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Scaling Internet Delivery of Live TV

School of Engineering

About the Project

Aberdeen University has a track record of successful development of Internet technologies, and the successful PhD candidate will join the Internet Engineering research activities to develop a focus on Internet TV video transport [1], [2].

There has been an unprecedented increase in the volume of on-demand TV-based video traffic. As we move beyond 2020, the growth in video on demand will be matched by a growth in Internet delivery of live TV content. Internet delivery of live TV will require significant changes in the way IP services are delivered, especially with increasing demand for higher-resolution video formats for live events. Together this is expected to lead to a very significant increase in the demand on edge content distribution networks, such as CDNs that can not be scaled using current technologies to support the large volumes of traffic from millions of simultaneous viewers.

This project takes a fresh look at an old, but still promising, multicast technology [3],[4],[5], which offer a new scalable delivery platform enabling transitioning away from dedicated broadcast technologies towards an all-IP satellite infrastructure. To realise the benefits of multicast requires a fresh approach to live content network delivery and support for live content viewers built using standard web browsers. There is therefore a critical need to explore new methods and work will start by reviewing emerging system components from Internet2, DVB, and other groups. This will be used to derive appropriate models that can be used as the basis of this research.

The research builds on established research at the University in IP multicast dissemination (e.g. TV delivered over IP multicast caching [6], and broadband satellite services to rural communities [7]). Wired-networks can utilise in-network router functions to scale delivery to millions of users using an industry standard server platform hardware. Especially after retiring the older Any Source Multicast technology [8]. This is complemented by the inherent broadcast capability of GEO satellite IP delivery platforms [9]. The research group has a track record of developing new techniques for satellite broadband delivery and this research will be coordinated with the European Space Agency’s Satellite Network of Excellence (where the School of Engineering is a partner). The target is to drive development of Internet standards (e.g., looking to the DVB groups, IETF mboned working group and Internet2 [10]), and to realise the potential of a scalable worldwide delivery platform fro high-quality live TV.

Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) a UK honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Electrical Engineering, Computing Science, Software Engineering.

Essential background: Minimum Higher Second Class Undergraduate Degree (or equivalent) and preferably post-graduate degree in Electronics or Computer Science. Experience with the Internet Protocol Stack and network protocols is essential.

A strong background in networking technology is important. A prospective candidate must have a good understanding networking, and is expected to develop detailed understanding of Internet transport technologies and internet measurement. This must be supported by a proven ability to program in C and/or C++. The successful applicant will work with computer tools for network simulation, protocol implementation and/or analysis of testbed data from actual deployed equipment.


• Apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering
• State name of the lead supervisor as the Name of Proposed Supervisor
• State ‘Self-funded’ as Intended Source of Funding
• State the exact project title on the application form

When applying please ensure all required documents are attached:

• All degree certificates and transcripts (Undergraduate AND Postgraduate MSc-officially translated into English where necessary)
• Detailed CV

Informal inquiries can be made to Prof G Fairhurst (), with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ()

Funding Notes

This project is advertised in relation to the research areas of the discipline of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for Tuition fees, living expenses and maintenance. Details of the cost of study can be found by visiting View Website. THERE IS NO FUNDING ATTACHED TO THIS PROJECT.


[1] G Fairhurst,

[2] R Secchi,

[3] Martin W. Koyabe Godred Fairhurst
Reliable multicast via satellite: a comparison survey and taxonomy

[4] Caviglione, L, Celandroni, N, Collina, M, Cruickshank, H, Fairhurst, G, Ferro, E, Gotta, A, Luglio, M, Roseti, C, Abdel Salam, A, Secchi, R, Sun, Z & Vanelli Coralli, A 2015, 'A deep analysis on future web technologies and protocols over broadband GEO satellite networks', International Journal of Satellite Communications and Networking, vol. 33, no. 5, pp. 451-472.
[ONLINE] DOI: HTTPS://DOI.ORG/10.1002/SAT.1120

[5] Secchi, R, Mohideen, A & Fairhurst, G 2015, Evaluating the Performance of Next Generation Web Access via Satellite. in P Pillai, YF Hu, I Otung & G Giambene (eds), Wireless and Satellite Systems. Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, vol. 154, Springer , pp. 163-176.
[ONLINE] DOI: HTTPS://DOI.ORG/10.1007/978-3-319-25479-1_12

[6] Fairhurst, G, Ninan, NG, Barker, T & Race, N 2012, 'Digital content distribution using the Digital Advanced Rural Testbed (DART)', Third Annual Digital Economy All Hands Conference – Digital Futures, Aberdeen, United Kingdom, 23/10/12 - 25/10/12.

[7] Townsend, LC, Wallace, C, Fairhurst, G & Anderson, A 2017, 'Broadband and the creative industries in rural Scotland', Journal of Rural Studies, vol. 54, pp. 451-458.
[ONLINE] DOI: HTTPS://DOI.ORG/10.1016/J.JRURSTUD.2016.09.001

[8] Internet2: Retiring ASM

[9] Fairhurst, G 2018, 'Internet Trends and their impact on the Future Directions for Satellite Networks: Key Note', Toulouse Space Expo, Toulouse, France, 28/06/18..

[10] Internet2: Multicast for Everyone Else: It’s finally here!

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