The Revolution WILL Be TelevisedVideo 2.0 and New Paradigms for Entertainment Cable VideoConsumption and Contribution2007 ...
Table of ContentsIntroduction................................................................................................
IntroductionThe innovations we’ve witnessed over the past several years in cable video largely bear theirroots in the broa...
CompetitionToday, competition for video services is more intense than ever before. Just 25 years ago,consumers had a very ...
FlexibilityConsumers today, having grown accustomed to the “what you want, when you want it” nature ofthe Internet are dem...
Web 2.0 – A Similar Transformation in a ParallelUniverseThe parallels between the development of the consumer television e...
• The Web as a platform• Data as the driving force• Network effects created by an architecture of participation• Innovatio...
Figure 2 – Video 2.0 Evolution ParadigmVideo 2.0 – Web 2.0 Concepts Applied to CableRecognizing the fact that (some forms ...
content in timeslots with known demographics. Timeslots are a significant factor in determiningthe selection of content to...
Applying Video 2.0 concepts to the cable network requires looking at the cable network at alllevels – in its fundamental a...
The two-way cable access network has undoubtedly produced the greatest advances in therichness of services offered by the ...
network architecture can be made to allow IP routing of voice, video and data, with mechanismsfor service separation to al...
that can efficiently distribute quantities of television programming, the 500-channel lineup canscale to be a 5000-channel...
virus/worm Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) traffic can be suppressed to acceptable levels.PCMM can also be used to pr...
SummaryIt is said that Google aims to launch at least one new service a month on their platform. How canthey accomplish th...
Abbreviations and AcronymsCMTS Cable Modem Termination SystemCPE Customer Premises EquipmentDBS Direct Broadcast Satellite...
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SCTE ET 2007 - The Revolution WILL be Televised

  1. 1. The Revolution WILL Be TelevisedVideo 2.0 and New Paradigms for Entertainment Cable VideoConsumption and Contribution2007 SCTE Conference on Emerging TechnologiesHouston, TXS.V. VasudevanDirector, Cable Video ArchitecturesCisco Systemsvasu.vasudevan@cisco.comDavid LivelySr. Manager, Video/IPTV Systems Test and ArchitectureCisco Systemsdlively@cisco.com
  2. 2. Table of ContentsIntroduction.......................................................................................................................................3Evolving Consumer Market Needs...................................................................................................3Competition..................................................................................................................................4Technology...................................................................................................................................4Consumer Demand.......................................................................................................................4Flexibility.................................................................................................................................5Personalization.........................................................................................................................5Community ..............................................................................................................................5Web 2.0 – A Similar Transformation in a Parallel Universe............................................................6Core Web 2.0 Concepts................................................................................................................6Web 2.0 Examples........................................................................................................................7Video 2.0 – Web 2.0 Concepts Applied to Cable.............................................................................8Contribution of Content – Not Just For Studios Anymore...........................................................8Content Discovery and Selection – What to Watch and How to Find It......................................8Viewing the Content – A Proliferation of Devices ......................................................................9The Revolution Has Begun ..........................................................................................................9Evolving the Cable Network to Support Video 2.0........................................................................10Access Network Innovations......................................................................................................10Effective Metro Networking With Converged Regional Network Transport............................11Core Networks – Connecting on a Nationwide Basis ................................................................12Application Scaling - Developing the Cable Control Network..................................................13PacketCable Multimedia (PCMM) ........................................................................................13Universal Session Resource Management.............................................................................14Changes in Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) and the Application Environment ..............14Summary.........................................................................................................................................15
  3. 3. IntroductionThe innovations we’ve witnessed over the past several years in cable video largely bear theirroots in the broadcast television paradigm. Analog television begat digital television, whichexpanded the channel lineup, enhanced content security, and provided an advanced “digital”video picture. Shortly thereafter, Video on Demand (VoD) systems began to emerge, bringing aninteractive, non-linear video viewing experience to the cable subscriber. Both of these servicesreceived a boost with the introduction and rapid adoption of HDTV. The introduction of theDigital Video Recorder (DVR) hastened the obsolescence of the VHS videotape and substantiallytransformed the viewing habits of the television subscriber community. Switched Digital Video(SDV) has also emerged as a technology that architecturally has the potential to supply limitlesslinear television content. Yet despite these remarkable innovations, the paradigm of videoconsumption delivered by these technologies largely remains the same – studio-originatedtelevision programming, segmented into N*30minute viewing durations, viewed on a televisionset.2007 bears witness to a simultaneous explosion of innovation on three fronts – the quantity andvariety of video content being generated for subscriber consumption, the end devices capable ofconsuming broadcast and broadband video content, and the access networks capable of deliveringthis content. The living room is no longer the sole termination point of entertainment grade video.Satellite is no longer the sole competitor to track. And YouTube and similar broadband videoportals have reduced the cost of distributing video content to a worldwide audience to near zero.This rapid growth in the generation and consumption of broadband-delivered video has givensome pause for concern about possible “over-the-top” competitive threats, while other serviceproviders see this phenomenon as an opportunity to augment and enhance the video delivery andconsumption experience as a whole.Interestingly, the Internet is experiencing a similar metamorphosis. While the world wide web hasprovided a platform for ubiquitous web content distribution, it is a new wave of technologies,known as “Web 2.0” that is transforming the power of a worldwide-connected communityinteracting on a standardized data communications platform. Many of these transformations bearpromise in the video communications paradigm, giving rise to consider the most recententertainment video delivery trends to be considered as “Video 2.0”. In order to better appreciatethis concept, it is helpful to further understand the market drivers that are shaping the serviceprovider industry, as well as understand the dynamics that drove the Web 2.0 transformation.Evolving Consumer Market NeedsThe 1950s, the era that spawned classic television shows such as I Love Lucy and The TwilightZone, is commonly referred to as the “Golden Age of Television.” It was an age ofexperimentation and incredible change – as a populace that had grown up on radio suddenly sawthe endless possibilities offered by this amazing new device, the television. Now we stand on theverge of a new era, one that promises to be the “Platinum Age of Personalized Entertainment.”The new age will result in another huge change in people’s lives and how they use entertainmentservices. This new platinum age is about much more than television services; it is about offeringconnected life services to subscribers, giving them many services to many screens. Three primaryfactors are driving the change: competition, technology, and consumer demand.
  4. 4. CompetitionToday, competition for video services is more intense than ever before. Just 25 years ago,consumers had a very basic choice: get an average quality picture over the airwaves, or subscribeto cable services with the promise of more programming choice and improved signal integrity. Inthe 1990s, Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) operators entered the fray – pressuring cableoperators to upgrade networks and enhance services. Cable operators made the “Triple Play”their rallying cry, knowing the satellite operators could not directly compete with a two-way HFCdistribution system. This strategy has borne competitive success, largely at the expense of thetelcos, who suffered subscriber losses in their core markets. An artifact of this success was toforce the emergence of a new competitor with deeper pockets.Telcos are now preparing to offer bundled services to compete with cable operators like neverbefore. As a result, all competitors are vying to win the hearts and minds of consumers. As aresult, the value proposition of a particular service provider’s offer must transcend beyond simplefactors such as price and/or number of channels. Success in the new paradigm is achieved byoffering a consumer “experience” that is better than that of the competition, by rolling outadvanced new services that others do not or cannot provide, and by rolling out services morequickly, increasing “service velocity” that others cannot match. In short, service providers mustbecome experience providers in order to succeed in today’s tough competitive climate.TechnologyThe rise of the Internet has had an extraordinary impact on many aspects of our lives – in how wework, live, play, and learn. Particularly amongst young people, many now spend more timesurfing the Internet than watching television. According to Tracy Akselrud from the AnnenbergCenter for the Digital Future, “Increasingly over the last 10 years, Internet users have ‘bought’their time to go online from the time they previously spent watching television. And, the moreexperience users have with the Internet, the less television they watch.”The very same Internet Protocol (IP) technology powering the Internet is also a “convergence”technology that enables service providers to transform themselves into “experience providers” –able to combine the flexibility, personalization, and community of the Internet with the high-quality delivery of voice, video and data traffic that represents the core service revenue of cableoperators today.Mobile devices have also advanced tremendously over the last five years. Small handhelddevices now come with large, clear screens – and are capable of handling streaming rates thathold great promise for future entertainment services. Consumers are thirsty for new servicesenabled by these devices, and are demonstrating strong interest in the freedom of access tocontent from any location.Consumer DemandIt is not enough for cable operators to simply offer new services; they have to be services thatpeople want and are willing to pay for. Consumer demand has stratified into three areas:flexibility, personalization, and community.
  5. 5. FlexibilityConsumers today, having grown accustomed to the “what you want, when you want it” nature ofthe Internet are demanding flexible viewing options. People are no longer willing to scheduletheir lives around the schedules of their favorite television shows. Instead, they want to view thiscontent according to their own schedule, a concept known as “time-shifting.” The major successof VoD services and Personal Video Recorders (PVRs) are testimony to the value consumersassign to time-shifting.Place-shifting is also becoming increasingly important to consumers. Apple’s iPod video playerhas been a great success, enabling people to purchase and download episodes from popular showsand watch them on the road. The Slingbox is another example of place-shifting. Slingboxowners can transmit television programming from their homes to any location via an Internetconnection – thereby allowing people to watch the same programming they get at home fromtheir hotel rooms, from work, or from a friend’s house.PersonalizationIn addition to flexibility, consumers are looking for increased personalization of the viewingexperience. The Internet is exploding with new and increasingly high quality content. In order tosort through it all, consumers are looking for ways to customize their experience so that they arealerted first and foremost to content options that match their personal interests and preferences.As content choices continue to expand, personalization becomes not an option but a requirementin order to ensure ease-of-use for all consumers. Personalization should extend to the differentmembers of a household. Family members should be greeted with an experience tuned to theirown interests. At the same time, targeted advertising based on individual preferences will pleasethe advertisers and increase operator revenues.CommunityTied in with the concept of personalization is that of community. When ordering a movie with aDVD rental service such as Netflix, customers can see the movie titles that their “friends” ratedhighly – and consider friends’ recommendations in making a decision. In the same way, cablesubscribers will expect similar “buddy lists” that allow them to share favorite content. In fact,these “buddy lists” can enable a whole host of new capabilities, such as enabling friends to gettogether “virtually” to watch a football game and message each other during the game.Communities can also be used as a means of sharing content with family, friends, or like-mindedusers. The massive popularity of YouTube demonstrates the pent-up demand for a service thatenables the easy sharing of home movies and other amateur videos. But why be restricted towatching user-generated content on a PC? How can grandparents without a PC see theirgrandchildren’s “school play” video? Consumers do not want to be restricted by device, and theyneed a user-friendly way of sharing all their content and getting access to the content of others.
  6. 6. Web 2.0 – A Similar Transformation in a ParallelUniverseThe parallels between the development of the consumer television experience and the internetbrowsing experience warrant closer examination. The early publishing of web content wasprimarily static. Users went to a website to view content from the owner of that website. Thecontent was chosen, formatted for viewing, and presented to the user. In a way, initial static webpage content from the early days of the web can be considered as a parallel to broadcast televisionof the early days. Modern search technology has emerged as the primary technology forcataloging internet content; the lean-back usage paradigm of entertainment digital televisioncurrently favors the browsing of broadcast content through a grid-guide interface. Web 2.0technologies have emerged to exploit the dynamic nature of a two-way IP information interface toallow fundamental improvements in the way web content is composed and distributed.Figure 1 – Mind Map of Web 2.0 ConceptsCore Web 2.0 ConceptsWhen the phrase “Web 2.0” was coined by Tim O’Reilly1(of computer book publishing fame) atan internet industry conference in 2004, key conference principals identified the followingcharacterizing attributes to the new incarnation of the web:1“What is Web 2.0”, Tim O’Reilly, http://www.oreilly.com
  7. 7. • The Web as a platform• Data as the driving force• Network effects created by an architecture of participation• Innovation in the assembly of systems and sites composed by pulling together featuresfrom distributed, independent developers (a kind of "open source" development)• Lightweight business models enabled by content and service syndication• The end of the software adoption cycle ("the perpetual beta")• Software above the level of a single device, leveraging the power of the long tail.Some fundamental technologies and concepts in Web 2.0 focus on individual and communityinvolvement – individuals contributing their personal expertise and opinions to enhance theexperience for everyone else. Reviews, feedback, comments, cross-linking of other content,original content, and even the policing of other users’ content, are emerging as elements thatenrich the content access experience as much as the raw content itself. The users’ contributionsmake the overall system more relevant to others, not just the website owners. Consumers voicetheir opinions on what is relevant and worth looking at, and form their own opinions at least inpart on others’ opinions.Web 2.0 ExamplesThe Web 2.0 influence on the internet browsing experience can be witnessed in many areas.Examples include:Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia based on the unorthodox notion that an encyclopedia entry canbe added by any user and edited by any other user.Podcasting leverages web services technologies to enable the delivery of themed content on aperiodic basis. It could be easily considered as an internet form of a DVR “series recording”.Website digg.com generates personalized news pages based on links, articles, and contentcontributed and voted on by individual users. Web 2.0 online stores like Amazon.com providerecommendations for purchases based on the feedback and purchases of other users with similartastes. Sites like Netflix and others provide the same value for movies.Website flickr.com allows users to use keywords to label their photos – then allows the search oftheir (or any community participant’s) photos via any keyword axis.Web 2.0 technologies are enabling access to the experiences and opinions of thousands and evenmillions of other people. If a user’s preferences are understood, they can be referenced againstother users who have similar preferences along with supporting metadata to provide a morerelevant or intelligent presentation of that information.The environment that makes all of this possible is built around open standards with well-definedprotocols and interfaces, and community participation in content creation. This allows rapiddevelopment of new applications and services because anyone has access to the tools andplatforms necessary to innovate. It is this open system that is allowing the pace of innovation ofnew services and applications to move much more rapidly for the Internet than for traditionaltelevision.
  8. 8. Figure 2 – Video 2.0 Evolution ParadigmVideo 2.0 – Web 2.0 Concepts Applied to CableRecognizing the fact that (some forms of) web content and television content can be viewed asdifferent forms of “entertainment information access”, some of the Web 2.0 concepts meritconsideration in the realm of digital television. In the new television revolution, we won’tnecessarily be “watching television” anymore. We will be viewing rich media content on amultitude of screens, and from a multitude of sources. A cable system can leverage the usercommunity that it already serves to empower the richness of the user-as-contributor in the samemodel as Web 2.0.Contribution of Content – Not Just For Studios AnymoreIt all starts with the creation and contribution of new content. While this has traditionally beenaccessible only to movie and television studios or reasonably wealthy independent filmmakers,the market is opening up. The launching of The Independent Film Channel or the SundanceChannel can be seen as the “Video 1.0” first steps in the transformation of this distribution model.The rise of podcasts in the audio world and the flash popularity of serial broadband video contentcan be seen as “Video 2.0”. Content that is created by subscribers, indexed by subscribers, andreviewed by subscribers is proving to be as compelling as traditional Hollywood productions.Content Discovery and Selection – What to Watch and How toFind ItHow do consumers determine what shows to watch in today’s environment? In the Video 1.0model, it is through slot-based advertising, expert reviews, “word-of-mouth” and by placing new
  9. 9. content in timeslots with known demographics. Timeslots are a significant factor in determiningthe selection of content to be broadcast. New shows are often debuted immediately before orafter very popular existing shows, or as a timeslot replacement for another popular show. Butwhat happens when the concept of a timeslot goes away as it already has in on-demand and webaccess? Or when there are so many channels of linear content that it’s impossible to keep track?With the proliferation of traditional and non-traditional content becoming available, the paradigmof program guide navigation will have to fundamentally change. Switched digital videotechnology will enable the same explosion of content in the linear realm, and we already havehundreds of channels to choose from. VoD title navigation is already becoming challenging withthe thousands of hours of content offered by many operators. Video 2.0 interfaces will need toevolve to incorporate many of the same dynamic generation concepts as found with Web 2.0 sites– the residual value of adding “channels” to existing guide formats will diminish as the number ofchannels gets large.Leveraging technological metaphors popular on the web, one can conceive of concepts such as a“content inbox” where users within a controlled subscriber community could send entire videoclips, pointers to video clips, pointers to a specific segment within a piece of content, etc.Imagine being able to see a list of the top 10 VoD titles accessed by subscribers within the samelocal cable system. Imagine seeing a list of the top 10 programs stored on the DVR of a localcommunity of cable subscribers. This “guide” information is generated dynamically as a functionof aggregated metadata, and provides a self-generated form of content rating from a group of(geographically) peer reviewers.Viewing the Content – A Proliferation of DevicesA number of devices beyond the set-top box are capable of manipulating MPEG video, from PCsto Slingboxes to Sony PSPs to cell phones. Certain content is also better suited for certain typesof end devices – a 2-hour VoD movie is probably not best suited for the 128x160 screenresolution of a clamshell-style mobile phone. Similarly, the quality (or lack thereof) of low-resolution SD content can me made readily apparent when upscaled and displayed on a 1080pHD monitor.It may not necessarily be the content itself but the control interface that is portable amongstdevices. While the viewing of a 2-hour movie on a cell phone may not be seen as very appetizing,the ability to use a cell phone interface to control the home DVR and record that forgottenproblem could serve to be quite valuable.The Revolution Has BegunThe Video 2.0 revolution has already begun online with sites like Google Video, Yahoo! Video,AOL, YouTube, and others. Thousands, even millions of video clips are added to these sites byconsumers and studios alike. Content is rated and commented on by other consumers, tagged foreasier searching, and the most popular content bubbles up to the top to even wider audiences.However, while the revolution may seem to be a logical progression due to the convergence andintegration of what have historically been completely separate infrastructures – the Internet andthe television network – much will need to change and evolve in today’s cable networks tosupport these new ways of enriching the user experience.
  10. 10. Applying Video 2.0 concepts to the cable network requires looking at the cable network at alllevels – in its fundamental ability to robustly move data in either direction, to the ability tocontrol this data movement in predictable ways, to the identification of core network serviceselements that are employed by applications across service types.Figure 3 – Reference Cable ArchitectureEvolving the Cable Network to Support Video 2.0The evolution of the technology platform used by cable service providers has acted as both astimulus and response to the evolution of the cable industry itself. As new technologies have beendeveloped to provide enhancements in capacity, cost-effectiveness, or network intelligence, theindustry has been able to leverage these capabilities to launch a new service or more efficientlyoperate an existing service. Similarly, competitive threats and other business motivators place aperennial challenge on technological innovation within the network itself. Starting at the transportlayer and moving up the information access chain, technological contributions at all levels of theservice architecture will contribute to support a Video 2.0 migration. Practical modifications totraditional and known digital cable network subsystems are considered to help support a Video2.0 environment.Access Network InnovationsRaw, unimpeded access to a variety and quantity of content forms the base layer of a serviceinfrastructure capable of supporting Video 2.0. For example, the iTunes music store would neverhave had the fundamental ability to come into existence without the technological advances thatenable data access speeds to evolve from dialup to broadband.
  11. 11. The two-way cable access network has undoubtedly produced the greatest advances in therichness of services offered by the cable operator. The hybrid fiber-coax (HFC) infrastructure andthe mass standardization of DOCSIS®have produced a two-way data access network that hasenabled all digital cable services of significance in the last 10 years.The digitization and QAM modulation of the classic 6 MHz analog broadcast channel has enabledthe multiplication of downstream capacity. As many as 12 digital television channels now occupythe spectrum required by a single analog broadcast channel. This innovation by itself has single-handedly enabled the capacity for a 500-channel broadcast network, with 125 analog channelsgiving way to nearly 5 Gbps of digital downstream transmission capacity using today’s channelmodulation schemes.Narrowcast transmission represents the next major capacity multiplier for the cable network.Narrowcasting leverages the hierarchical tree-and-branch topology of the HFC outside plant tofurther increase downstream capacity by dedicating a portion of the downstream spectrum. As aresidential cable network is typically subdivided into fiber-coax segments serving up to 500passed homes, the opportunity arises to deliver unique downstream traffic to each group of 500homes. This is the principle in which modern broadband data access networks and VOD deliverysystems are built, though currently these systems consume only a fraction of the capacity increasethat is afforded by narrowcasting. A hypothetical system passing 100,000 homes, delivered via200 HFC nodes, represents a staggering capacity of 1000 Gbps or 1 Tbps of digital capacity fromthe existing outside plant – most of which has yet to be fully mined.The DOCSIS 3.0 standards recently published by CableLabs®will play a significant role infurther unleashing this data capacity. DOCSIS 3.0 specifies methods for bonding downstreamchannels to increase the capacity of downstream information that can be instantaneouslydelivered to an individual subscriber. DOCSIS also specifies methods for bonding upstream datachannels, presenting the potential for upstream data rates of 120 Mbps and higher. In a Video 2.0environment where consumer contribution of upstream content transitions from “mouse clicks” tosegments of uploaded personal media, the expected demands for a robust upstream networkcannot be overlooked. A final key feature of the DOCSIS 3.0 specifications is the use of IPv6addressing, which expands the host (device) address space to a comfortable level to cope with theexplosion of IP-connected media-enabled CPE devices which can be expected to be found in themodern connected home.Effective Metro Networking with Converged Regional NetworkTransportRapid innovation has occurred in the development of carrier Ethernet networks for metropolitantransport of voice, video and data. These networks serve to aggregate voice and data traffic fromthe DOCSIS access networks, as well as distribute broadcast, VoD, and switched digital video.The economies of scale of IP routing and switching and the rapid decline in the cost of opticaltransport has enabled the consolidation of dozens of headends into one or (more commonly) twomaster headends, connected to “digital hubs” via IP optical transport.While the consolidation of headends has proven to be operationally prudent, the fact thathundreds of thousands of subscribers can now be served from one or two headends underscoresthe importance of highly available and resilient transport between physical locations.Understanding the nature and capacity of traffic flow in a regional network, adaptations to
  12. 12. network architecture can be made to allow IP routing of voice, video and data, with mechanismsfor service separation to allow the robust transport of all traffic types on the same physicalinterface.The use of IP technologies in modern cable headend/hub networks begins within the masterheadend, and ends at the QAM modulator within the hub. Some of the mechanisms in place tomeet the special needs of triple-play networking at the metro level include:Source Diversity – The ability for the network to accept traffic sourced from two different masterheadends. Dual-illumination (where two copies of the same video program are present on thenetwork) redundancy schemes exist, where the receiving device can accept a primary and backupstream, and choose the “best” stream to accept based on video stream integrity parametersmeasured by the receiver. Single-illumination (where only one copy of a program is on thenetwork at any given time) redundancy schemes can also be constructed by leveraging anycastnetworking, whereby network routers will forward data from the “closest” available source, anddiscard duplicate traffic from other sources.Path Resiliency – Many regional distribution networks will include methods of delivering trafficfrom headend to hub using two (or more) diverse physical routes, to protect against the dreadedbackhoe-induced fiber cut. A popular configuration is to support point-to-point connectionsbetween routers to form a bidirectional ring. By implementing independent instances of anInternal Gateway Protocol (such as OSPF), duplicate traffic can be “trained” to flow around eachside of a bidirectional ring, ensuring maximum stream availability. For multiple physical linkstraversing the same path, techniques such as Etherchannel port groups (load balancing amongmultiple layer 2 links as a single forwarding instance) and equal-cost multipath (load balancingacross multiple layer 3 links between routing peers) can further assure the timely and robustdelivery of network traffic from source to receiver.Prioritized Traffic Queuing – Network architectures can be configured to expedite the forwardingof traffic, based on the traffic type and/or the inbound/outbound interface. In order to supportproper service separation, a queue priority scheme can be implemented to heavily favor time-critical traffic types such as voice, significantly favor traffic types such as video, and relegate lesscritical traffic with a best-effort forwarding service. This mechanism (known as DifferentiatedServices or DiffServ) is a simple mechanism to properly prioritize traffic when temporallycongestive environments are encountered. Advanced methods to explicitly dedicate networkbandwidth on a per-session level (known as Intergrated Services or IntServ) can also be used tospecifically guarantee network bandwidth for a particular service such as a VoD movie playout.Core Networks – Connecting on a Nationwide BasisUntil recently, little attention has been given to issues related to networking of triple play trafficon a large nationwide (or even an international) scale. This situation is quickly changing as theplummeting cost of long-haul IP networking is enabling the possibility of connecting regionalnetworks to form a nationwide mesh. With such a network, the universe of Video 2.0 applicationsgets a little larger. Cable operators can now originate and terminate telephony traffic entirelywithin their network without having to involve (and pay) a traditional voice carrier. Satellitedelivery of both linear and non-linear (pitcher-catcher VoD assets) can be migrated to a terrestrialnetwork, allowing greater control over the content delivery. Regional television content can bemade available in other regions (subject to content rights negotiations), allowing homesicksubscribers to access video content from their hometowns. When combined with a technology
  13. 13. that can efficiently distribute quantities of television programming, the 500-channel lineup canscale to be a 5000-channel lineup, offering users a variety of content that will be difficult tomatch from competitive service providers. Finally, the hierarchical asset distribution schemes inVoD can be extended to a national scale. It is quite conceivable to imagine a national VoD assetcenter with a library vault of every single title accessible to a cable operator – both short and longtail. With a nationwide network and a clever asset distribution structure, massive amounts ofcontent can be made available to the entire subscriber population that only place modestincremental network traffic demands on the core network as a whole.Application Scaling - Developing the Cable Control NetworkThe ability to launch a variety of evolutionary services with speed and scale benefits from thesenew services being able to leverage a common set of application and network resources. Much ofthe initial work that went into building the first IP networks for cable was focused on efficientand abundant data transport. Upon that transport, services were built. From DOCSIS access andtransport came cable data service, and more recently cable telephony service. From MPEG/QAMin-band and QPSK out-of-band transport came digital television service, and more recently VoDservice. As these services were being developed, some quite independently from others, it becameapparent that many common ancillary operations were being developed in parallel – registrationof an end device onto the network, authentication of a subscriber, association of a subscriber’send device to a billing and management database, and the allocation of network resources tosupport a subscriber’s service, be it on a quasi-static (e.g. provisioning cable modem service) ordynamic (e.g. provisioning bandwidth for a phone call, VoD movie playback) service. Often wasthe case where the proper integration of these “back office” functions became the gating item tothe launching or scaling of a service.In the next few years a wave of innovation can be expected in the control network. To enable afaster and more scalable application service velocity, transport networks are being married withintelligent cross-application control protocols to form a service exchange framework. Thisframework allows control over the underlying data network to enforce quality of service andquality of experience for all services. The framework also exposes a variety of services to anetwork application developer, to allow a consistent structure to application support services, andto allow application developers to focus on the application rather than the accompanying “backoffice overhead”.Two control plane technologies will play a large role in the Video 2.0 control network:PacketCable Multimedia (PCMM)PacketCable™ 1.0 and 2.0 play a large role in the signaling framework for cable telephony.PacketCable Multimedia (PCMM) extends the specification to enable the control of bandwidth inthe access network on a per-application or even a per-session basis. Having this level ofbandwidth control brings the tools to enrich the capabilities of all cable services. For example, acable data service can offer different speed tiers, and use PCMM to throttle bandwidth to enforcebandwidth policy on each tier. PacketCable-based voice telephony assures QoS for phone calls byallocating access network bandwidth to enforce congestion-free transport for voice packets.Deep packet inspection can be combined with PCMM to recognize and prioritize traffic on adynamic basis. For example, delay-sensitive traffic such as gaming (e.g. Xbox Live) can beexpedited in the network, and undesired traffic such as excessive peer-to-peer traffic or
  14. 14. virus/worm Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) traffic can be suppressed to acceptable levels.PCMM can also be used to provision bandwidth for streaming services to set-top boxes and otherdevices in the home, giving cable operators a tool to distinguish streaming traffic from affiliatedsources to provide an enhanced quality of experience.Universal Session Resource ManagementSession Resource Management (SRM) refers to a control system dedicated to the per-sessionallocation and de-allocation of resources for a particular service. SRM has its roots in the VoDservice enablement. When a subscriber purchases a movie from her set-top box, a number ofresources must be identified, assembled and provisioned. This can include streaming serverresources for movie playout, encryption resources for scrambling the asset, network resources fortransport of the asset from streaming server to the Edge QAM, and HFC spectral resources fordelivery to the set-top box. When the movie or session has completed, these same resources mustbe de-allocated so that they may be repurposed for another session.Universal Session Resource Management (USRM) extends this concept beyond the confines of aparticular service or CPE device. With USRM, a variety of session managers – VoD, SwitchedDigital Video, and others yet to be invented – can arbitrate for access to a common set of pooledresources for fulfilling a particular service. Any device can connect into a USRM framework – itneed not be a set-top box alone.Future extensions of USRM will expand the boundaries even further. It is not inconceivable toconsider a USRM system that administers resource allocation for QAM as well as DOCSISresources. And, as the cable service delivery framework extends beyond cable itself (as evidencedby the cable-Sprint joint venture), it is quite possible to imagine cohesive resource allocationcrossing networks to assure a consistent quality of experience across devices and locations, just aswe enjoy a consistent cellular telephone service that in fact can be served by a number of carriers.Changes in Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) and theApplication EnvironmentA further enrichment in the information exchange between content sources and receivers isneeded in a Video 2.0 environment. First, it is important to recognize that the set-top box may notnecessarily be the terminating point of a video program. The content protection technologies thathave been successfully deployed for set-top boxes need to be extended into a similarly secure andauthorized transport domain that extends into the connected home. This suggests a possibleporting of secure content delivery technologies to devices beyond the set-top box. Or, it couldsignal the evolutionary transformation of the set-top box to a “set-top gateway”, which acts asecure portal interface into the connected home.Information exchange between home and headend will also evolve beyond a simple request-response model. As contributed data from CPE devices feeds back and influences the broadcastpresentation of metadata to a subscriber community (e.g. displaying the top 10 DVR titles storedin a cable system), standards for information classification and exchange will be needed toconnect data with applications. The OpenCable™ Applications Platform (OCAP) is a great startto standardize on a cross-STB application environment. The proliferation of OCAP devices andapplications, coupled with a strong set of core network services provided at the control plane,should serve as fertile ground for Video 2.0 innovation.
  15. 15. SummaryIt is said that Google aims to launch at least one new service a month on their platform. How canthey accomplish this? Part of their service velocity is based on a common applicationdevelopment environment, in this case a multi-tiered web infrastructure. Other web servicecomponents provide linkages to ancillary capabilities such as shopping carts/billing, mappingresources, and security to name a few. This framework serves as the foundation for Web 1.0 andWeb 2.0. Launching a new application is as easy (to the end user) as selecting a different URL.This is the challenge of the Video 2.0 era – the potential services have been identified, but theinfrastructure must be able to accommodate these services rapidly and scalably. Service velocityand scale begin with robust and abundant transport, but the story does not end there. A servicedelivery framework for Video 2.0 must also be constructed to allow rapid application integration.Fortunately, the raw materials are there – standardization within the industry across allcomponents of the network is providing the base layer of this framework.Analyzing the competitive landscape from an even higher scale, the fundamental componentsexist to allow the cable industry to sustain and enhance its competitive positioning. The rawcapacity is there, network control “hooks” are there, the application environment is emerging, theincumbent relationship with the customer has always been there, the novel services are there, andthe intelligent networking reach is now worldwide and also spans well beyond the living room.
  16. 16. Abbreviations and AcronymsCMTS Cable Modem Termination SystemCPE Customer Premises EquipmentDBS Direct Broadcast SatelliteDDoS Distributed Denial of ServiceDiffServ Differentiated ServicesDOCSIS Datat over Cable Service Interface SpecificationsDVD Digital Versatile DiskDVR Digital Video RecorderHD High DefinitionHDTV High Definition TelevisionHFC Hybrid Fiber CoaxIntServ Integrated ServicesIP Internet ProtocolIPv6 Internet Protocol version 6MPEG Moving Picture Experts GroupOCAP OpenCable Application PlatformOSPF Open Shortest Path FirstPC Personal ComputerPCMM PacketCable MultimediaPVR Personal Video RecorderQAM Quadrature Amplitude ModulationQPSK Quadrature Phase Shift KeyingSD Standard DefinitionSDV Switched Digital VideoSRM Session Resource ManagmentSTB Set-Top BoxUSRM Universal Session Resource ManagementVoD Video on Demand

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