Light Reading
Major cable operators are now building video-optimized content delivery networks (CDNs) that promise to deliver a full range of IP-based video offerings

Video CDNs Will Rock the Cable World

Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
2/22/2012
50%
50%

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. (Nasdaq: 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: www.heavyreading.com/cable.

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Network operators have a unique opportunity to develop and profit from IoT-as-a-service propositions.
Cloud enablement partnerships between traditional communications service providers and cloud specialists are set to proliferate in the coming years.
Communications service providers are looking to play an integral role in the M2M (machine-to-machine) value chain, but it's not easy.
Many US utility companies today are caught in a crisis of identity, progression and even purpose.
Energy efficiency has long been vital to service providers because of its large and growing effect on their operating costs and earnings.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
LRTV Interviews
TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Comcast Launches 4K Streaming Service
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 12/18/2014
US Carriers, You're Going to Cuba!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/18/2014
T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive