure.
Project NXY looked at addressing the issue of content delivery to the satellite broadband end users that used the services during the pilot of the project and the technical and commercial implications on the satellite broadband provider who operated the service.
For satellite broadband providers, the challenge is to provide a high quality user experience while keeping the costs of delivery down. A key to this is making use of the satellite’s intrinsic quality to cost effectively multicast content.
During the project the following key issues were discovered at various stages in the project:
The NXY system is expected to provide the user with an enhanced on-demand video experience with respect to availability, latency and jitter. At the same time, the service provider’s overall bandwidth usage is expected to be lower.
Project NXY successfully designed, developed and implemented an IPTV / VOD end to end solution which was capable of acquiring content and metadata from various sources (content providers) such as BiBC and Lancashire One, and multicast the same to the end users via the satellite using NORM (NACK Oriented Reliable Multicast) protocol that is FEC (Forward Error Correction) based protocol, which ensured the delivery of the multicast to the user clients. The client Cache was ergonomically designed and implemented to enable the users to consume the content.
The high level architectural overview depicted in the figure above shows the various components that were used during the project NXY.
The project was planned to take place over 18 months in a step by step approach:
The project objectives were met successfully by firstly implementing a fully operational end to end IPTV/VOD service that utilised the Hylas 1 satellite for multicasting and conducting a Pilot with approximately 300 end users that were involved in the feedback and evaluation process of the system.
The project was completed on the 18th of June 2013, with the Final Review meeting conducted at ESTEC.