Fast channel change handling of late multicast join
Originating portfolio: ALU
Estimated expiration: 2030-Jan-22
Potentially relevant companies (6): ARRIS Group Inc., AT&T / DIRECTV, Broadcom Corporation, Comcast Cable Communications LLC, Dish Network, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.
Products & technologies (3): Cable Services, Consumer Electronics:Video Streaming Devices, Video:Streaming
In an internet protocol television (IPTV) system, fast channel change (FCC) transactions that experience late multicast joins are handled specially, thereby allowing the system to be provisioned for the vast majority of multicast joins that are within an expected range. During an FCC transaction, the subscriber interface device, such as a set-top box (STB), can determine how long it can wait to join the multicast stream of the new channel before a gap can be predicted to occur in the handover from the FCC unicast to the multicast. If the STB has not joined the multicast stream by the determined time, a recovery procedure is invoked in which the STB sends a RESTART request to the FCC server which, in turn, increases the rate of the FCC unicast as if the FCC transaction were restarted, thus allowing the handover to occur seamlessly. This solution reduces the demands of each FCC transaction, allowing for greater scalability and reduced cost.
1. A method of processing a fast channel change (FCC) transaction comprising the steps of:
sending a FCC request to a FCC server in response to a channel change request at a user interface device;
transmitting a unicast stream from the FCC server to the user interface device in response to the FCC request;
reducing the rate at which the unicast stream is transmitted to the user interface device;
sending a multicast join request from the user interface device to join a multicast of the requested channel;
determining a maximum multicast join time for ensuring a seamless handover to the multicast;
sending a restart message to the FCC server if the maximum multicast join time elapses before the user interface device joins the multicast; and
restarting transmitting the unicast stream from the FCC server to the user interface device in response to the restart message.
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