Challenges Delivering Multiscreen Linear TV Services

23 Sep 2014

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John Ulm, ARRIS

Consumers want TV on any screen. The cornerstone of service providers' IP video migration is delivering this fully managed multiscreen experience.

Our ARRIS 2014 Consumer Entertainment Index found two-thirds of global consumers are interested in a service that allows them to watch any TV program from any device in any location. Almost half of smartphone owners watch TV on their smartphone for at least a few minutes a week, and nearly two-thirds of tablet owners do the same.

Meeting the challenge of a wide range of bit rates, for varying screen sizes, and varying network conditions requires flexible Adaptive Bit Rate (ABR) protocols. However, ABR protocols introduce their own challenges, including breaking the bandwidth capacity bank by requiring a unique stream per screen.

Multicast-assisted ABR has become the solution of choice to manage IP video scalability. To better understand the need and issues around implementing this solution, ARRIS analyzed live viewing behavior across more than 100,000 set-tops for intervals of more than a month. This allowed us to accurately quantify viewership and multicast gains. With this knowledge, we informed a model that allows operators to accurately deploy multicast-assisted ABR.

Our research led to the discovery of potentially significant issues around channel change behavior. In my SCTE paper and during Wednesday's 9:30 a.m. panel on "Multicast & Unicast: The Best of Both Worlds to Enable Multiscreen Video," I'll discuss several mechanisms for mitigating the channel challenge issue.

I'll also touch on the significant bandwidth capacity benefits of Multicast-assisted ABR, but noting the challenges around channel change events when implementing such a solution. And most importantly, I'll highlight how these can be addressed for true IP video migration to be successful.

I hope you’ll join me at Wednesday's session, and I look forward to seeing you in Denver!

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