A540/A530 Content Distribution Methods

Topics related to delivering files to Set-top Boxes.

A540/A530 Content Distribution Methods

Postby Cilutions Support » Mon May 23, 2011 3:07 pm

The Amino A540/A530 STB includes a hard drive used to store files which contain assets to play (e.g., videos, RSS files, graphics), metadata (e.g., screenlists, playlists, VOD menus, schedule files) and recorded video (e.g., created on-demand by a local user when viewing a live video stream). All but the recorded video must be loaded onto the local hard drive in order to play. The methods for loading are:

Multicast File Reception

In this mode the STB includes an embedded Digital Media Bridge (DMB) Receiver which works together with the DMB Sender for multicast file transmission and reception. Here the client application interacting with the Sender designates the set of STBs, specified as one or more user-defined STB identifiers (i.e., ascii names), to "push" all files to the addressed STBs. This method, of course, is supported only in networks with multicast connectivity between the Sender and Receivers (e.g., satellite-based networks).

FTP File Pull

Here the STB periodically "pulls" files from an external FTP Server. The poll frequency and bit rate is configurable on each STB to control bandwidth usage in the network.

FTP File Push

Here an external FTP client (like the FTP client included in the Screen Builder application or even a stand-alone FTP client like FileZilla) can be used to log into a particular STB to "push" files to the box.

USB Plug and Play

Here a user can save files onto a USB Fash Drive and insert the drive into the USB port on the STB. The DMB media player on the STB supports a variety of file systems (e.g., FAT32, NTFS, ext3). Once inserted the STB will copy all files in the root directory on the USB drive to the local hard drive on the STB. When copying is finished the LED on flash drive will show LED inactivity as a signal to the local user that the USB drive can be removed.

Note that a combination of these methods can be used to complement each other as appropriate. For example, on a multicast network, it may make sense to push video files that are common to many STBs over the multicast connection and to deliver STB-specific files (e.g., metadata and/or individual videos unique to a particular location) using the "FTP File Pull" or "USB Plug and Play" methods.
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