IP&TV News talks CDNs and IP video delivery with Jamie Panagos of Time Warner Cable…
IP&TV News: What’s the most exciting thing happening in terms of VOD at Time Warner Cable at the moment?
Jamie Panagos: We have a few initiatives going on that are exciting which impact VOD. Some are limited to VOD and some cross our IP video portfolio. We are working on enabling our VOD services for Dynamic Ad Insertion and we are also adding a Just In Time Packager to our design for both linear and VOD. DAI provides us the flexibly to insert advertisements to enhance the user experience. The functional separation of encoding and packaging allows us to utilize best-of-breed platforms for encoding and packaging and saves significantly on storage demands, as only requested profile chunks are ever generated, stored and cached.
And what challenges and opportunities is this throwing up?
The challenges we have encountered while deploying DAI and JITP have mainly been around adjusting our workflow. Both initiatives require reworking our workflow to both support, and better take advantage, of the new functionality. They both also have secondary impacts that must be considered. On the DAI side, we have introduced additional content that is delivered over the CDN and the caching impact of that had to be considered (for both linear and VOD). The new packager required a redesign of our redundancy and resiliency approach and was a significant driver for how we scaled our storage systems.
What are the most interesting differences between VOD and live streaming? Is there any kind of crossover?
Come to my talk, I cover this specific topic! In short, the resource profile differences create unique challenges when attempting to leverage a converged environment. The operator has 2 options, manage and plan to those differences or divide and conquer.
In terms of CDNs, what do you think will be the major hot topics for the rest of 2014?
Not specifically limited to 2014 (it is already half over!), but I think we will see a move by CDN operators to increasingly customized CDNs based on the type(s) of content they are delivering. The days of the general purpose CDN are numbered and as CDNs are used for more and more specialized purposes, the architecture, infrastructure and operation of those CDNs will need to adapt. I also believe this to be an opportunity for vendors to evolve their products meet this demand.
Why is it important for a major operator like Time Warner Cable to attend an event like the CDN World Summit?
It is important for TWC to attend these types of event for 2 major reasons. First, TWC operates one of the larger linear ABR streaming CDNs in the world, we are currently encoding thousands of channels. Sharing our lessons learned and how we worked through our challenges can hopefully help other operators avoid some of the pitfalls. We have also added VOD, integrated DRM and added Dynamic Ad Insertion to our IP video products. Second, it would be irresponsible to not utilize events like the the CDN World Summit as we know other companies are developing and implementing novel approaches to address difficult problems and just as we hope to share our triumphs, challenges and failures, we also hope to learn from what other operators are doing.
Jamie Panagos will appear at this year’s CDN World Summit (collocated with the TV in the Cloud Summit), 1-2 October, 2014, London. For booking and more info go here.