In the previous article in this series, we looked at the challenges of streaming media for broadcasters, and in this article, we look at how specialized CDNs designed specifically for broadcast television delivers a greatly improved streaming experience for viewers.
Media streaming over the internet is unique. Packet switched networks were never designed to deliver continuous and long streams of media but instead were built to efficiently process transactional and short bursts of data. The long streams of video and audio data are relentless in their network demands and to distribute them effectively requires the adoption of specialist CDNs.
Entertainment over the internet has gained significant traction over the last years. For this reason, companies have developed new business models in order to retain customers, by meeting their emerging needs and studying the behavior patterns of online streaming consumption.
Sitting at home watching the Olympics 400m Women’s hurdles final live on NBC’s 4K HDR channel, home audiences were captivated by the sweat and effort displayed on screen with immersive sound of the runners’ feet hitting the track. Viewers thousands of miles away could be excused for thinking they had the best seat in the Japan National Stadium. The live 4K HDR broadcast of NBC’s primetime show throughout the Games were an extrasensory experience unlike any previous Olympics telecasts.
In part-1 of this series, Challenges, we introduced the basic concepts of the technology behind live OTT delivery. In this article, we dig deeper to help broadcast engineers and technical managers understand the intricacies of HTTP and IP technology, so they will be able to design and support OTT systems more effectively.