Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Smart Home Media Server – Increasing Performance While Reducing Broadcast Traffic and Processing

TV broadcast systems can dramatically benefit by updating their centralized broadcasted system into a distributed system that uses smart home media servers. Yann Courqueux from NetGem explained to me at the IPTV World show that by using home media servers, broadcasters can increase the number and quality of services they provide to consumers while reducing transmission bandwidth and the processing burden on the headend. The solution involves the creation of a “Home Cloud” that uses distributed middleware to coordinate and control access to content.
The home media server can run applications in silos within the home which offloads capacity from the headend. This reduces bandwidth on the distribution network, provides faster response time to the user, and allows the user to access content that is not on the headend.
Traditional TV systems have focused on broadcast services to the customer. Hybrid IPTV systems provide broadcast services to the customer additional over the top services (such as NetFlix). Eventually, systems will evolve into IPTV 2.0 home media clouds that offer users access to blended media. Blended media is content that is gathered from multiple sources and presented to the user. An example of blended media is the display of a program guide list that includes broadcast channels from a TV network along with content from other sources such as YouTube or local video sources.

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