The Secret to SimplifyingMulti-Channel Video Delivery
IntroductionIn an “on-demand” world, consumers increasingly expect to be able to watch video contenton their terms: any ti...
The ProblemOperating an IPTV service is complex in its own right. Managing and delivering contentthrough several distribut...
IPTV providers must also have visibility into operational metrics — such as trafficdistribution and capacity utilization —...
The SolutionSolving this problem requires a unified solution that enables delivery over IPTV, CATV, andOTT channels with a...
The Broadpeak - Skytide SolutionThe joint solution from Broadpeak and Skytide addresses the key requirements needed todeli...
Use Cases1. TV EverywhereTV Everywhere enables Pay-TV operators to provide their authenticated subscribers withaccess to p...
2. OTT Subscription to non-ISP CustomersInternet service providers have long provided IPTV services to their own broadband...
ConclusionConsumers increasingly expect to watch online video content on the go, on-demand, withthe ability to seamlessly ...
Related White Papers                7 Online Video Trends to Watch in 2012                The year ahead promises to be fu...
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The Secret to Simplifying Multi-Channel Video Delivery

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The Secret to Simplifying Multi-Channel Video Delivery

  1. 1. The Secret to SimplifyingMulti-Channel Video Delivery
  2. 2. IntroductionIn an “on-demand” world, consumers increasingly expect to be able to watch video contenton their terms: any time, anywhere, on any device.So when they begin watching programming on one device — say, an HDTV — they expect tobe able to seamlessly transition to another device like a tablet PC and have the contentfollow with them.To meet this consumer expectation, 63% of IPTV service providers plan to supportmulti-screen viewing across PCs, tablets, and smart phones by 2012 (source: InfoneticsIPTV Services Deployment Strategies survey.)Not surprisingly, managing and delivering content through multiple distribution channels— not just Cable and IPTV but also over-the-top (OTT) to off-network users and devices —is logistically complex and inherently difficult.What’s more, fragmented video delivery systems are difficult to measure. When data oncontent consumption and delivery quality is scattered across different server platforms,there is no unified view and operators are challenged to make fact-based decisions.With this white paper, we will reveal how it is now possible for Network Service Providers tosignificantly reduce the complexity of deploying video distribution services across multiplechannels and, in so doing, better optimize how they manage their networks and products.This can maximize customer satisfaction while lowering the operating expenses associatedwith delivering a true “Follow Me TV” experience. 1
  3. 3. The ProblemOperating an IPTV service is complex in its own right. Managing and delivering contentthrough several distribution channels — such as CATV VOD, IPTV and OTT to subscribersthat are off-network — heightens that complexity significantly.For starters, the network technology for each is different, which introduces the dauntingtask of managing: MPEG-2 Transport Stream for traditional IPTV or Cable TV applications versus Apple HTTP Live Streaming, Different streaming formats Microsoft Smooth Streaming or Adobe Flash Dynamic Streaming for OTT. Pay-TV providers have traditionally utilized different VOD server platforms for CATV and IPTV services, while Different delivery platforms delivering OTT content through a commercial content delivery network (CDN) or their own CDN. A unified Service Platform is typically used in IPTV and Cable TV deployments, centralizing the session Different content management information whereas OTT solutions commonly rely on systems a more distributed approach, with a web portal or an application and separate user and content databases. On walled-garden networks, operators fully control the path of their video content from encoding through Different workflows distribution, while OTT delivery may involve a more fragmented distribution of tasks among content owners, aggregators, CDNs, etc. Cable operators, obviously, will prioritize video content above all else but “triple play” operators need to balance Different routing protocols the capacity needs of video, voice, and data traffic. OTT operations are even more subject to the friction that arises with competing usage of the network.A siloed approach — use of a separate CDN and provisioning workflow for each distributionmethod — also increases both capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operational expenditures(OPEX) because:• Server capacity cannot be shared across delivery channels, preventing optimal resource utilization• Different skill sets are needed to manage the different platforms• More storage space is required to store multiple encodings of the same content 2
  4. 4. IPTV providers must also have visibility into operational metrics — such as trafficdistribution and capacity utilization — in order to optimize network performance. However,assembling a holistic view of these indicators becomes formidable when the source datais strewn across multiple content delivery solutions (all of which capture different metrics,use different data formats, and so on).This problem is compounded by the need for actionable, real-time reports so that serviceproviders and their customers can make timely, informed decisions and swiftly addressoperational issues.To properly manage online video content delivery, service providers must be able to drilldown across multiple dimensions to answer essential questions such as:• What percentage of user requests are successful?• What are the sources of unsuccessful requests?• Which asset categories appeal to a specific geographical area?• Where should additional capacity be provisioned?• Are edge servers optimally providing content to users within their geographic area?• What is the life cycle of a video asset? 3
  5. 5. The SolutionSolving this problem requires a unified solution that enables delivery over IPTV, CATV, andOTT channels with a single workflow, single set of server resources, and single repositoryof data. Such a solution must:• Manage a variety of streaming servers to address the different video formats required by the various players used in different means of distribution.• Ensure that the right tracking information is transferred from one server to the other to enable a true “Follow Me TV” experience.• Help service providers to achieve the best trade-off between storage and bandwidth requirements by optimizing which video content should be cached on edge servers and which should be delivered from origin servers.• Optimally manage hardware capacity by sharing resources and balancing loads among the different distribution methods.• Capture the enormous volumes of tracking data generated by the different distribution channels and consolidate it into unified metrics displayed in a single, dashboard interface. 4
  6. 6. The Broadpeak - Skytide SolutionThe joint solution from Broadpeak and Skytide addresses the key requirements needed todeliver a seamless user experience across distribution channels and devices.• Broadpeak’s BkM100 CDN Mediator makes it possible to manage a variety of streaming servers and streaming formats. In doing so, it can process end-user requests in the best way possible, delivering video in the proper format, from the optimal server location, with the most favorable effect on load balance.• Broadpeak’s CDN solution also acts as a common management tool to ensure that the correct video placement information is transferred from one server to the other; this enables viewers to stop watching video on one device and start from the same point on another device.• This integrated solution also helps service providers to achieve the best trade-off between storage and bandwidth requirements by optimizing which video content should be cached on edge servers and which should be delivered from origin servers.• Key to a unified approach is also the ability to measure video consumption and network performance across CATV, IPTV and OTT channels and view the data through a single, consolidated dashboard interface.Because Broadpeak CDN Mediator incorporates Skytide Insight for Content DeliveryNetworks analytics and reporting, it is able to provide users with a complete view ofstreaming video performance in aggregate, as well as the ability to view performance ata very granular level by time, geographical, and content dimensions. 5
  7. 7. Use Cases1. TV EverywhereTV Everywhere enables Pay-TV operators to provide their authenticated subscribers withaccess to premium content, streamed over the Internet to all their connected devices —TVs, PCs, tablet computers or smart phones. This frees subscribers to watch premiumvideo content across devices even when off-network.But enabling the TV Everywhere vision is difficult.Foremost among the challenges is that technologies optimized for on-network delivery aretypically not capable of delivering content off-network. CATV technology is not capableof interfacing to the Internet without significant adaptation. Furthermore, the entireIPTV technology stack has evolved to work only with fully-managed networks. Ensuring thesame levels of quality and control across the unmanaged internet presents a range of newchallenges.Compounding these technical challenges is the fact that different devices are designed towork with different streaming formats. Multiply thousands of TV, PC, tablet PC and smartphone models by more than half a dozen popular streaming formats and the problembecomes evident.The roll out of TV Everywhere services has also been slowed because syndicated researchservices like Nielsen — which are used to set advertising rates — do not currently measurevideo on some devices like tablet PCs.Broadpeak is able to surmount these obstacles because it can model a host of streamingservers to be compatible with all the different streaming formats such as Adobe Flash,Windows Media, Apple QuickTime, Microsoft Silverlight and more.And because Skytide’s online video analytics & reporting integrates with the Broadpeakplatform to measure data natively across all of the supported distribution methods anddevice types, the combined solution can provide operational metrics across the entire TVEverywhere experience. 6
  8. 8. 2. OTT Subscription to non-ISP CustomersInternet service providers have long provided IPTV services to their own broadbandsubscribers. In so doing, they have become adept at Pay-TV operations and marketing.Increasingly, these providers have become interested in extending the reach of theirservices beyond their own ISP customers. This involves delivering their own Pay-TVcontent over-the-top, off-network via other ISPs’ networks. Doing so can benefit theoperators in two ways:• They can catalyze revenue growth by selling Pay-TV subscriptions to an expanded universe of consumers.• They can reduce operational costs and defer capital expenditures by offloading some of their bandwidth costs.However, operators pursuing this strategy must first determine whether to deliver their OTTvideo services through commercial CDNs or to build their own.For those who choose the latter alternative, Broadpeak’s unified CDN solution enablesdelivery of the same content to IPTV and OTT subscribers from the same platform. Thisresults in quality of experience for OTT subscribers that is significantly better thanif delivered without a content delivery network because the CDN enables video to bedelivered much closer the end user over the operator’s private network.Also, due to the spotty coverage of most global CDNs, the video quality delivered bylocalized CDNs is likely to be better than that delivered by “pure play” networks. Evenwhen delivering to other local ISPs’ connections, a regional “Web TV” operator canprobably stream from a closer POP than that of a commercial CDN.With Skytide powering online video analytics and reporting, Broadpeak allows networkservice providers to track video consumption and performance across both managedand unmanaged networks. This allows the operator to understand the true popularity ofcontent assets, regardless of which channels the viewers consume them. 7
  9. 9. ConclusionConsumers increasingly expect to watch online video content on the go, on-demand, withthe ability to seamlessly switch between devices to watch a single piece of content.However, delivering content through several different distribution channels introducessubstantial complexity and costs for IPTV providers who use a patchwork of separatestreaming video solutions.• Different streaming formats, content management systems and workflows introduce significant complexity.• Replicating content for each network and employing different teams to manage each network adds to OPEX and CAPEX.• Network Service Providers are unable to to get a complete, aggregated view of operational metrics because it is fragmented across separate server solutions, each of which has different KPIs and user interfaces.Broadpeak’s CDN Mediator solves this problem by enabling service providers to combinemanagement of IPTV, Cable, Open Internet and Mobile distribution and to allow contentconsumption on any device.Furthermore, Broadpeak’s CDN Mediator offers advanced online video analytics andreporting powered by Skytide’s patented technology. This allows users to measure essentialoperational metrics in near real-time from a centralized dashboard. The aggregated viewacross devices and distribution channels enables operators to get a more accurate, detailedpicture of network performance, user experience, and content consumption.For more information on Broadpeak, visit www.broadpeak.tvFor more information on Skytide’s online video analytics and reporting, visit www.skytide.com 8
  10. 10. Related White Papers 7 Online Video Trends to Watch in 2012 The year ahead promises to be full of twists and turns for online video and the digital media supply chain that serves it. Dont be caught flat-footed. Read “7 Online Video Trends to Watch in 2012” to get an advance peek at the trends that will shape the industry and how you can capitalize on the disruption to come. Read Now The 4 Keys to Telco CDN Success Many telecom service providers are building their own content delivery networks as a means to capitalize on the surge in Internet video coursing over their networks. With this white paper, we will reveal four key success factors necessary for Telco CDNs to effectively harness their competitive edge and realize success. Read Now How Telcos and ISPs Can Learn to Love OTT With this white paper we will demonstrate how it is now possible for telcos to improve their position in the content-to-consumer value chain, create a more sustainable business model to value chain members and profit from escalating over-the-top (OTT) video traffic. Read Now 9

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