Siden increases the personalization and access to relevant streaming content on seat-back and personal devices
In-flight Entertainment is Changing
As airlines take advantage of higher bandwidth satellite links, expectations of IFE systems are growing. Passengers want to watch through the IFE the same content as they have at home. Some will opt for the seat-back screen, while others will bring their own devices. Airlines are moving from a licensed content lineup to enabling access to those popular OTT streaming services. The IFE must evolve to support many different streaming providers and devices, offering live TV streaming and video-on-demand and providing an excellent experience.
Without a new approach, however, OTT streaming could overwhelm satellite backhaul network connections, resulting in a poor user experience. Siden enables airlines to embrace this opportunity with intelligent caching of content on the plane.
With Siden, airlines can delight their customers by offering the full catalogs of popular streaming video and audio platforms — without overloading the satellite connection.
- VOD and live TV – Siden caches both video-on-demand and live TV streams and serves them to seat-back screens and personal devices.
- Superior user experience – Titles served from cache start quickly and play buffer-free.
- Hundreds of passengers – Taking advantage of typical OTT streamer consumption patterns, caching the most popular titles enables up to 90% to be served from on-board caches. Hundreds of concurrent streams are supported, on existing IFE hardware.
- Free up bandwidth – With the majority of content served from the on-board Siden edge cache, downlink bandwidth is freed up for other uses: email, chat, games, etc.
Entertainment and Much More
In addition to live TV, shows and movies, Siden is able to cache a variety of content types to improve the passenger experience. This ensures it’s instantly available when needed during the flight.
- Passenger Engagement – Music, podcasts, games, e-learning, contextual content (e.g. destination cities)
- Advertising – Ad media for pre-roll video ads, brand sponsorships, content marketing, affiliate marketing
- E-commerce – Rich media to support portals for onboard food sales, retail sales including duty free, onward travel and other travel upsell services
- Passenger Info Services – Maps, airport info, journey info such as places of interest
- User Generated Content – Social media influencer videos
How Siden Works
Siden uses multi-tiered content distribution with intelligent caching and predictive AI to preposition popular audio and video content for local streaming in-flight.
Siden Edge, a high-performance edge cache, is embedded within the IFE system on the plane. Content is streamed from that cache to passengers, via either seat-back displays or personal devices. Streams can be either video-on-demand titles or live TV and events.
Predictive Caching with Siden Intelligence Engine
Siden predicts what content to cache based on popularity information from Content Providers (CPs) and from in-flight playback analytics. Titles from multiple providers can be managed, with cache space allocated to each per policy.
The whole process is orchestrated by the Siden Intelligence Engine running in Siden Cloud, which also controls when content is prepositioned. The cache refresh process is network-aware, to optimize use of the backhaul and control costs. Caches are refreshed primarily on the ground, but can also be refreshed in the air, based on the configured policy for that content provider.
“Hands Off” Content Refresh
Filling and refreshing the on-board cache is done with an automated workflow. Siden provides flexibility, supporting different refresh policies and schedules, e.g. continuous 24/7 trickle loading. Unlike traditional CDNs, cache refresh is done on a per-title basis. Titles are prioritized and delivered over the backhaul network in their entirety, in a reliable and network-efficient manner. Real-time analytics are used to track progress and feed dashboards and reports.
Siden can also help airlines with their existing content catalogs until they’re ready to make the leap to OTT services. The same optimized content refresh can be applied to replace what’s today a heavily manual process with a fully automated one, reducing costs and achieving better outcomes.
Easy Integration with IFE Hardware
Siden’s edge CDN has a software defined architecture that scales across the airline fleet and easily integrates with existing IFE hardware.
Siden Edge can run standalone or as part of a cluster of cache nodes for added resilience. For easy deployment, its software stack is virtualized, running as a set of containers on the IFE appliance. It also supports “bare metal” deployment as a native application as necessary.
Siden provides APIs for easy integration into existing IFE content management systems. These APIs are based on the Open Caching APIs from the Streaming Video Technology Alliance (SVTA), a collaboration of experts in the streaming video industry. They enable new workflows to be built to ensure seamless integration of Siden’s intelligent caching system.
From the Living Room to the Plane
Siden’s multi-network, intelligent caching solution has been tested in the most rigorous and secure network environments worldwide. Our solution was first targeted at in-home caching for fixed wireless access home broadband services from mobile network operators. And we’re delighted to bring it to the in-flight entertainment ecosystem to support the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.