Streaming; What’s next

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Summary Notes from “Streaming; What’s next” meeting
17th May 2006, Felix Meritis, Amsterdam
Attendees: Organisation Name

AMS-IX Cara Mascini

AMS-IX Job Witteman

AMS-IX Henk Steenman

Casema Otto Baijer

ChelloMedia Mark Benschop

DutchView Nico Roest

DutchView Peter Hazeberg

DutchView Bernard Kobes

DutchView/StreamGate Jeroen Stolting

Essent Gerben Nijhuis

Essent Michiel Suurmeijer

Garnier Projects Raymond Garnier

IlseMedia Bert Koning

IlseMedia Paul Molenaar

Jetstream (VDO-X) Stef van der Ziel

Jetstream Rudo de Jong

KPN Broadband Services Martin Klarenbeek

NCRV Innovatie Gijs van den Heuvel

NOB Marcel Mattheijer

Publieke Omroep Bram Schoonhoven

RoutIt Jan Hein de Baat

RTL Interactief Jan Paul Dekker

Surfnet Henny Bekker

United Broadcast Facilities Gijs Davelaar

Universiteit Utrecht/NOB Erik Huizer

Versatel Jeroen van der Voort

Wanadoo Frans ter Borg

XS4all Simon Hania

DGET Rudolf van der Berg

After an initial opening by chairman Erik Huizer and statement of affairs from AMS-IX and DutchView (presentations attached) the attendees discuss on whishes and requirements for efficient streaming content distribution (in NL).
The following main statements can be drawn from the discussion:

  • Though the requirements and roadblocks for On-demand and Live streams differ they cannot be viewed separately when trying to come to solutions. The potential solutions are inter-linked in many ways both technically as well as organizationally and economically.

  • Requirements mentioned for streaming distribution solutions in general, regardless of live or on-demand, are: provisioning of statistics, control over quality and geographic/subscriber reach, scaling, openness of costs and value, open and neutral low threshold situation

  • Multicast is mainly a good solution for distributing Live streams, less so for on-demand, though solutions are emerging. Multicast has several major drawbacks concerning the level of control for the content providers. Additionally with the ISP/access providers network situations in NL (star to AMS, ATM/SDH or Ethernet typology) it may never be an economic solution. More research is requested on this topic.

  • The live super-events and extremely popular on-demand streams cause high peaks that have to be catered for, this is the most pressing issue to solve on short notice (preferably in 2006). Those categories representing 10 % of the streams cause 90% of the peak-traffic. The long tail on-demand and less popular live events are a less pressing issue, in the end they are just as voluminous though not as high-peak.

  • EPG is left outside of the discussion, though the inclusion of (standardized) Meta-data with streams is a strong requirement.

  • A solution has to define the interface standards for distribution purposes but should not enforce choices for encoding types and other higher level options. It should be an open and flexible model providing a centralized ticket box type function.

  • A ticket box function should be provided by a neutral party that apart from low-level distribution typically provides a gateway to ‘a-la-carte‘ value added services for redirection, statistics, DRM and billing etcetera that can be provided by other parties. The latter additionally ensuring sufficient market competition.

  • IPTV versus Internet-TV, clear definitions are needed. Suggested is: IPTV is TV channels delivered using the Internet Protocol over a broadband connection (src: wikipedia), optionally using separate infrastructure up to the home in combination with set-top boxes. Internet-TV is TV over the Internet, including IPTV, video on demand, programming on demand, vod-casts, live-event streaming etc.

Conclusions & Actions

It is clear no consensus can be reached at this point in time to come to any definite conclusions and concrete actions as yet. However it is agreed:

    1. A clear definition of the problem at hand is requested. Only by clearly defining the mutual problem it will be possible to work towards a common solution. It is agreed to set-up a Working Group (WG-video) to this effect that will be steered by AMS-IX as neutral party. AMS-IX will make sure every-one is heard and all parties are involved.

    2. Once the WG-video is clear about the definition of the problem set further inventory needs to be done to define a more complete requirements set.

    3. Once the inventory is done and consensus can be found a move towards prototyping could be made. NB: not disregarding the current operational or conceptual platforms such as DutchView/StreamGate and Jetstream/VDO-X or other.

    4. The AMS-IX video-l list is used for brief-back, WG set-up and inventory research. As stated this is an open list for both AMS-IX members and other interested parties.

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