Net Insight Offers DIY Bandwidth Provisioning

In the world of B2B media transport, there’s little question that packet-based IP delivery is the preferred method for moving audio and video files. This has enabled broadcasters and program distributors to pay less for bandwidth while giving them the ability to produce live events by remote.

A company in Stockholm, Sweden called Net Insight has taken IP delivery one step further and is now offering the ability for broadcasters to pay for only the bandwidth they need and not get locked into monthly or yearly subscription plans—by provisioning that bandwidth on their own time and schedule using a web-based dashboard.This was made possible after Net Insight acquired a scheduling company called ScheduALL last year. Net Insight is now using some of that intellectual property (known as ScheduALL Link and Circuit) as the underpinnings of a web-based ordering and resources management system. They have built a platform that enables service providers to sell their transport connectivity by the minute while letting customers provision their own services.

The solution at the center of it all is part of Net Insight's Nimbra platform, which has been on the market for several years with a few updates since its launch. The platform started using JPEG2000 compression to conserve bandwidth for its customers (service providers) and is now supporting SMPTE 2022 IP-centric delivery. The company, which also supports H.264 AVC compression, said that they recommend JPEG2000, for high-end encoding, and H.264, for IP events that can be delivered at a variety of quality levels depending upon the content.

Net Insight has also introduced a virtualized version of its Internet Media Transport solution, the Nimbra VA. The Nimbra VA platform facilitates live media contribution to any cloud environment. It also enables service providers to automate their service deployments, providing a more dynamic service offering throughout all steps of the service chain—from ingest to playout.

“What our customer provisioned network solution allows is that a broadcaster can find connectivity for let’s say 17 minutes,” said Martin Karlsson, CTO and vice president product portfolio at Net Insight. “They can book it themselves from a customer portal and say, ‘I want connectivity from Los Angeles to Atlanta, and I want that connectivity for 17 minutes’ and there is no human interaction and the service provider’s system will automatically set up that circuit.”

Martin Karlsson, CTO and vice president product portfolio at Net Insight.

Martin Karlsson, CTO and vice president product portfolio at Net Insight.

This process lowers the cost and allows customers to sign up for short-term service, not a monthly or yearly service that may not be used 100 percent of the time. Karlsson said this allows content distributors to tie their cost structure to their revenue in a more direct way.

“The Nimbra platform is part of this,” he said. “It has very strong characteristics in terms of allowing automation that allows our service provider customers to guaranteed isolation between services for their end (B2B) customers. One service will not affect another one. This allows the user to set up a transport path from city A to city B regardless of where A and B are located. And that new service will not interfere with any existing traffic on your network.”

Karlsson said broadcasters need to migrate at least some of their operations to the cloud because the eyeballs they are competing for are all using cloud-based services [like Netflix, etc.] right now. However, they must also ensure that their main TV channel is not adversely affected.

“If they want to compete in that space they have to have the same kind of agility and flexibility that the cloud offers,” he said. “At the same time they have to maintain their existing operations, which are driving their existing broadcast and that has tremendously high quality of service, because major events like the Super Bowl game cannot go black. This is an evolution that won't happen overnight. The key for broadcasters is to utilize the technology step by step for different projects.”

So, for Net Insight, the future is in Customer Provision Networking, allowing its service providers customers to offer their clients Web-based tools to satisfy their individual bandwidth needs. Everyone knows that when you do it yourself, you often save money. Media distributors and broadcasters can now put that concept into practice.

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