Innovative and evolutive software architecture
Innovative architecture for the Connected Home
Netgem has designed a solution combining the simplicity of cloud computing with the benefits of consumer electronics.
Cloud-based applications are becoming increasingly important to residential consumers. However, the expanding use of these applications is leading to increased complexity and costs. Consumers are concerned with the privacy of their datas - how they are used today by their application provider, and how they may be used in the future.
One way to simplify the situation for the end-user is to create a home-based cloud computing environment. Since the cloud services exist within the home, users have improved control of their personal datas. They can easily share and synchronize content between their home devices and with their operator’s applications and services.
In such an architecture, Set-Top-Boxes become proxy servers, blending various sources of content into a seamless experience and managing the operator’ services at home. This is what we call the nCloud.
How does it work?
Video and multimedia content for the Connected Home can be separated in 3 categories:
- Live TV. In a hybrid system, these content are readily available in the home without extra investment;
- On-demand. VoD or catch-up TV services that are best served from the Cloud;
- Personal data, content captured by the users and located in a variety of devices in the home;
The nCloud is built around a Media Server. It leverages local content and blends it with cloud-based applications and services. The Media Server acts not only as an aggregator of various content and services, including personal content, but also as a service orchestrator linking the operator with all screens in the home.
What are its benefits ?
Its advantages can be summarized as follows:
Price: the nCloud does not require an overlay system for Live services. This means no head-end and no bandwidth wasted for signals already present in the home. If traditional cloud datacenters require large upfront investment, nCloud investments are linear and growing with the number of subscriber. Finally, nCloud does not require the opex related to the maintenance of data centers.
Performance: Local device-to-device Quality of Service is easier to maintain than through a network, this means fast and reliable personal content sharing. As for live services, feeds received locally will not be dependent on network bandwidth. Additionally, recorded content can be accessed instantaneously without end-to-end latency typical of network PVR systems.
Privacy: Consumers would like to view their personal content on the television and other screens in the home, however in the wake of recent hacking attacks they are becoming increasingly wary of storing their own data in the Cloud. Therefore the combination of the Cloud with an in-home or Family Cloud meets users’ demands for greater privacy and also the needs of operators in keeping costs down and maintaining optimal performance.