Thursday, October 16, 2008

Jungo Fast Channel Change

Jungo has jumped into the fast channel change arena with a home gateway-based solution. Jungo's approach reduces channel switching overheads by employing using an enhancement of the regular IGMP Leave and Fast- Leave operations - otherwise known as 'Aggressive Leave' and the monitoring of available resources such as bandwidth and virtual circuits.

Jungo's software will identify when the viewer is channel zapping, that is quickly sending a sequence of channel up or down selections. In this case the channel changes can stack up because they come more quickly that the channel changes can be accomplished. In this case the Jungo software will skip to the last channel selected and skip the others in the stack.

For example, if the viewer is watching channel 43 and quickly presses the channel up button, a channel change to channel 44 will initiate. By the time channel 44 appears on the TV, four more channel change requests will have been received for channels 45, 46, 47, and 48. The Jungo software will discard the channel change requests to channels 45, 46, and 47 and jump to channel 48.

This illustrates how complex fast channel change is. The Microsoft and the Alcatel-Lucent approaches minimize the channel change time when the user selects a new channel from the electronic profile guide, say switching from channel 43 directly to channel 65. I don't think their approaches address the sequential channel change issue that Jungo is addressing. Maybe a fully optimized fast channel change will have to be implemented an multiple places in the network.

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