Channel smurfing: Minimising channel switching delay in IPTV distribution networks

Fernando M.V. Ramos, Jon Crowcroft, Richard J. Gibbens, Pablo Rodriguezz, Ian H. White

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

One of the major concerns of IPTV network deployment is channel switching (or zapping) delay. This delay can add up to two seconds or more, and its main culprits are synchronisation and buffering. By analysing an extensive dataset - comprising 255 thousand users, 150 TV channels, and covering a 6-month period - we have observed that most channel switching events are linear: it is very common the user switching up or down to the next TV channel. This fact led us to the proposal, in this paper, of a simple mechanism to reduce channel switching delay. Our proposal is to send the neighbouring channels (i.e., channels adjacent to the requested one) to the Set Top Box (STB) during zapping periods. If the user switches to any of these channels the switching latency is virtually eliminated, not affecting therefore user's experience. Notwithstanding the simplicity of this scheme, trace-driven simulations show that the zapping delay can be virtually eliminated for a significant percentage of channel switching requests. As an example, by sending the previous and the next channel concurrently with the requested one, for only one minute after a zapping event, switching delay is eliminated for around 45% of all channel switching requests. Furthermore, this simple scheme has a performance close to that of an ideal predictor, while the increase of bandwidth utilisation in the access link is negligible.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2010 IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo, ICME 2010
Pages1327-1332
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781424474936
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2010
Event2010 IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo, ICME 2010 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 19 Jul 201023 Jul 2010

Conference

Conference2010 IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo, ICME 2010
CountrySingapore
CitySingapore
Period19/07/1023/07/10

Keywords

  • IPTV
  • Switching delay
  • Zapping delay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software

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