Synamedia Edge Media Broadcaster

Synamedia Edge Media Broadcaster

Edge Media Broadcaster

The Synamedia® Media Broadcaster solution provides service providers a next-generation solution for streaming HTTP ABR video to the in-home primary screen using network router IP multicast to achieve broadcast-efficient distribution. It integrates with the existing ABR delivery system without a need for any modifications to the video headend components (for example, encoder, packager, content delivery network) or to the ABR clients. The solution ingests unicast video from the origin server, converts it into multicast data, and distributes it all the way to the home router or set-top box, where it is converted back to unicast video. The solution is implemented to be fully transparent to both the ABR client and the ABR headend.

Because the solution is independent of the existing video delivery infrastructure, it can be integrated with any existing video headend or CDN provider. The solution is highly available and scalable and can support millions of viewers at once.


The solution offers:

  • Efficient live ABR video distribution to stream to millions of homes with one IP multicast session.
  • Cost reduction, which enables convergence to all ABR headend and all ABR clients
  • Transparent with no change to the ABR video headend infrastructure, CDN, and ABR players
  • Reliable transmission with forward error correction (FEC) unicast retransmit
  • Optimised network utilisation and reduction of CDN resources compared to Live unicast ABR

Synamedia Media Broadcaster offers service providers a cost-effective and scalable solution for streaming HTTP Adaptive Bit Rate (ABR) live video to the in-home primary screen using network IP multicast.


The IP video growth challenge

Demand for online video continues to grow dramatically across connected devices. The Cisco Visual Network Index™ forecasts that by 2021 there will be 27 billion connected video devices, with 82 percent of IP traffic being video. Live video will increase 15-fold to 13 percent of video traffic, and ultra-HD IP video is forecasted to reach 21 percent of all video traffic.

The market trends present some major challenges for video service providers:

  • The shift to mobile adaptive bit rate (ABR) clients requires service providers to operate two parallel delivery systems and headends: MPEG2TS for the legacy set-top boxes and IP ABR for mobile devices. This duplication has significant CapEx and OpEx cost implications.
  • Streaming ABR using unicast requires a separate session for each viewer. This delivery method cannot scale to the forecasted load of live video, especially for popular live events such as the football or soccer finals as well as sensational news events with burst viewership.
  • Because of the nature of unicast streaming, the increase in video traffic volume will require significant infrastructure investment at the edge of the network to absorb the load.





Synamedia Media Broadcaster advantages

The Synamedia Media Broadcaster solution’s primary design goals are to achieve:

  • Transparent to ABR media players: does not require modifications of the ABR media player
  • Transparency to existing ABR headend: requires no modifications of encoder, packager, or CDN
  • Transparent switching of unicast and multicast streaming in customer premises equipment (CPE)
  • Centralised or distributed deployments of MC-sender
  • Transparent error repair for packet loss, employing both in-band FEC and unicast retransmit
  • Support for IPv4, IPv6, IGMP2 and IGMPv3 to be compatible with existing multicast standards
  • Flexible CPE strategy: ability to integrate the MC-receiver client into an STB or HGW
  • Rapid channel change using unicast client buffer filling from CDN or MC-receiver cache
  • Low Latency based on Chunked Transfer Encoding and CMAF technologies


Solution architecture

Synamedia Media Broadcaster is based on a Cable Labs reference architecture for a multicast ABR video distribution solution released in 2015–2016. Figure 1 illustrates the solution architecture and main components.

Synamedia 02


The solution consists of three main components:

The Multicast Sender (MC-sender): The MC-sender is a software application running on a Linux operating system (bare metal, virtualised or containerised) in the service provider’s headend.

The primary functions of the MC-sender are:

  • Acquire a live ABR stream from the CDN or origin server using unicast HTTP/TCP requests
  • Encapsulate the video data and FEC for multicast distribution
  • Transmit with rate-pacing multicast data packets to the multicast address group, optional QoS (DSCP)

The Multicast Receiver (MC-receiver): The MC-receiver is integrated into the STB or HGW as a software application running in a CPE middleware’s operating system.

The primary functions of the MC-Receiver are:

  • Stream HTTP/TCP (HLS, DASH, HSS_ unicast video to HTTP ABR media player
  • Acquire (ingest) ABR video using multicast or unicast, with transparent switching
  • Packet error repair using combination of FEC and unicast request retransmission

The Multicast Controller (MC-controller): The MC-controller is a software application running on a Linux operating system (bare metal, virtualised or containerised) in the service provider headend. The primary functions of the MCcontroller are:

  • Distribute configuration information to the MC-sender and MC-receivers
  • Receive stream status messages from MC-receivers containing channel viewing and streaming statistics
  • Provide policy-based or popularity-based configuration of streams to multicast.
  • Export data to OMD Director element management system for Analytics and Notifications

Synamedia Open Media Distribution Director is Synamedia’s centralised element management system for provisioning, monitoring and analysing the Synamedia Media Broadcaster solution. The OMD Director is a common EMS for both Synamedia’s unicast CDN (Synamedia Media Streamer) and Synamedia Media Broadcaster solution. When Synamedia’s CDN is also deployed with the Synamedia Media Broadcaster solution, a common OMD Director instance is used to provision, monitor, and analyse both unicast and multicast distribution. OMD Director can be deployed for Media Broadcaster only as well.




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