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Multicast: Key to UHD over IP

Globally respected for its satellite, cable and terrestrial delivery standards, the DVB has now focused its consensus based development powers on a standard for delivering UHD content services over IP networks using Unicast and Multicast protocols.

“We have already completed some standards work on the use of IP to support the distribution of media content, and this has adopted profiles of MPEG-DASH,” said Graham Mills, chair of the DVB Commercial Module. “Tuned and with supporting service information it means it can be used by broadcasters in standardised and open ways.

“What we are announcing here is the start of some really interesting additional work that takes us into the area of efficiently delivering UHD/4K services using DVB standards,” he added. “The two particular and crucial areas are adaptive bit rates and multicast.”

The flexibility to change bit rate enables the best quality service to reach consumers given the broadband speed they enjoy, or via a mobile network.

“The detailed work on multicast is extremely valuable as it is an efficient way of delivering live content. You can have high demand for live sports over IP networks, and if you can adopt multicast techniques in a standard way then it dramatically reduces the amount of capacity required,” said Mills. “It makes the network much more robust and resilient.”

An open standard through the DVB processes for delivering over broadband networks has one challenge.

“Some organisations are already doing this but they are using proprietary technology or doing things in ways that are not applicable across broad international standards,” said Mills. “We have really strong support to take the IP work we’ve done already into this important new area. It represents the level of confidence that broadcasters and content providers have in UHDTV.” 1.D81