The IP.com Prior Art Database
English (United States)
2 pages / 13.6 KB
Method for fast channel change with IPTV
Disclosed is a method for fast channel change with Internet protocol television (IPTV). Benefits include improved functionality, improved user experience, and improved cost effectiveness.
Conventionally, with IPTV, broadcast video is sent using multicast streams. To start viewing a channel, the user (client device) joins the stream. However, video entry points only occur periodically in the stream, such as every 0.5 sec or every 2-8 seconds. This means that when a client joins the stream, it might wait 2-8 seconds before it can start presenting video frames. To compete effectively with conventional TV, the time required to change channels must be minimized.
With no fast channel change (FCC), users face a degraded experience in that a delay occurs between changing the channel and seeing video. The delay is particularly a problem if the user is channel surfing using the channel up/down buttons.
The disclosed method is fast channel change with IPTV. The method adds an FCC server at or near the edge of the network. The method can be implemented in several ways, including a simpler multicast-to-unicast model and a multicast-only model.
With the multicast-unicast model, an FCC server is placed in the access network near the serial device (SER) or the optical line terminator (OLT), if bandwidth is sufficient. The FCC server receives all channels that support fast channel changing and buffers an amount of each stream (such as 8-seconds). The server outputs unicast streams from the buffer to the clients. When a client joins a new stream, the data from that stream’s buffer is taken, starting at the most recent entry point in that buffer. As a result, the client does not wait for the next entry point to arrive (see Figure 1).
With the multicast-only model, each channel consists of two multicast streams, a conventional...