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CES: Cablevision connects with Netflix on CDN deal

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 3:56pm
Mike Robuck

Cablevision has signed on to deliver Netflix’s videos, including “Netflix Super HD” and 3-D TV content, over its own network through Netflix’s Open Connect content delivery network (CDN).

Not that long ago, Netflix was cited as one of the main causes for concern in regards to cord cutters leaving their cable services, but now some cable operators have decided it’s better to partner with over-the-top Internet video providers. In addition to Cablevision, other ISPs that have signed on to use Netflix’s Open Connect include Virgin Media, British Telecom, Telmex, Telus, TDC, and GVT.

Open Connect was launched early last year and Netflix said ISPs could receive its video, at no additional cost, directly at the interconnection point of the ISP’s choice. Cable operators that use Open Connect can more can more effectively manage their networks and more efficiently deliver Internet services to consumers.

In addition to reducing subscriber churn, Open Connect also gives Cablevision a way to differentiate itself from its telco competitors.

“Optimum is committed to providing the highest-quality TV, phone and Internet to our customers, and our new partnership with Netflix supports this critical objective,” said Cablevision CEO and president Jim Dolan. “With Open Connect, we are establishing a direct local connection with Netflix that delivers a higher-quality Netflix viewing experience for Optimum customers than Verizon or AT&T can provide, including access to new Netflix Super HD and 3D TV shows and movies.”

Netflix Open Connect is widely deployed around the world, serving the vast majority of Netflix video in Europe, Canada and Latin America, and a growing proportion in the U.S., where Netflix has over 25 million streaming members.

Super HD is the highest quality video format offered by Netflix and provides better picture quality on 1080p HDTVs.

In the U.S., Netflix is also offering a small number of titles streaming in 3-D through Open Connect partners for the first time. Available for 3-D viewing are, among other titles, the action fantasy drama “Immortals,” Red Bull Media House’s snowboarding documentary “The Art of Flight,” and a number of titles from the Discovery/Sony/Imax joint venture 3net Studios – including the native, original 3D series “African Wild,”  ”Scary Tales,” and “Live Fire.” Netflix said it would consider adding 3-D titles and expanding availability to international markets.

“These new Super HD and 3D formats are more challenging to deliver than our other video streams, which is why we will deliver them through Open Connect,” said Ken Florance, vice president of content delivery at Netflix. “Any ISP that wants to be able to deliver our new formats can do so easily and for free.”

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