RelayCaster server appliances offer a turnkey solution that enables optimized transmission of IPTV streams.
With RelayCaster, reliability and data rates of distributing live content can be greatly improved, and packet loss issues can be solved efficiently.
RelayCaster allows to replace expensive satellite links or expensive contracts with CDN service providers. In contrast to these services, RelayCaster is not limited to certain regions or data centers. RelayCaster enables distribution of your content across any distance, to any place that is reachable by Internet infrastructure.
Being compatible with existing gateways, transcoders, conditional access systems, streaming servers, and set-top boxes, RelayCaster appliances can be seamlessly integrated into your existing infrastructure.
RelayCaster is available as a 19-inch rack-mountable server appliance, or as a software-only version for easy installation on existing servers hosted in data centers.
The Internet is an unmanaged network and suffers from packet loss. But packet loss is a problem when streaming live content. This is particularly a problem, when distributing live streams across long distances - from one country to another country, or continent.
When using UDP for content distribution, packet loss immediately results in visual artefacts, drop outs or even interruptions of several seconds - simply because UDP is unreliable.
In contrast, TCP is a reliable protocol. It is therefore used as basis for HTTP and all protocols for Over-The-Top (OTT) streaming. But when using TCP, packet loss immediately results reduced bandwidths and thereby reduced saturation of your link - simply due to the inherent design of TCP. And this becomes worse when using TCP on long-distance links.
When streaming to end users' client devices, adaptive bitrate streaming (ABR) helps to overcome this problem by switching to a stream with lower bitrate. But this does not help, if you want to originally distribute or contribute your content using the original bitrate providing the highest quality.
RelayCaster servers employ a proprietary protocol - called RelayCaster Streaming Protocol (RCSP) - to overcome these problems. This protocol is fully Internet compliant and works with all existing IP network infrastructure. Using RCSP as streaming protocol between two RelayCaster servers allows for the optimized transmission of IPTV streams to remote company sites, data centers, or networks. Streams received on one side are transparently provided again on the other side. In between an arbitrary Internet link is used.
This approach can be scaled. You can create your own Content Delivery Network (CDN) of RelayCaster servers: IPTV streams from a central data center are re-distributed to various intermediate and terminating data centers that are spread around the world.
Over-The-Top (OTT) streaming, adaptive bitrate streaming (ABR), and RelayCaster work together nicely: In each data center, streams received by RelayCaster are forwarded to OTT streaming servers providing streams to end users' devices that are 'nearby' (in terms of Internet distance). To this end, RelayCaster helps 'pushing' streams close to end users.
RCSP can also be employed as client-side protocol on set-top boxes within managed multicast-enabled networks of operators/telcos. Further information is available here.
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