Advanced IGMP and IPTV Reports
Challenges in IPTV Migration
IPTV is a common application in hospitality, especially in hotels. It streams analog TV channels over IP multicasting. While people enjoy the benefit of cost saving from typical coaxial cabling and analog equipment, the evolution of technology introduces new challenges. For instance, digital TV makers are far less familiar with IP multicasting technology as they adopt to IGMP protocol into their product, and when improper IGMP settings are set, both can impact IPTV performances and quite often exhibits the following symptoms in their IPTV deployment:
- Long pauses when turning on IPTV
- Random screen freeze and pixilation
- Delays when switching between channels
Understanding how IPTV is being watched can help hotel owners make effective assessments on their decision on selecting TV channels for subscription. On the administrative side, hotel managers and IT administrators, today’s network can provide them statistical information to better improve their services. For most deployments, IPTV channels are broadcast by headend servers, which makes it difficult to understand which channels are being watched.
To address all the matters above, the Nebula Control Center (NCC) has recently engineered an advanced IGMP technology with granular control options for IGMP streaming setup that is accompanied with comprehensive IPTV reports that provide insights to channel usage information as well as network analytics alert to optimize network performance.
Advanced IGMP Functionality
Nebula supports basic IGMP snooping function for broader audiences while the professional pack adds granular settings for IPTV. The Professional pack supports "Advanced IGMP" which is specifically designed for IPTV adoption. Users can customize/switch roles, modes, and IGMP timers for effective bandwidth management in an IPTV environment.
So how can Advanced IGMP help you? By simply turning on “Unknown multicast drop” function, the multicast traffic will not be sent out of ports without multicast client watching that channel, this can greatly reduce unnecessary network traffic for better bandwidth management. Utilizing “IGMP snooping VLAN”, user can assign designated VLAN for IPTV packet in a well-protected VLAN without being disturbed by other applications. Other tools such as limiting multicast channel usage can improve network efficiency and guarantee the IPTV Report to only display desired channels with accurate data.
IGMP setting can be challenging, but not with Nebula
In IPTV Topology Setup, Nebula simplifies your configuration by selecting the switch role: Querier, Aggregator, and Access. The following diagram introduces individual role’s definition to help make the proper assignment for each switch. For typical IPTV networks, each role has recommended settings for many of its IGMP attributes. Tips can be found throughout NCC, so that you can quickly understand the definition of the roles. If you’re interested, further details can be found here in our forum.
Introducing IPTV Report
IPTV Report provides visibility to hotel owners for their IPTV channel usage. They can easily collect statistics on how many channels are being watched, the most popular channels as well as the least watched channels based on specific date and time. The information can help their decision making process for effective channel subscription.
The IPTV report starts with an overview of channel and client information:
- The number of total channels in your system within the selected time frame
- The number of channels that are currently being watched
- The number of unique viewers that are currently watching the channels
In next section the Channel Summary shows the information of channel share rate based on the set time frame. It displays the most popular or least popular channels. You can also manually select up to 10 channels to review with different time period, which can help you understand your guests’ interest and determine the popular channels to continue its subscription.
Optimization by machine learning
The most intelligent feature in our IPTV report is the Network Analytic Alert; the network traffic is analyzed on each switch port to detect if there are any unusual events that may impact your IPTV services. Through machine learning and monitoring scheme, the system automatically gives you hints on what’s happening, along with advices on the action to resolve the issues and to optimize your IPTV network. This can prevent IPTV network from losing services or suffer downgrade in performance.
In Channel Information, you will be able to view the clients’ detail of specific channels including: client IP, viewing time, VLAN usage, switch, and port to which the client is connected. You can also modify the channel names by making it more straightforward to view.
The report further illustrates more statistic information in the channel detail page, such as the total viewers per hour and who they are. You can check the current viewer statistics for each channel by clicking on a channel name.
Nebula Professional Pack is a great convenience for IPTV application. Delicately designed for IGMP’s granular setting with recommendation for IGMP port setting, it can greatly expedite the setup process and bring your IPTV network up and running within minutes. The IPTV report provides essential channel and user information which can ease the effort to monitor IPTV network performance. This report can also become handy in time of making critical business decisions on channel subscription investment. Nebula can be a strong value proposition to hotel owners and service providers for IPTV projects.