Media technology services provider Farncombe has published a white paper to help cable operators confront the business and technical challenges they face from emerging OTT services from new entrant video distribution and traditional competition.
Sponsored by NAGRA, a provider of security and multiscreen user experience solutions, the white paper argues that cable operators have little option but to embrace OTT technologies for multiscreen services which will ultimately lead to an all IP-future. It also details how they should adopt a phased approach to the migration process to all-IP, to protect the investment they have made in their HFC infrastructure.
Ideally, this should pursue the following steps, although in practice operators will need to customise this process depending on their individual circumstances:
1. Implement an IP-based ABR unicast approach for new services
2. Move any QAM-based VOD services to OTT and unify back-end management through a single IP Video platform
3. Migrate niche broadcast linear services to IP-based ABR
4. Migrate all linear broadcast services
“Many operators fear the growth of cloud-based service providers who can bypass managed networks to sell content directly to their subscribers,” said Andrew Glasspool, Managing Partner, Farncombe. “The risk for cable operators is that if they do nothing then they will lose business. But making the wrong strategic and technology decisions is equally fraught with risk.”
NAGRA accordingly recognises that the process cannot be rushed. “While the shift to multiscreen means the ultimate goal of cable operators should be all-IP delivery,” says Matthew Huntington, NAGRA VP of Product Marketing, “This will be difficult to achieve and take a long time to accomplish given the network upgrades and set-top box replacement required. We foresee a long period where higher viewership broadcast services continue to be delivered to the home via DVB-C alongside a broad range of linear and on-demand IP services.”