SPONSORED CONTENT JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 streamingmedia.com WP69
It’s hard to think of a more exciting
time for the TV industry. Conventional
distribution models are being turned
on their heads. Personalized ads are
creating the potential to recapture
advertising revenues from the online
giants. And there is a complete shift in
the way we consume our TV—watching
it whenever we want to and on any
device we want to. All of this has created
a massive change in the way our TV
needs to be delivered as we move from
broadcast to unicast.
In the “early days,” IPTV was still
basically a broadcast service. But that
time has already passed. Soon, every person watching a show
will require their own personalized unicast stream across the
net work. This would be hard enough to deliver in SD quality—
but with HD, and now 4K, this puts an immense strain on the
Of course, the way the industry initially addressed this was
to distribute content over general-purpose CDN services. But
now we’re starting to see many content owners looking for other
solutions. We know Netflix has solved its scale problems by
building their own CDN for TV delivery. And the same is true for
lots of Edgeware’s customers.
Why? Well, for a few reasons. Generic CDN services are a great
solution if you don’t have too many viewers, or they are widely
dispersed. But as services become more successful, and the
capacity per viewer increases with 4K, there is little economy of
scale to be gained by distributing across someone else’s service.
Four times the definition means four times the cost. And that’s
before we even think about adding more viewers, more content,
or more hours watched online. So cost is a prime factor.
But perhaps even more important is quality. Our customers
are telling us that the only way they can take control over the
quality of the viewing experience—eliminating buffering, delays
and glitches—is by taking control of their own delivery system.
And the third reason is insight and analytics—being able to
understand exactly how their programs are experienced.
This doesn’t mean everyone is building their own fiber net work,
although of course telco and cable TV operators already have
net works where they can easily overlay their own TV CDNs. But
major TV broadcasters, like TVB in Hong Kong, are also taking
the same approach, by placing their TV delivery systems closer
to their viewers at internet exchange points.
Viewers are expecting amazing things from their TV. It doesn’t
matter whether it’s 4K or virtual reality TV, whether it’s cloud DVR
services or personalized ads. Content is still the most valuable part
of the viewers’ experience, and TV providers are looking to ensure
that content is delivered in an amazing way, by taking control over
their own content delivery. So, if you’re going to build your own TV
CDN, what do you need to think about?
How to Deliver
High-Quality TV at Scale