Waterloo, Ontario’s Aterlo Networks has teamed with Wisconsin global satellite communications provider IsoTropic Networks, Inc. to deliver high definition video via satellite IP multicast, making it possible for customers across industries and geographic locations to access HD streaming video.
With a mission to reimagine over-the-top (OTT) streaming video, Aterlo Networks is touting the collaboration as a “multicasting breakthrough” that allows viewers in remote communities, whether on a yacht at sea or a private island, to watch streaming video services like Netflix.
Aside from private yachts, other examples of environments where Internet connection constraints make it difficult to use streaming video services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, include shipping vessels, oil rigs and remote work camps.
“Unicasting, the current technology used, requires a copy of the video for every requester. That makes unicasting very expense. Multicasting is a lot like broadcasting. Only one copy is needed for everyone to watch the video,” said Aterlo Networks CEO Gerrit Nagelhout. “Multicasting solves two problems. First, less bandwidth is used so speeds will remain higher. Second, it makes delivering over-the-top streaming video to remote locations possible and affordable.”
Aterlo’s partnership with Isotropic Networks brings streaming video to a larger potential customer base by adding a new level of optimization via satellite multicast delivery, without compromising the digital rights management (DRM) techniques which protect the content by pre-positioning the content during times when the Internet connection is idle.
“Once again we demonstrate our deep understanding of Satellite communications and innovative products,” said Hank Zbierski, Chief Catalyst of IsoTropic Networks. “This is a first using the iDirect technology and our clients will have access to it this summer through IsosatMedia, with the first solution delivering HD Netflix content.”
Approximately 30 million homes in the U.S. have internet connections but can’t stream video at HD quality.
Multicasting greatly reduces bandwidth strain and costs related to delivery of video content for ISPs, content providers and OTT streaming media services.
Last August, Aterlo brought its NightShift service to New Zealand, which allowed viewers to cache Netflix programs at night, or during times when a sizeable download won’t be counted against their data cap, a serious problem for Internet users in rural areas or who struggle to stay inside the overage restrictions in their data plan.
For those customers, NightShift plugs into the back of their router, and content can be stored on a USB thumb drive that plugs into the NightShift, meaning that internet users in rural areas can wake up in the morning to a fresh haul of the same HD content that urban internet users enjoy.
The team at Aterlo, CEO Gerrit Nagelhout, CTO Scot Loach, and VP of Product Management Dan Siemon, left Waterloo broadband specialist Sandvine in the summer of 2014 to start their own company, initially for the purpose of helping ISPs optimize their networks for compatibility with Netflix.
Very quickly, however, they realized the potential in millions of internet users worldwide who would like access to the same content that people with access to fast connections and large data caps have.