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BT Group unveils live TV tech breakthrough

BT Group has revealed new technology this morning which it believes will improve the quality and reliability of live content for viewers and also drive down costs for broadcasters.

The company said it was now working with major broadcasters and platforms to develop and deploy its Multicast Assisted Unicast Delivery tech – aka MAUD.

So, here comes the science bit….

Unlike traditional ‘unicast’ delivery, where each viewer watches the action via a dedicated, personal internet stream, MAUD uses ‘multicast’ to group those single streams into a shared one, directing it to those that want to watch the action. 

Furthermore its integration is made completely transparent to the player application. This means content service providers don’t need to modify their customer apps to take advantage of this technology.

The result is that it substantially increases the efficiency of content delivery and also reduces environmental impact and overall costs for broadcasters, Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) and internet providers. 

BT stated that MAUD technology uses up to 50% less bandwidth during peak events, reducing energy usage through the use of fewer caches. By freeing up internet capacity, it will help to deliver a higher quality of experience for both live and non-live content.

“MAUD is a major breakthrough in how we deliver content over the internet,” explained Howard Watson, Chief Security and Networks Officer at BT Group.

“MAUD could be a key solution to how we manage ever increasing traffic loads. By combining individual streams, MAUD delivers a more reliable, consistent picture, no matter whether customers are watching over Wi-Fi, fibre or mobile networks.”

Broadcasters, including the BBC, will be involved in evaluating and potentially trialling the technology to support live content.

“Whether it’s the Euros or Eurovision, gaming over Twitch or gigs from Glastonbury, data shows that audiences still value the live experience even in the on-demand era,” added Paolo Pescatore, Founder at PP Foresight.

“With live sports and events driving peak network demand to new heights, it’s great to see innovation ensuring that high-quality, premium live content can reach the widest possible audiences across multiple types of device, and to be possible in an increasingly environmentally sustainable manner.”

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