Ever since the earliest days of digital television, broadcasters have struggled to deliver a television signal with the sound and picture synchronized. That’s because the end-to-end chain from production to compression to storage to distribution to decompression consists of devices that each introduce some latency.
A scalable converged video architecture lets the pay-TV service provider rise above the challenges of multi-platform video integration and allows them to focus on the business side of monetization. It also means more relevant ads for consumers and cross-platform, addressable ads for advertisers. In the end, this architecture has a little something for everyone.
Using Big Data analytics, service providers can gain invaluable insights that can help them to stay ahead of the competition, improve customer services and drive new revenues. So how can service providers best harness Big Data analytics, and what do they stand to gain from doing so?
Operators around the globe are trying to balance the competing needs to accelerate product development while maintaining service stability by creating tighter synergy between their development and operations teams. Couple this with the industry becoming more differentiated by software innovation, and many are exploring a more agile model of development and continuous product introduction known as “DevOps."
For many years, effective voice-based search technologies have eluded businesses that have tried to introduce next-generation input methods to customers. Confined to basic navigation and so-called “magic words,” speech-based commands have been ineffective and often hard for consumers to use. The widespread adoption of smartphones and tablets, as will as Apple's Siri, has led to a renewed interest in this genre of technology.
Special events like Watchathon help Comcast’s more than 20 million video subscribers drill down into its 50,000 video assets on their set-top boxes, 400,000 online assets and the 20,000 pieces of video that are available via its Xfinity Go App. The stunts also help move the TV Everywhere ball forward.
The wireless data revolution and its impact is analogous to Boyle’s Law, which states that a gas will expand to fill the available space. The same can be said for a data network. The more throughput available, the more uses people will find to fill up that pipe.
Ciciora’s corner: An enthusiastic technologist is likely to be much more productive, innovative, and engaged. He or she will likely enjoy the job to a higher degree and perform better. Genuine enthusiasm for technology cannot be contained. It spills over into hobbies and other activities.
Engineering-wise: As we approach SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2014, the face of cable innovation has evolved into a holistic approach to service delivery. The tactical solutions of the early days have long given way to strategic approaches and the recognition that making the right decisions today can enable delivery of multiple services tomorrow.
This year, Wi-Fi celebrates its 15th birthday with a number of important milestones: more than 2 billion chipsets sold per year, exceeding the Gbps milestone with 802.11ac, and the first commercial launch of Passpoint/ HotSpot 2.0. Cisco estimates by 2015 more than half of the world’s Internet traffic will be carried by Wi-Fi.
Memory Lane: Before they started launching or buying their own cable channels in the 1990s, the Big 3 television networks were sanctimonious about an upstart medium called “cable TV.” The smugness was rooted in reality, at least for a while. The force that lavished the three networks with rich profits was scarcity.
In Perspective: Defining a problem is common engineering practice, but the approach is hardly limited to engineering. In the communications business, definitions have become weapons. Worse is when companies deliberately obfuscate definitions for competitive advantage.
Capital Currents: Sometimes the Internet becomes “sluggish,” but it’s impossible to know whether it’s due to congestion in the local access network, in a transit network, or at the server that stores the content. Traffic management procedures can be instituted by the content providers, by the transit network operators, and/or by the retail Internet access providers.
With Ultra HD/4K poised for eventual broad deployment, higher-quality video will soon become widely available. HEVC will play a key role in efficient delivery of 4K content, but the standard also brings broader capabilities that MSOs should start taking advantage of today.
With cloud-based multi-screen delivery, the option for making a capex-intensive process into a pure opex play. Some service providers are still wondering if performing multi-screen delivery is a good idea for them. The answer is more and more likely to be “yes.”