Green IPTV : a resource and energy efficient network for IPTV

No Thumbnail Available
Change log
Valente Ramos, Fernando Manuel 

The distribution of television is currently dominated by three technologies: over-the-air broadcast, cable, and satellite. The advent of IP networks and the increased availability of broadband access created a new vehicle for the distribution of TV services. The distribution of digital TV services over IP networks, or IPTV, offers carriers flexibility and added value in the form of additional services. It causes therefore no surprise the rapid roll-out of IPTV services by operators worldwide in the past few years. IPTV distribution imposes stringent requirements on both performance and reliability. It is therefore challenging for an IPTV operator to guarantee the quality of experience expected by its users, and doing so in an efficient manner. In this dissertation I investigate some of the challenges faced by IPTV distribution network operators, and I propose novel techniques to address these challenges . First, I address one of the major concerns of IPTV network deployment : channel change delay. This is the latency experienced by users when switching between TV channels. Synchronisation and buffering of video streams can cause channel change delays of several seconds. I perform an empirical analysis of a particular solution to the channel change delay problem, namely, predictive pre-joining of TV channels. In this scheme each Set Top Box simultaneously joins additional multicast groups (TV channels) along with the one requested by the user. If the user switches to any of these channels next, switching latency is virtually eliminated, and user experience is improved. The results show that it is possible to eliminate zapping delay for a significant percentage of channel switching requests with little impact in access network bandwidth cost. Second , I propose a technique to increase the resource and energy efficiency of IPTV networks. This technique is based on a simple paradigm: avoiding waste. To reduce t he inefficiencies of current static multicast distribution schemes, I propose a semi-dynamic scheme where only a selection of TV multicast groups is distributed in the network, instead of all. I perform an empirical evaluation of this method and conclude that its use results in significant bandwidth reductions without compromising service performance. I also demonstrate that these reductions may translate into significant energy savings in the future. Third, to increase energy efficiency further I propose a novel energy and resource friendly protocol for core optical IPTV networks. The idea is for popular IPTV traffic to optically bypass the network nodes, avoiding electronic processing. I evaluate this proposal empirically and conclude that the introduction of optical switching techniques results in a significant increase in the energy efficiency of IPTV networks. All the schemes I present in this dissertation are evaluated by means of trace-driven analyses using a dataset from an operational IPTV service provider. Such thorough and realistic evaluation enables the assessment of the proposed techniques with an increased level of confidence, and is therefore a strength of this dissert ation.


This thesis is not available on this repository until the author agrees to make it public. If you are the author of this thesis and would like to make your work openly available, please contact us:

Cambridge University Library can make a copy of this work available only for the purposes of private study and non-commercial research. Copies should not be shared or saved in any shared facilities. Copyright over the content of these works is with their authors. Theses from the Library collection are considered unpublished works and according to UK legislation quoting from them is not allowed without permission from their author.

If you can commit to these terms, please complete the request form which you can find through this link:

Please note that print copies of theses may be available for consultation in the Cambridge University Library's Manuscript reading room. Admission details are at

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Awarding Institution
University of Cambridge