How a TV CDN overcomes the limitations of generic content delivery services

making-tv-amazing-again

The arrival of the internet has changed everything – particularly how we consume our media. TV is no longer a series of linear channels but services delivered to multiple inter-connected devices that let us watch what we want whenever we want it. Content delivered over IP lets us start, stop – even pause and rewind TV, and view it in a much higher quality than ever before. And that quality is only going to improve as new formats continue to emerge.

The challenge for broadcasters, content owners, telcos and OTT operators is how to deliver this extremely high quality programming via the internet to a huge number of destinations and many devices.

Traditional TV delivered by multicast broadcast is available to anyone who can receive the signal, so it doesn’t matter how many people watch it. IP-delivered TV, on the other hand, needs to be distributed via unicast, giving each viewer a tailored IP stream that lets them experience TV in a much more personal way. The more people that use an IP-delivered service, the more bandwidth is needed in a content delivery network (CDN). And while broadband speeds in today’s homes are usually more than fast enough to watch a few programmes at once, it doesn’t mean the bandwidth is available all the way from the content’s source

A dedicated TV CDN is an architecture that’s been designed and built specifically to deliver video content not just as best-effort traffic but as a service that needs to be delivered in high quality without buffering, delays or glitches.

But aside from delivering content quickly, efficiently and in the highest quality possible, how does implementing a TV CDN benefit content owners?

Scalability is absolutely key for today’s increasingly IP-enabled TV audiences. Anyone delivering content to users has to be able to cope with increasing demand. Netflix, for example, has implemented a dedicated delivery network and maintains the distribution of high quality content to its nearly 50 million users.

Scaling services and adding more capacity to cope with higher demand can become costly if you use a third-party service, whereas having your own delivery infrastructure gives you a much more cost effective solution as you scale.

The control over a network is another one of the big reasons why more broadcasters are choosing to implement their own dedicated CDN. For example, it lets them offer a personalized viewing experience with digital ad insertion – inserting or replacing more viewer-specific in-content adverts within live, catch-up and VOD content.

With a TV CDN, you’re in control of your network and the traffic that’s being delivered on it. Using a generic CDN service means you don’t have that kind of visibility – which increases the likelihood of buffering, delays and glitches.

As well as having control over your network, users also benefit from being able to monitor and analyze all aspects of their TV delivery with the latest TV analytics which includes both viewer data and network behavior. Being able to analyze these extra dimensions gives broadcasters a better understanding of the relationship between network performance and customer satisfaction. This ultimately lets operators design and deliver a better viewing experience for its users.

Having your own TV CDN means you’re the landlord, not the tenant and as such can monetize your network. While you use your TV CDN to deliver your own TV services, you can also rent it out to other content owners for additional revenue streams.

Edgeware has been a pioneer of this dedicated TV content delivery network for nearly ten years. Our TV CDN architecture enables over a 100 customers all over the world, including network operators, cable companies, broadcasters and OTT providers to scale their TV delivery to huge volumes of viewers, deliver any mix of services, gain insight into their viewer behavior and ensure an outstanding TV experience.

Broadcasters and OTT operators are using Edgeware’s TV CDN architecture to deliver their live and catch-up OTT and VoD services in HD and 4K resolutions. By helping our customers to build their own TV content delivery network, we’re helping them make TV amazing again.

For more information on building your own TV CDN – get in touch today.

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