BBC, ITV, C4 and C5 to launch joint streaming service

Not sure if it's been noted here/old news, I don't want an awful lot of TV with ads anymore, but I noticed an advert for Freely on The Box last night.

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I can’t find much technical details about Freely. Does anyone know how it works? Is it a multicast system or just a traditional unicast streaming system? Surely if it’s the latter, it isn’t going to scale well if it’s to be the ultimate Freeview replacement?

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It's certainly unicast at this point, there's too many ISPs involved. multicast is very complex (but not impossible) to implement across ISPs and the range of routers/mesh systems, etc out there. I understand the internet streamed channels rely on an app e.g bbc channels served through iPlayer streams, ITV via ITVX, channel 4 and channel 5 though My5.
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(14-07-2024, 11:14 AM)VMPhil Wrote:  I can’t find much technical details about Freely. Does anyone know how it works? Is it a multicast system or just a traditional unicast streaming system? Surely if it’s the latter, it isn’t going to scale well if it’s to be the ultimate Freeview replacement?
With CDNs there are no individual streams in the core and then with modern FTTP bypassing the local exchange there is a lot less transit traffic….
And then techniques like MAUD …
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It all helps to make multiple unicast streaming not the bottleneck it traditionally was.
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(14-07-2024, 11:50 AM)cable Wrote:  It's certainly unicast at this point, there's too many ISPs involved. multicast is very complex (but not impossible) to implement across ISPs and the range of routers/mesh systems, etc out there. I understand the internet streamed channels rely on an app e.g bbc channels served through iPlayer streams, ITV via ITVX, channel 4 and channel 5 though My5.

Oh dear. Presumably that means that the non-iPlayer channels are 25fps then.

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(14-07-2024, 09:47 PM)VMPhil Wrote:  Oh dear. Presumably that means that the non-iPlayer channels are 25fps then.

Likely there is a 1080p50 encoded stream that only certain devices can play. After all SKy Stream seems to do a good paid freely. ITVX is also technically capable of 4K.

Just because the streams aren't exposed on some devices doesn't mean the service is not capable of providing it. E.g. some browsers can't offer more than 720p because the browser process cannot decode the video and run encryption concurrently, however an app on the same OS can because it can split the CPU/GPU processes and threads and run concurrently. You can workaround limitations of the environment.

Similar also to how iplayer can differentiate between 4K and non 4K capable devices and offer accordingly
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(14-07-2024, 02:10 PM)Technologist Wrote:  With CDNs there are no individual streams in the core and then with modern FTTP bypassing the local exchange there is a lot less transit traffic….
And then techniques like MAUD …
newsroom.bt.com 
It all helps to make multiple unicast streaming not the bottleneck it traditionally was.

it will depend on the network operator, but in the case of Openreach there really isn't that much difference in the way FTTC and FTTP connections are handled. Both are provided out of larger town/city exchanges in most cases, the only difference is where the fibre/copper conversion happens. These are also the exchanges in which the ISPs have their own equipment / points of presence.

This is how Openreach was able to confidently state that they'll only need about 1000 exchanges in the future, as the new infrastructure is already built around these locations. Just need to get people off of exchange based copper services like PSTN and ADSL
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(14-07-2024, 10:21 PM)cable Wrote:  Likely there is a 1080p50 encoded stream that only certain devices can play.

I would be very surprised if that was the case.

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sadly Everyone TV has not created the equivalent of the DTG D book which binds both the broadcaster end and the viewers end of the chain.
But just becasue something is not offered now does not mean that as a fleet of more capable devices becomes estabished - things will not change.....
(But quality does not seem to be high on UK Veiwer choices..... )
the move to UHD (and HDR/NGA) origination may drive out any interlaced delivery to the veiwer
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(15-07-2024, 09:21 AM)VMPhil Wrote:  I would be very surprised if that was the case.

Was just a guess. I would assume there would be something like an XML (or more modern) and a URI pointing to a stream.

Ideally someone witha freely tvwould be able to perform a packet capture on their router. The source address should be an indicator of who's sending it ie the broadcaster or freely based on a whois lookup.
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