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HDHomeRun Premium TV – The Infrastructure That Makes It Work

If you are interested in IT, Software Engineering, or all things tech…

Early in our technical evaluation we ran tests streaming real-time video using a major commercial CDN provider. Good performance on a cache hit but wildly varying performance on a cache miss. The CDN couldn’t guarantee real time performance and we had no visibility into problems when they occurred.

Real Time Video Solutions

Real time video has unique challenges which we solved by taking an approached tailored specifically to live TV delivery.

CDN nodes – we have 4 datacenter locations online in the US today. Each datacenter location has multiple servers and each server has its own dedicated 10G internet link. Our contract allows us to rapidly add more bandwidth and locations.

The CDN nodes have data ready for HDHomeRun devices. Every CDN node pulls two interchangeable copies of each channel, one from a core node in NYC and another from a core node in California. This approach provides always-on redundancy without the delays or glitches often associated with caching and failover approaches.

The core node in NYC pulls two interchangeable copies of each channel, one from our transcoding servers in North Carolina and another from our transcoding servers in California. Likewise the core node in California pulls two interchangeable copies of each channel. As with the CDN nodes this provides always-on redundancy without the delays or glitches often associated with caching and failover approaches.

A Real World Test

A real world event put this to the test – we had a power supply fail in one of the transcode servers a few weeks ago. The failure was immediately detected and reported by both core nodes. While both NYC and California had lost a source path for some channels they both continued to deliver every channel to every CDN node without glitch or error. The CDN nodes were unaware of the problem because they were still getting two interchangable copies from the core servers. The power supply was replaced within a few hours.

Our focus now is upstream – we want to add channels, improve high-action picture quality, and improve upstream reliability.

Nick

Categories: Technology

Tags: CDN | Premium TV | servers | transcode