BBC-wants-shows-available-iPlayer-12-months-bid-compete-rivals

Peter Corlett abuse at cabal.org.uk
Tue Jan 8 03:52:28 PST 2019


On Tue, Jan 08, 2019 at 08:52:54AM +0000, CJB wrote:
> Massive storage required for this ....

Not really.

The BBC already has Redux, which is basically a DVB-T tuner somewhere in London
capturing the off-air signal and recording it indefinitely. This is useful for
all sorts of reasons, an important one being that broadcasters are legally
required to produce copies of recent broadcasts to Ofcom on demand.

What's not mentioned on Redux's Wikipedia page is that it apparently used to
archive *all* DVB-T broadcasts until they got caught at it and were told to
stop. I'm surprised that the other broadcasters didn't realise that the BBC
were apparently prepared to handle their expensive compliance requirements for
free.

Anyway, a back-of-beermat calculation reckons that the two BBC muxes at Crystal
Palace spit out roughly 900GB per day, 300TB per year, or about 4PB since the
project started. That's an implausible number by the standards of a domestic
user trying to pirate all the things, but pocket fluff for a billion-pound
broadcaster.

Redux is run in-house, but as a guideline to the costs, Backblaze would charge
$24k (£19k) per annum to store 4PB in its B2 service. Their latest storage pods
can squeeze half a petabyte into a 4U case. If you're not familiar with
rackmount gear, that's roughly the same sort of size as a tower PC on its side.
So 4PB fits easily in a standard 42U rack.

iPlayer appears to be a client of Redux, which would just be a queue of things
to transcode into the various streaming-friendly formats. The cost of iPlayer's
*cache* would increase twelvefold, but that's probably a rounding error
compared to everything else.




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