WO2001026271A2 - Multiple buffered channel ip multicast - Google Patents

Multiple buffered channel ip multicast Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2001026271A2
WO2001026271A2 PCT/US2000/027686 US0027686W WO0126271A2 WO 2001026271 A2 WO2001026271 A2 WO 2001026271A2 US 0027686 W US0027686 W US 0027686W WO 0126271 A2 WO0126271 A2 WO 0126271A2
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WO
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
multicast
method
network
user
buffering
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2000/027686
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2001026271A3 (en )
Inventor
Ian A. Stewart
Original Assignee
World Multicast.Com, Inc.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L47/00Traffic regulation in packet switching networks
    • H04L47/70Admission control or resource allocation
    • H04L47/82Miscellaneous aspects
    • H04L47/822Collecting or measuring resource availability data
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L12/00Data switching networks
    • H04L12/02Details
    • H04L12/16Arrangements for providing special services to substations contains provisionally no documents
    • H04L12/18Arrangements for providing special services to substations contains provisionally no documents for broadcast or conference, e.g. multicast
    • H04L12/185Arrangements for providing special services to substations contains provisionally no documents for broadcast or conference, e.g. multicast with management of multicast group membership
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L12/00Data switching networks
    • H04L12/02Details
    • H04L12/16Arrangements for providing special services to substations contains provisionally no documents
    • H04L12/18Arrangements for providing special services to substations contains provisionally no documents for broadcast or conference, e.g. multicast
    • H04L12/1859Arrangements for providing special services to substations contains provisionally no documents for broadcast or conference, e.g. multicast adapted to provide push services, e.g. data channels
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L29/00Arrangements, apparatus, circuits or systems, not covered by a single one of groups H04L1/00 - H04L27/00 contains provisionally no documents
    • H04L29/02Communication control; Communication processing contains provisionally no documents
    • H04L29/06Communication control; Communication processing contains provisionally no documents characterised by a protocol
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L43/00Arrangements for monitoring or testing packet switching networks
    • H04L43/08Monitoring based on specific metrics
    • H04L43/0876Network utilization
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L47/00Traffic regulation in packet switching networks
    • H04L47/10Flow control or congestion control
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L47/00Traffic regulation in packet switching networks
    • H04L47/10Flow control or congestion control
    • H04L47/11Congestion identification
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L47/00Traffic regulation in packet switching networks
    • H04L47/10Flow control or congestion control
    • H04L47/15Flow control or congestion control in relation to multipoint traffic
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L47/00Traffic regulation in packet switching networks
    • H04L47/70Admission control or resource allocation
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L47/00Traffic regulation in packet switching networks
    • H04L47/70Admission control or resource allocation
    • H04L47/72Reservation actions
    • H04L47/722Reservation actions at the end terminals, e.g. buffer space
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L47/00Traffic regulation in packet switching networks
    • H04L47/70Admission control or resource allocation
    • H04L47/80Actions related to the nature of the flow or the user
    • H04L47/806Broadcast or multicast traffic
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/28Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications for the provision of proxy services, e.g. intermediate processing or storage in the network
    • H04L67/2842Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications for the provision of proxy services, e.g. intermediate processing or storage in the network for storing data temporarily at an intermediate stage, e.g. caching
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/20Servers specifically adapted for the distribution of content, e.g. VOD servers; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/23Processing of content or additional data; Elementary server operations; Server middleware
    • H04N21/238Interfacing the downstream path of the transmission network, e.g. adapting the transmission rate of a video stream to network bandwidth; Processing of multiplex streams
    • H04N21/23805Controlling the feeding rate to the network, e.g. by controlling the video pump
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/20Servers specifically adapted for the distribution of content, e.g. VOD servers; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/23Processing of content or additional data; Elementary server operations; Server middleware
    • H04N21/24Monitoring of processes or resources, e.g. monitoring of server load, available bandwidth, upstream requests
    • H04N21/2402Monitoring of the downstream path of the transmission network, e.g. bandwidth available
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/20Servers specifically adapted for the distribution of content, e.g. VOD servers; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/23Processing of content or additional data; Elementary server operations; Server middleware
    • H04N21/24Monitoring of processes or resources, e.g. monitoring of server load, available bandwidth, upstream requests
    • H04N21/2408Monitoring of the upstream path of the transmission network, e.g. client requests
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/20Servers specifically adapted for the distribution of content, e.g. VOD servers; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/25Management operations performed by the server for facilitating the content distribution or administrating data related to end-users or client devices, e.g. end-user or client device authentication, learning user preferences for recommending movies
    • H04N21/266Channel or content management, e.g. generation and management of keys and entitlement messages in a conditional access system, merging a VOD unicast channel into a multicast channel
    • H04N21/2665Gathering content from different sources, e.g. Internet and satellite
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/60Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand] using Network structure or processes specifically adapted for video distribution between server and client or between remote clients; Control signaling specific to video distribution between clients, server and network components, e.g. to video encoder or decoder; Transmission of management data between server and client, e.g. sending from server to client commands for recording incoming content stream; Communication details between server and client
    • H04N21/63Control signaling related to video distribution between client, server and network components; Network processes for video distribution between server and clients or between remote clients, e.g. transmitting basic layer and enhancement layers over different transmission paths, setting up a peer-to-peer communication via Internet between remote STB's; Communication protocols; Addressing
    • H04N21/64Addressing
    • H04N21/6405Multicasting
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand]
    • H04N21/60Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television, VOD [Video On Demand] using Network structure or processes specifically adapted for video distribution between server and client or between remote clients; Control signaling specific to video distribution between clients, server and network components, e.g. to video encoder or decoder; Transmission of management data between server and client, e.g. sending from server to client commands for recording incoming content stream; Communication details between server and client
    • H04N21/63Control signaling related to video distribution between client, server and network components; Network processes for video distribution between server and clients or between remote clients, e.g. transmitting basic layer and enhancement layers over different transmission paths, setting up a peer-to-peer communication via Internet between remote STB's; Communication protocols; Addressing
    • H04N21/643Control signaling related to video distribution between client, server and network components; Network processes for video distribution between server and clients or between remote clients, e.g. transmitting basic layer and enhancement layers over different transmission paths, setting up a peer-to-peer communication via Internet between remote STB's; Communication protocols; Addressing using dedicated Communication protocols
    • H04N21/64322IP
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N5/00Details of television systems
    • H04N5/44Receiver circuitry
    • H04N5/4401Receiver circuitry for the reception of a digital modulated video signal
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L43/00Arrangements for monitoring or testing packet switching networks
    • H04L43/16Arrangements for monitoring or testing packet switching networks using threshold monitoring
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/28Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications for the provision of proxy services, e.g. intermediate processing or storage in the network
    • H04L67/2866Architectural aspects
    • H04L67/289Architectural aspects where the intermediate processing is functionally located closer to the data consumer application, e.g. in same machine, in same home or in same subnetwork
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L69/00Application independent communication protocol aspects or techniques in packet data networks
    • H04L69/30Definitions, standards or architectural aspects of layered protocol stacks
    • H04L69/32High level architectural aspects of 7-layer open systems interconnection [OSI] type protocol stacks
    • H04L69/322Aspects of intra-layer communication protocols among peer entities or protocol data unit [PDU] definitions
    • H04L69/329Aspects of intra-layer communication protocols among peer entities or protocol data unit [PDU] definitions in the application layer, i.e. layer seven

Abstract

A method to allow a user to change multicast channels received over the Internet without reception delay. The method for implementing the invention includes a multicast generating system (12) coupled to a public or private network (14), such as the internet. A network router (16) is coupled to the network and one or more user systems (20). Multicast channels are monitored for their amount of usage by the user. The multicast broadcasts with the most monitored usage are buffered for quick access. A multicast broadcast is buffered according to a determined available bandwith for a user system. Buffering of one or more multicast broadcasts is discontinued if the network is determined to be too congested.

Description

MULTIPLE BUFFERED CHANNEL IP MULTICAST

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to multiple broadcasts over a data network, and, more particularly to the user interface with multiple broadcasts.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION A multicast Internet Protocol (IP) data stream is buffered in order to account for inconsistencies in the public Internet data delivery system. When a user desires to switch from a data stream presently running on a computer to another IP multicast data stream, a delay occurs because the new data stream requires buffering. Because users are accustomed to no delay when performing channel changes in other broadcast environments, such as television or radio broadcast environments, these delays are very undesirable.

Therefore, in order for multicasts to be more widely accepted by the public, there exists a need to remove the above described delays, thereby making interaction more user friendly. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a computer-based method to allow a user to change multicast channels received over a network, such as the Internet, without reception delay. Multicast channels are monitored for their amount of usage. Then, the broadcasts associated with those multicast channels that were determined to have significant usage are buffered for quick access.

In accordance with further aspects of the invention, a multicast broadcast is buffered according to a determined available bandwidth for a user system.

In accordance with other aspects of the invention, buffering of one or more multicast broadcasts is discontinued according to a determination of network congestion.

As will be readily appreciated from the foregoing summary, the invention provides a new and improved method and computer product for allowing users to surf through IP multicast channels with the same speed as the traditional television interface.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The foregoing aspects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will become more readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a block diagram of an example system for implementing the present invention; and FIGURE 2 is a flow diagram illustrating the method of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The present invention is a method for improving user interaction with multicasts as implemented over a public or private network system. As shown in FIGURE 1, an example system 10 for implementing the method of the present invention includes a multicast generating system 12 coupled to a public or private network 14, such as the Internet. A network router 16 is coupled to the network 14 and one or more user systems 20. An example of the network router 16 in the Internet environment is an Internet Service Provider (ISP). The user systems 20 are any devices capable of receiving multicasts from multicast generating system 12 through the network 14 and the router 16. Typically, the user systems 20 will comprise personal computers.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention the multicast generating system 12 generates an Internet Protocol (IP) multicast. IP multicasts are an efficient means to move information on a network. The present invention implements any IP multicast and does not require any particular multicast protocol. In an IP multicast, data is transmitted to a group of selected users at the same time on a TCP/IP network (internal, intranet or Internet). IP multicasts are used for streaming audio and video over the network 14, but is also good for downloading a file to multiple users. IP multicasts save network bandwidth, because the files are transmitted as one data stream over the network's backbone and are split apart to target stations or user systems 20 by the router 16. IP multicasts are addressed to a certain range of IP Address Numbers. IP multicasts are recognized by a numeric address range of an IP number. Any transmission in a multicast address range is a multicast. IP multicast transmission adds efficiency to an IP broadcast because IP routers 16 (and others within network 14 but not shown) can support these and other IP multicast protocols, such as PPM Sparce Mode and multicast Border Gateway Protocol.

FIGURE 2 illustrates the method performed by the present invention. First, at block 32, the multicast channels available by one or more user systems 20 through router 16 are monitored for requests to join. A multicast channel corresponds to a single multicast broadcast. The multicast channels' monitoring is performed by each user system 20. Next, at decision block 34, the user system determines if the monitoring of requests to join a multicast channel exceeds a threshold number of requests to join have been made for a particular multicast channel. Thereby, determining what multicast channels are most frequently accessed. For example, the threshold number of requests is the number of requests that occurred for the third most requested channel. If it is determined that the monitored multicast channel does exceed the threshold number of requests, the router 16 or one or more user systems 20 determines available bandwidth between the router 16 and one or more of the user systems 20, see block 36. Then, at block 38, the monitored multicast channel is buffered at the user systems 20 according to the determined available bandwidth. For example, if the bandwidth available to the user system is not enough to sustain buffering of additional channels, the buffering of the additional channels is not performed. If it is determined that the number of requests to join of the monitored multicast channel does not exceed the threshold number of requests, the method skips blocks 36 and 38.

After block 38, network congestion is determined, see block 40. Network congestion is determined at the service provider (e.g. ISP) by a quality of service application (QOS) or at the user system by an application that determines available bandwidth or used bandwidth at the service provider. Then, at decision block 42, the determined network congestion is compared to a predetermined congestion threshold amount (an amount that would cause a possible disruption in data delivery across the router 16. If the network congestion is not above the congestion threshold amount, the method returns to block 32 to monitor other multicast channels. If the network congestion is above the congestion threshold amount some or all of the buffered channels are discontinued in accordance with the determined network congestion, see block 44 and then returns to block 32.

The steps of the method shown in FIGURE 2 and described above may be placed in any one of a number of different orders without compromising the present invention.

The present invention allows a user to surf through IP multicast channels with the same speed as the traditional television interface. By buffering the most frequently used channels, an end user is spared the frustrating delays of channel switching.

While the preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, many changes can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, the scope of the invention is not limited by the disclosure of the preferred embodiment. Instead, the invention should be determined entirely by reference to the claims that follow.

Claims

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. A method for improving a user interface at a user system coupled to a plurality of multicast content providers over a network, said method comprising: monitoring user system requests to join multicast broadcasts associated with the plurality of multicast content providers; and buffering an associated multicast broadcast, if the associated multicast broadcast was monitored to have a number of requests to join greater than a threshold amount.
2. The method of Claim 1 , wherein buffering further comprises determining available bandwidth, buffering the multicast broadcast according to the determined available bandwidth.
3. The method of Claim 1, further comprising: determining network congestion; and discontinuing buffering of one or more multicast broadcast according to the determined network congestion.
4. The method of Claim 1 , wherein at least one of the content providers is a multicast broadcaster.
5. A computer program product for performing the method of Claim 1.
6. A computer program product for performing the method of Claim 2.
7. A computer program product for performing the method of Claim 3.
8. A computer program product for performing the method of Claim 4.
PCT/US2000/027686 1999-10-07 2000-10-06 Multiple buffered channel ip multicast WO2001026271A3 (en)

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US15819599 true 1999-10-07 1999-10-07
US60/158,195 1999-10-07

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EP1811780A1 (en) * 2006-01-24 2007-07-25 Alcatel Lucent Access node with caching function for video channels
US7430222B2 (en) 2004-02-27 2008-09-30 Microsoft Corporation Media stream splicer
US7443791B2 (en) 2003-10-10 2008-10-28 Microsoft Corporation Priority mechanism for distributed sending of media data
US7444419B2 (en) 2003-10-10 2008-10-28 Microsoft Corporation Media stream scheduling for hiccup-free fast-channel-change in the presence of network chokepoints
US7477653B2 (en) 2004-12-10 2009-01-13 Microsoft Corporation Accelerated channel change in rate-limited environments
WO2009011768A1 (en) * 2007-07-18 2009-01-22 Tellabs Petaluma, Inc. Method and apparatus for monitoring multicast bandwidth to a user
US7516232B2 (en) 2003-10-10 2009-04-07 Microsoft Corporation Media organization for distributed sending of media data
US7523482B2 (en) 2002-08-13 2009-04-21 Microsoft Corporation Seamless digital channel changing
US7545812B2 (en) 2003-10-10 2009-06-09 Microsoft Corporation Scheduling scheme for distributed sending of media data
US7562375B2 (en) 2003-10-10 2009-07-14 Microsoft Corporation Fast channel change
US7587737B2 (en) 2003-06-13 2009-09-08 Microsoft Corporation Fast start-up for digital video streams
US7614071B2 (en) 2003-10-10 2009-11-03 Microsoft Corporation Architecture for distributed sending of media data
US7640352B2 (en) 2004-09-24 2009-12-29 Microsoft Corporation Methods and systems for presentation of media obtained from a media stream
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US8135040B2 (en) 2005-11-30 2012-03-13 Microsoft Corporation Accelerated channel change

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Cited By (19)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US7523482B2 (en) 2002-08-13 2009-04-21 Microsoft Corporation Seamless digital channel changing
US7587737B2 (en) 2003-06-13 2009-09-08 Microsoft Corporation Fast start-up for digital video streams
US7603689B2 (en) 2003-06-13 2009-10-13 Microsoft Corporation Fast start-up for digital video streams
US7636934B2 (en) 2003-06-13 2009-12-22 Microsoft Corporation Fast start-up for digital video streams
US7516232B2 (en) 2003-10-10 2009-04-07 Microsoft Corporation Media organization for distributed sending of media data
US8037200B2 (en) 2003-10-10 2011-10-11 Microsoft Corporation Media organization for distributed sending of media data
US7444419B2 (en) 2003-10-10 2008-10-28 Microsoft Corporation Media stream scheduling for hiccup-free fast-channel-change in the presence of network chokepoints
US7443791B2 (en) 2003-10-10 2008-10-28 Microsoft Corporation Priority mechanism for distributed sending of media data
US7545812B2 (en) 2003-10-10 2009-06-09 Microsoft Corporation Scheduling scheme for distributed sending of media data
US7562375B2 (en) 2003-10-10 2009-07-14 Microsoft Corporation Fast channel change
US7614071B2 (en) 2003-10-10 2009-11-03 Microsoft Corporation Architecture for distributed sending of media data
US7430222B2 (en) 2004-02-27 2008-09-30 Microsoft Corporation Media stream splicer
US7640352B2 (en) 2004-09-24 2009-12-29 Microsoft Corporation Methods and systems for presentation of media obtained from a media stream
US7944863B2 (en) 2004-12-10 2011-05-17 Microsoft Corporation Accelerated channel change in rate-limited environments
US7477653B2 (en) 2004-12-10 2009-01-13 Microsoft Corporation Accelerated channel change in rate-limited environments
EP2001156A3 (en) * 2005-02-15 2010-01-20 NTT DoCoMo, Inc. Method and apparatus for managing multicast transmission costs
US8135040B2 (en) 2005-11-30 2012-03-13 Microsoft Corporation Accelerated channel change
EP1811780A1 (en) * 2006-01-24 2007-07-25 Alcatel Lucent Access node with caching function for video channels
WO2009011768A1 (en) * 2007-07-18 2009-01-22 Tellabs Petaluma, Inc. Method and apparatus for monitoring multicast bandwidth to a user

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