How do you put a TV station on the Mbone?

Jay Ashworth jra at
Fri Apr 29 22:40:18 UTC 2011

---- Original Message -----
> From: "david raistrick" <drais at>

> 1) As a consumer network (enterprise, home) - that case is VERY rare.
> 50 people consuming it at your house? Or at the office consuming the same
> feed? (even at a 10k employee company, the rate of that is fairly low,
> particularly on the same leg of the network - I'd love to see some
> statistics that prove me wrong). The amount of work that goes into
> supporting and maintaining this is much higher than the return I'd get
> from it. Even assuming the upstreams supported it.

I'd expect it to be fairly common at colleges; possibly in companies,
depending on the content being watched: live news events are the most
common example -- igmp aware viewer clients (which would bias towaards
this by showing the already running feeds) would also help.

> 2) as a content provider, there's a lot of extra work involved towards
> maintain this with my upstreams, and every mid-stream between me at the
> consumer networks. I require specialists in multicast (comparatively speaking
> unicast specialists are a dime a dozen) and I have to fight a lot of
> politics with the upstreams, and I -still- have to support the unicast
> models so the folks who can't consume multicast can see my content.

Is it still this fragile in 2011?

> 3) as an a midstream network provider I have almost no motivation to
> support this. Sure, my network usage would be reduced - but I (more or
> less simplified here, but) make my living on each bit of traffic I carry -
> if I offered a way for providers and consumers to reduce their traffic,
> that would reduce the amount they pay me. Win for them, lose for me. has a list, compiled (I think) by Marhsall Eubanks, that
lists ISPs and backbones with a formal positive position on this.

Be fun to put you two in a room together.  :-)

> the fact of the matter is that until multicast or it's like -doesn't-
> require massive end-to-end support (and frequently configuration to
> support each stream), there won't be heavy use of it. When I can turn
> up a multicast stream as easily as I can turn up a unicast stream,
> there is -still- a absolute lack of client-side software to recieve and
> playback the streams, and very limited support for broadcasting the streams.

Clearly, there's not an *absolute* lack, or people wouldn't be using it
for anything anywhere ever, which they demonstrably are.

I should think that given Flowplayer, there's a pretty good platform for
implementing such a player in the environment in which program providers
would want to use it... though I'm not intimately familiar with its code.

> ...david (one time multicast specialist supporting a 200,000 seat 4
> channel multicast infrastructure, so I'm fully aware of what magic is
> really involved in maintaining it across divergent networks that -WE-
> owned (or could exercise control of). before that streaming 40Gb/s
> (~200 channels of unicast video for general consumers + on demand streams)

And you haven't written the O'Reilly book yet... why?  :-)

Thanks for the input, David.

-- jra

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