are demonstrating how assisted peer-to-peer delivery networks could change the way consumers access content, including payTV, in the future. The technology demonstration shows how Pace broadband-enabled set-top boxes can form a P2P infrastructure via the Internet to store, distribute and access content both securely and quickly. Assisted by CacheLogic servers, this P2P infrastructure will enable operators to provide a wider range of on-demand content and services to their subscribers, including ‘long tail’ or niche content. By exploiting the storage available across all PVR users on a network, it is possible to make a huge number of titles available to end users without the expense of maintaining a large central server base.
Pace will be demonstrating the prototype to key industry executives at IBC 2007. The demonstration uses a standard Pace digital satellite PVR with an Ethernet port, allowing access to content delivered via the Internet. The PVR has a fully functional Electronic Programme Guide to search and select content for viewing and downloading.
CacheLogic’s recently announced Velocix 2.0 Digital Asset Delivery Network is being used to provide content seed servers. The Velocix ‘peer-assisted network’ is able to blend bandwidth from its on-network caches together with P2P traffic to guarantee that the required delivery bitrate is achieved. Velocix is therefore able overcome the unpredictability and quality of service issues encountered when using pure P2P delivery mechanisms while significantly reducing delivery costs experienced when using traditional Content Delivery Network vendor offerings.
David Gillies, Director of Technology at Pace Micro Technology, said: “Our technology demonstration will enable operators to understand future opportunities for using P2P as a content distribution mechanism. We can show how consumers can download video content from the Internet directly to the television in their living room rather than to their PC.
”Adding broadband capability to broadcast PVRs is a major step forward in converging different methods of content distribution on a single device. P2P functionality adds a further dimension in content delivery.”
Phill Robinson, CEO of CacheLogic, said: “Demand for rich media content delivered over the Internet is growing rapidly and it is up to our industry to offer the combination of technologies and services required to provide convenience and a high quality viewer experience. Our partnership with Pace illustrates this point and provides a taste of the future of television.
“Although P2P networks in recent weeks have been seen to be responsible for putting pressure on broadband networks, by using servers placed in the network this technology actually has the potential to ‘lighten the load’ for operators and make better use of the current infrastructures when it comes to delivering video services.”