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Eutelsat, TIM, and Broadpeak test multicast streaming over satellite

Multicast functionality allows live events to be streamed without duplicating streams, providing high-quality live coverage.

Telecom Italia (TIM), Broadpeak, and Eutelsat have been testing multicast signal distribution over a satellite network in Italy.

The testing, delivered through the TimVision Box in Adaptative Bit Rate (ABR) multicast mode, was developed in collaboration with Eutelsat, which owns and operates the Eutelsat Konnect satellite dedicated to providing Internet services in Europe and Africa, and with Broadpeak to use the nanoCDN solution for content distribution.

TIM explained that the multicast functionality allows live events to be streamed without duplicating streams, providing live coverage of the highest quality, especially for video content broadcast at HD and UltraHD resolutions. This means that the same content can be distributed indiscriminately and simultaneously to connected users without consuming additional network and transmission resources, while also ensuring the simultaneous availability of sufficient bandwidth for all other satellite services.

Commenting on the development, Crescenzo Micheli, TIM’s head of technology & innovation, said: “The testing has shown that the benefits of multicast transmission in terms of quality and network resource savings are also available with the use of connectivity via satellite. This means that live content can be streamed, even at 4K resolution, with the same quality as a fibre connection, without restrictions linked to the number of simultaneous viewers”.

Denis Fauconnier, Director of Technology, Architecture and Portfolio at Eutelsat, added: “Using multicast on a High Throughput Satellite like Eutelsat Konnect allows to benefit from the competitive advantage of the geostationary satellite which, by its nature, is perfectly suited for broadcasting. This successful pilot represents a new step in the collaboration between Eutelsat and TIM and we look forward to continuing to work with TIM to make this solution available to their customers throughout Italy.”

Damien Sterkers, Video Solutions Marketing Director at Broadpeak, stated: “Satellite has a clear potential in the distribution of video streaming technology, especially for large areas with limited Internet connections. Based on multicast principle, it can totally offload from the network the peaks of streaming traffic typically generated by high popularity live event and secure a virtually unlimited quality to an unlimited number of users in the covered area.”