By Edgeware Vice President of Products, Johan Bolin
The internet has revolutionized every facet of the modern business world. The latest industry to drastically shift its structure and undergo major enhancements is the television delivery. Where consumers would once watch a few episodes of TV at a prescribed time, they now expect content everywhere at any time - via smart TV’s, computers, tablets and smartphones.
They also expect to be able to start, stop, pause and rewind everything they stream. HDR and 4K images are becoming more mainstream – as are VR and split-screen experiences, all of which puts strain on the bandwidth of content delivery networks (CDNs) that are being used to transport TV services. To address this problem – and to help content distributors create better viewing experiences, Edgeware provides private TV CDNs to deliver content with no buffering, no delays and no glitches.
While at-home broadband speeds might seem fast enough on face value, the internet simply wasn’t designed to manage this much high-quality video traffic. Think of internet traffic like traffic on the road network – just because there‘s none outside your house, it doesn’t mean the main roads on the way to your office aren’t congested. As you go deeper into the network, the aggregated level of TV traffic builds and builds.
To help combat this, TV CDNs are specialized networks that ensure delivery of TV services to end users with no buffering, no delays and no glitches. With online video consumption growing per capita by every metric, TV CDN’s are giving companies better quality control and long-term cost efficiency compared to renting space for delivery on a commercial CDN service. While these can be a cost-effective and practical solution for content distributors with a small number of spread-out viewers, companies can quickly outgrow this option. Building a private CDN does have higher upfront costs but allows companies to reap more financial and operational benefits in the long term.
Alongside a number of other content distributors, Netflix has built its own private CDN with 1,600 servers to deliver its content, and nothing else. Private CDNs, like those built from Edgeware technology, use servers on the edge of networks – so when content is requested the network distributes it from the server nearest to the end user where copies of popular shows are kept. Each server distributes to a smaller number of people locally, rather than having to move programs from one point to another, right across the entire network, sharing bandwidth with millions of other suppliers and consumers at the same time.
Purpose-built CDNs help broadcasters to take control of the delivery of their TV services by taking advantage of a number of functions not available to those renting space on a general-purpose CDN.
With a TV CDN, service providers can insert personalized adverts for specific viewers or groups of viewers and can get insights into viewer behaviour and network performance.
As the online video market continues to grow, so will the need for private CDNs. A report by Adobe revealed the rate of this growth, with their Q1 2016 Digital Video Benchmark Report showing a 107% year-over- year increase in authenticated video viewing. By adopting a TV CDN like those built by Edgeware, operators and content owners are given the ability to establish and grow their IPTV and OTT TV services no matter what TV content is being delivered. With this kind of functionality, operators can deliver more amazing TV experiences for their viewers.