WP70 Superguide 1 | ADVANCED DISTRIBUTION: CDNS, ANALYTICS, QOS, AND QOE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 SPONSORED CONTENT
WHEN SHOULD YOU
CONSIDER YOUR OWN TV CDN?
General-purpose CDN services are widely available, and can
be used to help deliver TV content. These CDNs were developed
to distribute large amounts of frequently used content—such
as software updates for your smartphone—but they are not
optimized for TV. They may deliver content via lowest-cost
peering points or from wherever they have spare storage capacity,
but they are certainly not built for real-time service delivery.
If you are a net work operator, broadcaster or content owner,
then building your own TV CDN can make more sense than
buying in general-purpose CDN services—reducing your costs,
improving the quality of your delivery, and giving you greater
insight into your viewers. And the greater the density of viewers
in any geographic area, the greater the benefits.
If you own your own network infrastructure, you will
probably have greater density and more points-of-presence than
even the biggest global CDN service providers, so you can deliver
your TV more effectively than they can. You can stream content
from deeper in your net work, closer to your viewers, saving
net work transport costs and delivering higher performance. If
you don’t own any net work infrastructure, but your viewers are
largely located in specific territories or countries, you can get
similar benefits by building your TV CDN at network peering
points with one or more internet service providers who serve
that same market.
In either case, you can start building out incrementally,
from a single location, and scale as your TV services become
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT TO GAIN FROM A TV CDN?
A cost-effective way to scale
A TV CDN can scale to huge levels of service take-up – without
huge levels of cost. That’s because it uses a unique architecture
to scale different functions in different ways. And, of course,
once you’ve paid for it, you have far less ongoing costs. An
Edgeware customer recently calculated that they could build
themselves a TV CDN that could stream at peak capacity for
24 hours a day for the same cost as streaming the same peak
through a CDN service for less than an hour.
An amazing viewing experience
With low-latency (for live sports), guaranteed resources and
no buffering, your own TV CDN should be able to deliver
services such as live TV, time-shifted TV, ad insertion,
TV Any where, cloud DVR, Encryption and Fast Channel
Change – all from one shared platform that supports SD,
HD, 4K, 8K and VR TV.
Insight and control
A TV CDN can give you a unique insight into viewers’
behavior, because it can correlate viewing analytics with
network performance. So now you can find out what is
really happening to your content delivery.
HOW DO TV CDNS WORK?
Let’s just recap on the fundamentals of how a TV CDN works.
First of all, it creates a library of TV content from your live TV
channels. Then it keeps a copy of the most popular TV shows
closer to your viewers. This copy only needs to be sent out
once across the network in a single format – but can be played
many times over, whenever anyone wants to watch it.
The viewer requests the show they want to watch on their
TV or device, via an existing portal. The TV CDN then works
out the best place to stream the TV from. If it is an unusual
or brand new piece of content, then it might be streamed
from the ‘origin’ site at the center of the TV CDN. But most
content will be sent from a locally cached copy, held on a TV
server closer to the viewer. So now, most of the TV content
only needs to be streamed from a local system—not across
the whole network—even if it is live linear TV.
The TV server at the edge of the network should also be
able to insert personalized ads, pause live TV, and stream
the TV show in the right format for all of the different
devices your viewers use, without the need to go back to the
source and fetch lots of different versions. Of course, this
saves huge amounts of network or third party CDN costs.
But more importantly, it also delivers TV with no buffering,
delays, or glitches—delivering an amazing TV experience.