Aerus technology

The Aerus Service Delivery Platform uses an approach for transporting media streams called video stream switching, which is instrumental in supporting two key functions of the Aerus Media Engine found inside every Aerus client:

  • High efficiency scalable coding for all media processing
  • Robust interoperability
Diagram Aerus Technology

Video stream switching

Video stream switching is an advanced technology used by the Aerus Service Delivery Platform that allows multiple media streams to be switched between Aerus clients at once without being processed from one format to another format (transcoding). This approach differs from video conferencing techniques where video endpoints send and receive one video stream to and from a transcoding multipoint control unit (MCU).

Diagram Video Stream switching

Video stream switching is fundamental for the Aerus SDP to provide:

New workflow models for interacting with video

In a session, Aerus clients receive a video stream from each of the other users and an additional media stream for each shared information source. As new participants and sources of shared information come in and out of a session, Aerus clients use video stream switching to enable each user to have independent control of how they want to lay out the visual content as the conversation flows along.

Agile growth to large-scale deployments

As the number of users increases in a deployment, video stream switching enables Aerus to remove cost and performance limitations of centralized, hardware-based video conferencing approaches. Aerus clients send only one stream for each item of media, even if there are multiple recipients. Streams are multi-casted by Aerus onramp access servers, as needed, with Application Layer Multicasting (ALM). This approach not only protects network resources as the frequency of video interactions increases with more users – it also provides intelligent bandwidth management in multipoint sessions.

Diagram ALM

The Aerus Media Engine

The Aerus Media Engine (AME) is a central component within the Aerus client and is responsible for enabling two key functions:

  • High efficiency scalable coding for all media
  • Robust interoperability
Diagram AME

Scalable coding for video stream switching

The AMEs unique approach to scalable video coding leverages video stream switching to adapt to changing conditions throughout a session to ensure that users always have a sharp visual experience while minimizing bandwidth use.

Diagram Scalable Video Coding

The AME processes each media stream once and spans a wide spectrum of decoding profiles from high quality 1080p at 30 frames per second from 2Mb/s of bandwidth to 270p at 3 frames per second using less than 15Kb/s.

The Aerus Media Engine’s scalable video process delivers users:

  1. An exceptional visual experience with high-quality video and shared collaborative information

    The AME can scale visual media up and down dynamically from high quality/high frame rate down to minimum quality/low frame rate, using more or less bandwidth respectively. This enables each Aerus client to adapt continuously in real-time to changes in network conditions, bandwidth availability and device type. This process ensures that all media streams stay as vibrant as possible for users at all times. Diagram Continuous Video Adaptability

  2. Quick access to new video encoding innovation

    Each user has the ability to adapt the context of their on-screen session media streams without affecting anyone else’s view of the same session. As media streams are enlarged or minimized on-the-fly by users, the media format and corresponding bitrate is adapted to maximize bandwidth efficiency.

    Diagram Adaptative Video Coding
  3. Real-time layout context control

    The AME is codec-agnostic to media processing, meaning our approach to scalable coding for video stream switching can be applied to any video codec, for any active media stream. Today between Aerus clients, the AME leverages the high efficiency H.264 AVC High Profile video codec.

    This approach to media processing allows the AME to utilize any new software codec as it is released to the market, apply scalability to it, and pass on the innovation to Aerus users as an update for improved experience.

    Diagram New Codecs

Interoperability library

The AMEs approach to interoperability ensures that a high quality interaction for Aerus users is retained, rather than approaches that conform the experience across all users to the lowest common capability set.

The AME utilizes the flexibility of video stream switching in combination with a broad built-in library of media codecs and standard protocols to interoperate with non-Aerus systems such as:

  • Traditional video conferencing systems from vendors such as Cisco, Polycom and LifeSize
  • Cloud-based bridging vendors such as Bluejeans
  • WebRTC browser applications

The AME interoperability media library contains:

Diagram Interoperability Library

The AME uniquely provides seamless interoperability without the use of a centralized media-transcoding gateway, providing two key benefits:

  1. The user experience is freed of additional network or transcoding latency associated with centralized interoperability gateways, which means high performance interoperability
  2. The interaction quality between Aerus clients is preserved when video conferencing systems are involved in a session
Diagram No Gateway