Akamai, Apple’s streaming media partner, is demonstrating live broadcast-quality Internet streaming over a hybrid satellite and terrestrial network at RealNetworks Real Conference.
The live broadcast is the first public demonstration of Real’s new RealSystem G2 Internet Media Solution broadcast over Akamai’s hybrid-streaming network.
Akamai is using its worldwide server network, and Loral CyberStar’s global IP satellite service. The company claims the quality of the broadcast shows that video and audio steams are best delivered over a hybrid network.
Mixed Dan Fraisl, vice president and general manager, said: "True broadband streaming can only be achieved by a hybrid implementation of terrestrial and satellite delivery." He continued: "Akamai’s unique hybrid delivery capability is essential to achieving the promise of the Internet as the next broadcast medium."
The company made use of a number of its own proprietary technologies for the broadcast. Its EdgeAdvantage solution let the company’s production crew send the footage to an entry point on Akamai’s FreeFlow streaming network. On arrival there, the signal was split into multiple streams, using Akamai’s SteadyStream technology, and then sent across the network.
The company’s streaming software worked out the best route to the company’s server network. Akamai has servers at "Edge" points on the Internet – these are points judged to be closest to the points of highest demand, London or Paris for example. Akamai also has servers hosted on other company’s networks, to minimize or avoid bottlenecks in the Internet "pipelines". Where jams exist, the signal is broadcast to the satellite network, which transmits the signal to Akamai servers via satellite-ready cable connections, avoiding bandwidth problems. When the split signals reach Akamai’s "Edge" servers, they are recombined into their original format.
Akamai is a content delivery company, and supports Windows Media technologies, RealNetworks RealSystem G2 and Apple’s QuickTime. As Macworld reported yesterday, RealNetworks RealSystem G2 solution poses a serious challenge to both Windows and QuickTime, according to industry observers.