Next generation OTT distribution architecture supporting Multicast ABR, HTTP/3 with QUIC and TLS1.3
Date & Time
Wednesday, November 11, 2020, 4:45 PM - 5:15 PM
Allan Hammershøj Aleksander Nowak Jason Thibeault


Current content distribution architectures are extensively based on a paradigm rooted in classical, linear, broadcast services. Whilst this helped transform the industry, allowing it to manage the transition from analogue to digital broadcast content distribution, it leaves content providers and broadcast network operators wondering today how they can remain relevant in the age of Web and Internet streaming. The presentation will introduce a new paradigm for designing content distribution systems and the resulting system architectures for a next generation broadcast quality OTT live and on demand streaming experience. This new model allows for unified content distribution architectures, spanning Internet streaming, IPTV, 5G, and the latest ATSC and DVB physical layers allowing for an efficient, IP-based delivery of linear content to thin clients. Despite its novelty, the new approach builds on existing technologies, and recognized, well-established standards, extended with software-based OTT streaming technologies as necessary. In fact, only very little “glue” was needed in devising the new architecture; we call it OTT Broadcast (OTT-B). It reduces development costs, speeds up product roll-out and ensures in-home reception on all devices as part of the “glue” in an elegant, light-weight solution, which will be demonstrated. The development team behind OTT-B primarily defines and communicates requirements, orchestrates work in other organizations, and develops Open Source “glue technologies” and conformance tools to all interested parties. The latest addition to the architecture uses HTTP/3 with QUIC - a packet-based Internet standard for reliable, secure and fast networks. The architecture will utilize QUIC to achieve context-aware and scalable content delivery strategy, suitable for highly varying network conditions by automatically switching between traditional unicast mode of delivery and highly scalable QUIC multicast. The addition to OTT-B architecture is the result of a joint project with Aalborg University of Copenhagen carried out be engineering students and supervised by the main author of this presentation and an associate professor from the university. The project builds on top of BBC R&D department research and the technology of: "Scalable Internet broadcasting using multicast QUIC", they open-sourced, to provide an overview of the architecture and a working prototype within OTT-B. In addition to presenting this new architecture, the presentation will include results from the ongoing field trials in Denmark with OTT-B using ATSC3.0, DVB-T2 GSE and 5G as the physical layers.

Technical Depth of Presentation
It will be a top down presentation starting with the problem domain, the main reasons for the choices / what it tries to solve and ending in describing the details of the prototype and the results of the trial in Copenhagen. In short, the presentation will start with the fundamentals, move to the advanced terms (potentially beyond state-of-the-art) and end with results anyone in the business should be able to relate to.
What Attendees will Benefit Most from this Presentation
We always try to make our presentations in a way for all of the audience to get something to take home. The presentation will focus quite a lot on the architectural decisions, yet using words that both C-Suite Executives and Engineers can understand. In our daily life we work both with MBAs and engineers, and we have attended the annual SMPTE a couple of times earlier, so we do honestly believe all of the audience will find the presentation interesting and inspirational.
Take-Aways from this Presentation
- Service unification is the convergence that already happens in the cloud at the service layer, bridging the gap between broadcast, telco and OTT technologies - The use of multicast and unicast ABR using HTTP/3 with QUIC and TLS1.3 can be the answer to the problem of proprietary CA/DRM technologies to prevent piracy, the use of multi-CDN strategies yet supporting multiple devices with a single URL - What could SMPTE potentially learn from the ATSC3.0 trial in Copenhagen (a typical DVB country)