A recent survey by video transport solutions provider Nevion has found that content owners, and in particular, broadcasters, are keen to use communications service providers’ IP networks for video transport.
Of more than 200 content owners from across the globe – including broadcasters, cable TV companies, film studios, government agencies and educational institutions – 25% are already taking advantage of service providers’ IP networks, and a further 45% would consider doing so. Broadcasters appear particularly enthusiastic about the opportunity of working with service providers, with 65% saying they would do so.
“Broadcasters have previously been unconvinced of the ability of telco networks to handle their traffic. But with the growth of technologies such as HD, 3D and 3Gbps infrastructure, combined with the need to maximize revenues by selling content, broadcasters’ bandwidth needs are ever-increasing and telcos are the only companies with the infrastructure to meet them,” said Oddbjorn Bergem, CEO, Nevion. “While this presents a very attractive business opportunity that should be explored and maximized, service providers must understand the very specific needs of the broadcast industry for the relationship to be successful.”
Despite a willingness to work with service providers, content owners reported a number of apprehensions about doing so. Top of the list was the cost of using their networks (35%), closely followed by maintaining the quality of their content, with 31% concerned that service providers wouldn’t understand the importance of this. 22% were afraid of losing control over their content and the way it’s transported, while 17% felt that service providers’ fault escalation procedures wouldn’t have the level of response they expected.
“Maintaining video quality is one of the top priorities for content owners and this is particularly true when it comes to broadcast contribution networks where video is typically transported non-compressed or very lightly compressed,” explained Bergem. “Whereas IP is designed with high tolerance for error and for non-real-time transport, video transport introduces an extreme requirement for error-free, real-time delivery. With JPEG 2000 compression, service providers can achieve visually and mathematically lossless compression to preserve video quality; transport streams offer the control and monitoring capabilities broadcasters are used to; and protection switching provides redundancy to ensure SLAs are adhered to. These three elements are critical to maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship with broadcasters.”