Study of Wi-Fi for In-Home Video Streaming (2014)

By Alireza Babaei, Neeharika Allanki, Vikas Sarawat, CableLabs

With the introduction of 802.11ac and the promise of gigabit Wi-Fi, it seems to be, at least theoretically, possible to simultaneously stream multiple HD quality videos over the Wi-Fi network. This opens up opportunities for cable operators and their customers to distribute cable video to subscriber devices throughout the homes over Wi-Fi networks. This provides an attractive value-add to both MSOs and their customers.

In this paper, our goal is to evaluate the feasibility of using Wi-Fi for wireless distribution of HD quality cable video under different circumstances or configurations. Our results indicate that although Wi-Fi performance can not be guaranteed in all circumstances, it is generally possible to stream multiple HD videos if certain conditions, including conditions on radio configuration, interference, and signal attenuation are met. We present our test observations for 802.11n and 802.11ac Wi-Fi radios with different configurations and provide recommendations for video streaming over operator-managed Wi-Fi networks.

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