How do you put a TV station on the Mbone?

Jeff Young young at
Wed May 4 22:15:15 UTC 2011

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On 05/05/2011, at 2:53 AM, Scott Helms wrote:

> On 5/4/2011 12:26 PM, Tim Franklin wrote:
>>> I think that George's POV -- which is also mine -- is that as the
>>> world shifts, the percentage of video distribution which is
>>> amenable to multicast, and not well served by unicast, is likely
>>> to grow, and it would be a Good Idea to be ready for that
>>> situation already when it arrives.
>> Really?  If anything, I'd say quite the opposite.  Watching media in the time-slot that someone else has decided on is *so* 20th-century - I can't remember the last time I sat down to actively watch a programme in its original transmission slot.  (As opposed to having the TV on as background, e.g. 15 minutes of breakfast news in the morning).  I guess multicast to a recording application (or appliance) might work - but essentially my requirement is strongly skewed towards video-on-demand.
>> I have absolutely zero interest in sport of any kind though - I'm given to understand there's quite a high demand for live viewing of that.
>> Regards,
>> Tim.
> I agree, I think less and less content will be multicast with live events (like sports) being the notable exception.  Having said that I think that multicast will increase in importance as more live events move into the remotely viewable venue.  There is a huge market for concerts, live pays, comedy, and other content that just isn't available right now.  The viewing market will continue to fragment requiring more sources of content than are available today.  In short the percentage of video sent as multicast will decrease (IMO) over time but the overall volume will increase as total video content as IP greatly expands.
> -- 

Many years ago I was the MCI side of the Real Broadcast Network.  Real Networks arranged to broadcast a 
Rolling Stones concert.  We had the ability to multicast on the Mbone and unicast from Real Networks caches.
We figured that we'd get a hit rate of 70% multicast (those who wanted to see the event as it happened) and
30% unicast (those who would wait and watch it later).  

The data we got back was the exact opposite of what we'd expected (30% multicast, 70% unicast) with an 
average skew being around 30 minutes (on average unicasters started viewing less than 30 minutes after
the event began).  

Events like these formed my opinion that while multicast wouldn't be a ubiquitous transport, it would be a very 
important (our Real Networks caches picked the event up off the Mbone) tool for providers to use.  

The most ambitious use of multicast I'm aware of is AT&T's UVerse network which multicasts (SS) from two
head-ends all the way to the set top box in a home.  But this is confined to the AT&T network and UVerse is
arguably a "me-too" offering to compete with Time Warner Cable and others.

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