Video: Everyone is Streaming; Can the Infrastructure Handle it?

How well is the internet infrastructure dealing with the increase in streaming during the Covid-19 pandemic? What have we learnt in terms of delivering services and have we seen any changes in the way services are consumed? This video brings together carriers, vendors and service providers to answer these questions and give a wider picture.

The video starts off by getting different perspectives on how the pandemic has affected their business sharing key data points. Jeff Budney from Verizon says that carriers have had a ‘whirlwind’ few weeks. Conviva’s José Jesus says that while they are only seeing 3% more devices, there was a 37% increase in hours of video consumed. Peaks due to live sports have done but primetime is now spread and more stable, a point which was made by both Jeff Gilbert from Qwilt as well as José.

“We’ve seen a whole year’s worth of traffic growth…it’s really been incredible” — Jeff Budney, Verizon

So while it’s clear that growth has happened, but the conversation turns to whether this has caused problems. We hear views about how some countries did see reductions in quality of experience and some with none. This experience is showing where bottlenecks are, whether they are part of the ISP infrastructure or in individual players/services which haven’t been well optimised. Indeed, explains Jason Thibeault, Executive Director of the Streaming Video Alliance, the situation seems to be shining a light on the operational resilience, rather than technical capacity of ISPs.

Thierry Fautier from Harmonic emphasises the benefits of content-aware encoding whereby services could reduce bandwidth by “30 to 40 percent” before talking about codec choice. AVC (A.K.A. H.264) accounts for 90%+ of all HD traffic. Thierry contents that by switching to both HEVC and content-aware encoding services could reduce their bandwidth by up to a factor of four.

Open Caching is a working group creating specifications to standardise an interface to allow ISPs to pull information into a local cache from service providers. This moving of content to the edge is one way that we can help avoid bottlenecks by locating content as close to viewers as possible.

The elephant in the room is that Netflix reduced quality/bitrate in order to help some areas cope. Verizon’s Jeff Budney points out that this is contra to the industry’s approach to deployment where they have assumed there is always the capacity to provide the needed scale. If that’s true, how can one tweet from a European Commissioner have had such an impact? The follow on point is that if YouTube and Netflix are now sending 25% less data, as reports suggest, ABR simply means that other providers’ players will take up the slack, as is the intent-free way ABR works. If the rest of the industry benefits from the big providers ‘dialling back’ is this an effective measure and is it fair?

The talk concludes hitting topics on ABR Multicast, having more intelligent ways to manage large-scale capacity issues, more on Open Caching and deliver protocols.

Watch now!
Speakers

Thierry Fautier Thierry Fautier
VP Video Strategy, Harmonic Inc.
President-Chair, Ultra HD Forum
Eric Klein Eric Klein
Director, Content Distribution – Disney+/ESPN+, Disney Streaming Services
Co-Chair, Open Cache Working Group, Streaming Video Alliance
José Jesus José Jesus
Senior Product Manager,
Conviva
Jeffrey Budney Jeff Budney
Manager,
Verizon
Jeffrey Gilbert Jeffrey Gilbert
VP strategy and Business Development, CP,
Qwilt
Jason Thibeault Jason Thibeault
Executive Director,
Streaming Video Alliance

Video: Simplifying OTT Video Delivery With SCTE 224

Life used to be simple; you’d fire up your camera, point it at a presenter and it would be fed to the transmitter network. When on-going funding came into play, we wanted each transmitter to be able to show local ads and so, after many years, SCTE-35 was born to do exactly that. In today’s world, however, simply telling a transmitter when to switch doesn’t cut it. To deliver the complex workflows that both linear and OTT delivery demand, SCTE 224 has arrived on the scene which provides very comprehensive scheduling and switching.

Jean Macher, from Harmonic explains this needs for SCTE 224 and what it delivers. For instance, a lot for 224 is devoted to controlling the US-style blackouts where viewers close to a sports game can’t watch the game live. Whilst this is relatively easy to deal with in the US for local terrestrial transmitters, in OTT, this is a new ability. Traditionally, geo-location of IP addresses is needed for this to work where each IP address is registered against a provider. If this provider is Chinese, then at the very least, you should be able to say that this IP address is in China. However, for ISPs who have an interest in the programming, they can bring in to effect their own data in order to have very accurate geo-location data.

SCTE 224, however, isn’t just able blackouts. It also transmits accurate, multi-level, schedule information which helps scheduling complex ad breaks providing detailed, frame accurate, local ad insertion.

It shouldn’t be thought that SCTE 35 and SCTE 224 are mutually exclusive. SCTE 35 can provide very accurate updates to unscheduled programmes and delays, where the 224 information still carries the rich metadata.

To finish up the talk, Jean looks at a specific example of the implementation and how SCTE 224 has been updated in recent years.

Watch now!

Speakers

Jean Macher Jean Macher
Director, Market Development – Broadcast
Harmonic Inc.

Webinar: Scaling Video Delivery

There is no doubt that streaming video is here to stay. Every month, more consumers log into and subscribe to one or more OTT services. But as those services grow beyond geographical borders, providers are forced to ensure that their offerings can meet the demands of a swelling user base located around the world. Given that this involves employing the public Internet to deliver video to different pockets of the globe, OTT operators often struggle with implementing the best video delivery architecture: what infrastructure to purchase, to install, where & which partners to employ, and how to ensure the best possible viewer experience. This webinar explores some of the proven methods for scaling video delivery as well as best practices employed by some of the world’s biggest streamers.

Featuring:

Guillaume Bichot Guillaume Bichot
Head of Exploration,
Broadpeak
Thierry Fautier Thierry Fautier
President-Chair at Ultra HD Forum,
VP Video Strategy, Harmonic
Brent Yates Brent Yates
CTO,
HellaStorm
Jason Thibeault Jason Thibeault
Executive Director,
Streaming Video Alliance
Marc Baillavoine Marc Baillavoine
CEO,
Quortex
Wayne Rowe
Enterprise Sales Manager,
CDNetworks

Webinar: Reducing Stream Latency


Latency seems to be the new battleground for streaming services. While optimising bandwidth and quality are still highly important, they are becoming mature parts of the business of streaming where as latency, and technologies to minimise it – as Apple showed this month – are still developing and vying for position.

Thursday June 27th 2019, 10am PDT / 1pm EDT / 18:00 GMT

Here, the Streaming Video Alliance brings together people from large streaming services to explore this topic finding out what they’ve been doing to reduce it, the problems they’ve faced and the solutions which are on the table.

Register now!
Speakers

Kevin Johns Kevin Johns
Distinguished Network Architect, Content and Media
CenturyLink
Chris Sammoury Chris Sammoury
Principal Engineer II,
Charter Communications
Richard Oesterreicher Richard Oesterreicher
CEO
Streaming Global/Hellastorm
Patrick Gendron Patrick Gendron
Director, Innovation
Harmonic
Johan Bolin Johan Bolin
Chief Product and Technology Officer,
Edgeware
Steve Miller-Jones Steve Miller-Jones
Vice President of Product Strategy,
Limelight Networks
Jason Thibeault Jason Thibeault
Executive Director,
Streaming Video Alliance