Last year (2016), Cablelabs published a very interesting document entitled “IP Multicast Adaptive Bit Rate Architecture Technical Report“, describing how to bring together two fundamental and previously incompatible network concepts: Multicast and Adaptive Bitrate delivery, in what it call Multicast ABR (M-ABR). But, does it make sense? If it does, on which use cases it works? Let me spoil the surprise: It does make sense on one single use case. It spectacularly fails elsewhere. To start with, lets have a look at the generic M-ABR architecture:
Although I’ve been an Apple heavy user for a number of years now, it always bugs me when companies misrepresent their products, event if the misrepresentation is a underrating of the actual product. For me, specifications must be as accurate as possible, no matter if it comes from Apple, and understating it’s video decoding capabilities it not on my list of expected weird things, but it does seem to happen.