Light Reading

Video CDNs Will Rock the Cable World

Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes

The modern age of cable television was born on Sept. 30, 1975, when Muhammad Ali boxed Joe Frazier in the "Thrilla in Manila" fight. HBO beamed the fight telecast by satellite, transforming an industry that was bound by the limits of terrestrial distribution into one with nationwide service potential. The result was an explosion in television programming choices. Over the next five to ten years, most major cable networks launched by using satellite delivery, including CNN, C-SPAN, Discovery, Disney Channel, ESPN, MTV, Playboy, Showtime and superstation TBS.

Now the industry is moving toward a new and no less revolutionary form of video delivery: content delivery networks (CDNs). Cable CDNs represent the most significant change in television distribution in more than 35 years, according to the latest Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider, Video CDNs to Revolutionize Cable Television Delivery.

Once implemented by multiple system operators (MSOs), CDNs will speed cable's migration from QAM-based MPEG2 video to full-IP delivery of all video-on-demand (VoD) content and linear programming networks, the report says.

Cable CDNs rely on many of the same concepts, architectures and technologies as the CDNs that handle Internet traffic worldwide. Yet Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) are building CDNs that are optimized for video that will run end to end across the MSOs' fiber-based managed networks.

Other U.S. MSOs are exploring whether to create their own CDNs or join with Comcast, TWC or others in a so-called federated CDN or CDN Interconnect (CDNI). Some MSOs could rely upon traditional third-party CDNs, such as Akami, Limelight Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: LLNW) or Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT), for all or part of their IP video delivery needs.

The Heavy Reading report explores the prospects for video-optimized CDNs for cable, including the market drivers, supporting technologies, MSO roadmaps, opportunities and challenges, and the supplier market. It also profiles seven cable suppliers that support CDNs with various solutions.

The flood of over-the-top (OTT) video coursing through cable's pipes and the industry's migration to eventual all-IP service delivery is spurring interest in CDNs. CDN architecture, along with adaptive streaming and other supporting technologies, will help MSOs manage bandwidth costs while enabling them to extend services across multiple video platforms.

Cable's CDN development is at an early stage and there are many challenges ahead, including technical issues, content rights questions and potential regulatory scrutiny. A federated CDN appears to have many advantages but it will be difficult to pull off among disparate MSOs.

Yet the MSO interest level is high and CDNs are looming as a new launchpad for cable content, cloud-based apps and interactive services. Not only will CDNs eventually reduce or even replace the cable industry's reliance upon satellite delivery for programming, but they also will help cable to provide customers with more content, new cloud-based guides and interactive applications, anytime and on any device, for a better user experience.

— Craig Leddy, Contributing Analyst, Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider

This report, "Video CDNs to Revolutionize Cable Television Delivery," is available as part of an annual single-user subscription (six issues) to Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider, priced at $1,595. Individual reports are available for $900. To subscribe, please visit:

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Huawei summit offers insights into how Asia-Pacific operators are evolving their networks for the emerging challenges of LTE, LTE-A and ultimately 5G.
Network security is becoming an ever bigger deal for communications service providers and the vendor community is reacting accordingly.
Even as MSOs roll out integrated CCAP systems, cable engineers are heating up the debate over next-gen approaches that would shift at least part of the CCAP gear and functions from the headend to the network.
With the help of NFV, cable operators can offer new managed services, roll out other services quicker, reduce their equipment load and cut operational costs.
OPNFV gets a lot of love, but it has a big job to do.
From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Centec on Ethernet Switching

11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
LRTV Custom TV
Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (10) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Pay-TV User Experiences Millennial-Friendly

11|16|15   |   6:42   |   (0) comments

The unique challenge of reaching and engaging Millennials is driving pay-TV video experience transformation that can include higher quality UIs, viewing of multiple content streams at once and seamless transitions between handheld devices and the television.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung to Sell Wireless Networking Unit?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
How Might Open Source Fail?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/24/2015
Sprint to Get $1.2B From New Leasing Venture
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Networking Shines in HP's Gloomy Final Earnings
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.