& cplSiteName &

Time Warner Cable Hints at Video CDN Plan

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

NEW ORLEANS -- CTAM Summit 2010 -- Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) is developing a video-optimized content distribution network (CDN) that will store all the MSO's on-demand content in two master locations before pushing titles out to regional and division locations.

Judi Allen, TWC's VP of programming strategy and business development, referenced those plans here Monday afternoon at a video-on-demand (VoD) panel, presenting a slide that showed how two MSO-managed, centralized libraries would ingest all the content, and then be linked to six regional caches, and 65 divisional streaming locations on Time Warner Cable's network.

Allen didn’t offer a deployment time frame for that plan, but noted that the MSO was to develop it "over time" as it created a more efficient means to store and deliver content to customers.

Light Reading Cable has previously speculated that TWC had such a CDN plan underway -- tying in with a broader trend in which cable operators are creating their own CDNs or hooking into those operated by third parties, such as Avail-TVN -- as they seek ways to push video cross-platform and compete with Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and other over-the-top threats. (See Cable Thinking Big With Video-Focused CDNs and Avail-TVN Bankrolls $30M TV Everywhere Play.)

Time Warner Cable's approach appears to share similarities with Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and its "Project Infinity" initiative. Comcast's CDN is already operating at scale in its "Freedom Region" (which includes Philadelphia and the Cherry Hill, N.J., area), with Washington, D.C., to follow. But rather than having two central libraries (with one perhaps providing backup to the other), as in the TWC scenario, Comcast is believed to be considering four libraries that would each ingest and hold all the content, and then distribute titles closer to the edge, based on their popularity. (See Comcast's 'Project Infinity' Takes Flight .)

Word of some details about TWC's project comes the week after the MSO, along with Comcast Interactive Capital , Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), and others revealed its investment in BNI Video , a video back-office startup that has a CDN manager on its product menu. SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC), which counts several MSOs as customers, is also upgrading its back-office platform along similar lines. (See Cable Guys Buck Up for BNI Video and SeaChange Gives VoD a Shot of 'Adrenalin' .)

But a new type of video distribution network is just one project TWC has underway to help customers find content, as VoD titles swell to tens of thousands of titles.

Allen said TWC is working on a wide range of new navigation tools for set-tops, including new search capabilities with graphics-based movie-box art (versus just title text and descriptive metadata), and an "On Demand Portal" that will likely show up next year.

TWC is also shifting more VoD product focus on the Web, complete with access to trailers, an integrated recommendation engine, and a stars-based rating system.

Marty Roberts, VP of sales and marketing for Comcast-owned thePlatform Inc. , said the Web offers cable a great way to experiment with video. "On the Internet, innovation is cheap compared to the cable plant today," he said, noting that his company manages 7 million to 8 million titles per day.

While the Web offers customers a nice tool to search for video and a way for some clips to go viral, Roberts isn't completely sold on video recommendations that come through social networks such as Facebook.

Facebook's "Like" function, he warned, has not always been good at driving solid recommendations. "Some of my friends watch some pretty bad TV that I don't want to watch," he joked. "Social recommendation engines are still a big question mark."

But he was more positive about Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s new TV product and its ability to add new search capabilities to the viewing experience. "Google TV will be a fascinating experiment to watch," he said. (See Google TV Guns for Cable Deals .)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
Friday, October 21, 1:00PM EDT
Security: Evolving the Data Center
Rasool Kareem Irfan, Head, Telecom & Infrastructure Security Practice, Tata Communications Transformation Services Ltd (TCTS)
Wednesday, October 26, 1:00PM EDT
Security: Tackling DDoS
Gary Sockrider, Principal Security Technologist, Arbor Networks
Friday, October 28, 1:00PM EDT
Security: The Plusses and Minuses of Open Source Software
Nick Feamster, Acting Director, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University
Wednesday, November 16, 1:00PM EST
SDN 101
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation Technology Beyond DOCSIS 3.1

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Liu Jianhua speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Hybrid Video Solutions to Change TV, Change Future

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Ian Locke speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Future-Oriented Giga Coax Network

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Allen Wang speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei at SCTE 2016

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and take a sneak peek at the Huawei booth at SCTE 2016.
LRTV Custom TV
Assuring Network Quality in a Rapidly Changing Environment

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

As the rate of change and complexity increases in agile networks, the importance of introducing DevOps methodologies for integrating active test and assurance solutions throughout the full service lifecycle becomes critical to ensure that customers are experiencing the service quality they demand. The industry landscape is changing, and software-based test and ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
A10 Networks on Service Providers' Industry Needs

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders hears how A10 enables service providers to accelerate, secure and optimize their application delivery to drive down costs, enhance service availability, and better respond to customer requirements, so they can improve customer satisfaction, monetize their network, and grow revenues.
LRTV Custom TV
New NFV Use Cases for Cable TV

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

A large number of NFV use cases are focused on the enterprise domain, looking at virtualization of customer-premises equipment (CPE). To date, there has been little focus on the use cases and business case for virtualization of the video content delivery networks required to deliver unicast and streaming video to consumers. Amdocs commissioned Analysys Mason to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Meet the Future Workforce: New Faces, Expectations & Motivations

10|19|16   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

Millennials and their younger peers, Gen Z, expect more out of their network and more out of their work. Intel's Lynn Comp shares how the industry can prepare for this new generation of workers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE Global Services User Congress 2016 Highlights

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

ZTE held its 2nd Global Service User Conference in Dusseldorf on October 13-14. Representatives from network operators, leading industry analysts and ZTE senior expertsattended the event, exploring the best practice in managed services and the vision to transform network operations into the operations center of the future (OpCF) in the software-defined networking ...
LRTV Custom TV
Cliff Grossner on Cloud & Network Synergy From Carrier Service

10|18|16   |     |   (0) comments

Local carriers offer the collaborated cloud and network service that benefits from their understanding of the regulations operating in different vertical markets.
In this interview, Cliff Grossner from IHS Technology talks about how this advanced service can support business agility and flexibility.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX's Plan for DOCSIS Deployment

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join VeEX's CEO Cyrille Morelle and Light Reading's Alan Breznick as they discuss VeEX's new products at SCTE 2016 at Philadelphia.
LRTV Custom TV
Smith Micro's Carrier-Grade WiFi Component

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Carol Wilson of Light Reading as she interviews the CTO of Smith Micro, Dave Sperling.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Amazon Unlimited, Alexa, AI & How to Cut Off Google at Its Knees
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/14/2016
WiCipedia: Following Women on Twitter... and on Stage
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 10/14/2016
US Issues Total Flight Ban on Samsung Note 7
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 10/15/2016
Oh Snap! Qualcomm Unveils X50, Its First 5G Modem
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 10/17/2016
Verizon Wants More Data on Yahoo Breach
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/20/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.