Edgeware has announced a suite of new features that lets broadcasters and content owners deliver live OTT services at a large scale, and in a higher quality than conventional broadcast TV. The technology has been developed for operators that have invested in the rights to popular sporting events and reality shows that attract large audiences all watching simultaneously.
“Onboarding a huge number of clients, each requesting the same content within a very short timeframe, is a challenge for a unicast delivery network,” explains Johan Bolin, VP of Products at Edgeware. “This new suite of technologies makes sure content distributors avoid overloading streaming servers, reduces pressure on their origin servers from cache-misses, and makes sure all users have the highest-quality viewing experience.”
The suite of new features includes Edgeware’s Dynamic Asset Spreading which enables operators to spread popular content across a wider range of servers than would be populated usually. The more popular the content, the wider it’s spread, increasing the streaming capacity for big events while reducing the risk of overloading servers.
Also new is Predictive Session Load Balancing which dynamically reacts to a build-up in the queue of requests, monitoring them against pre-set limits. It controls the onboarding of huge numbers of viewers and directs new client requests to the next available server to avoid congestion before it can occur.
Edge Asset Request Consolidation avoids streaming servers sending out many identical requests for the same content if there is a cache-miss. Cache-misses can occur for live content in latency-minimized CDNs because new segments of content may not have been written to the origin server before the client requests them. This feature consolidates thousands of identical requests for new segments into one, before sending it to the origin, alleviating pressure on the origin server and saving backhaul capacity.
Alongside the new features Edgeware is also presenting an Online Monitoring Service which includes a system health check before major events, proactive rapid response to any issues that may occur during the event and additional reporting.
All of the new features are available now, both as part of Edgeware’s software portfolio and on its purpose-built TV servers, and are already being deployed in live networks.
“The task of streaming live OTT programming of the world’s biggest events is onerous and often affects an operator’s most expensive content,” adds Bolin. “That’s why we can’t treat it the same way as other traffic types and need to put in place purpose-built technologies to deliver the best experience.”
The new feature set complements the intrinsic characteristics of an Edgeware TV delivery system which already scales to support live and VOD content. Immediate streaming – without the need for full segments to be written into memory – minimises latency. And Edgeware’s frame-accurate segmentation enables glitch-free viewing experience of both content and personalised ads. Edgeware’s decentralised TV CDN architecture, with servers close to the viewer, reduces glitches and buffering.