Providing A Scalable, Interactive Video-On-Demand Service Using Multicast Communication
Almeroth, Kevin C.
Ammar, Mostafa H. (Mostafa Hamed)
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Video-On-Demand (VOD) systems are typically designed around the provision of a one-to-one connection between a customer and a video server. Such a scheme is not scalable due to bandwidth and video server resource limitations. On the other hand, it is attractive because it can provide an on-demand system and a high degree of interactivity. In this paper we propose the use of multicast communication in a VOD system wherein multiple users may be served simultaneously by a single video stream transmitted by the server. A limited amount of synchronization of customer requests is needed to further enhance the benefits of the multicast operation. Done properly this should not detract from the on-demand nature of the system. We consider how interactive features, giving the illusion of a one-to-one service, can be added to such a system at the expense of added complexity to system operation and set-top box hardware. The performance of our proposed system is investigated through the use of a simulation.