Video CDNs to rock the cable world

Major cable operators are now building video-optimised content delivery networks (CDNs) that promise to deliver a full range of IP-based video offerings, including richer on-demand and over-the-top services, eventually replacing satellite-based video distribution networks, according to the latest report – Video CDNs to Revolutionize Cable Television Delivery – from Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider.

“Cable CDNs represent the most significant change in television distribution in more than 35 years,” notes Craig Leddy, research analyst with Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider and author of the report. “Once implemented by MSOs, CDNs will speed cable’s migration from QAM-based MPEG-2 video to full IP delivery of all VoD content and linear programming networks.”

Cable’s CDN development is at an early stage and there are many challenges ahead, Leddy says. “To fully gain the advantages of centralised IP video delivery, MSOs must sort through hundreds of technical issues, overcome content rights disputes and avoid regulatory landmines,” he advises. “Fortunately, CDNs have a certain inevitability to them.”

Key findings include:

  • Cable is developing video-optimised CDNs to distribute VoD, over-the-top and linear programming.
  • Cable’s video CDNs represent the biggest change in TV distribution in more than 35 years.
  • Comcast and Time Warner Cable have video CDNs well in place; other MSOs are exploring whether to build their own or interconnect in a federated CDN.
  • CDNs will help MSOs cut costs and reduce reliance on satellite reception of cable programming networks.
  • CDNs provide a core platform to serve multiple devices, provide cloud-based apps and migrate to all-IP service delivery.
  • Cable faces challenges, including technical issues, content rights questions and potential regulatory scrutiny.

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