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.
Having a collection of PCs and MACs stacked under a desk to facilitate the multitude of operational requirements not only proves difficult to operate but challenges our modern ideas around security and makes maintenance almost impossible.
The complexity of modern OTT and VOD distribution has increased massively in recent years. The adoption of internet streaming gives viewers unparalleled freedom to consume their favorite live and pre-recorded media when they want, where they want, and how they want. But these opportunities have also presented content owners with unfortunate challenges, typically piracy and overcoming illegal content copying.
IP and COTS infrastructure designs are giving us the opportunity to think about broadcast systems in an entirely different manner. Although broadcast engineers have been designing studio facilities to be flexible from the earliest days of television, the addition of IP and COTS takes this to a new level allowing us to continually reallocate infrastructure components to make the best use of expensive resource.
Technical advances in regionalization and personalization for Ad insertion are helping broadcasters leverage revenues from OTT and VOD. Improved granularity in distribution facilitates refined targeting of advertising giving broadcasters and advertisers unprecedented access to discerning viewers.
Program delivery to mobile devices and smart televisions has fueled the growth for internet delivery. But one of the challenges broadcasters and media content providers face is that the internet was never originally designed to stream large amounts of video and audio with virtually no dropout or latency.
Monitoring has always been the engineers’ best friend as it turns apparent chaos into order and helps us understand what is going on deep inside a system to deliver high-quality pictures and sound. As OTT continues to play a more prominent role, the need to monitor internet distribution systems is becoming increasingly compelling.
OTT delivery continues to expand to meet the relentless growing consumer demand. This trend shows no chance of abating and technologists are continually looking to innovation to scale infrastructures accordingly. But what does it mean to scale OTT? Where is the infrastructure? And who owns it?