Learn How Gogo Streams Live TV On Airplanes Using HEVC at #smeast Conference

At the Streaming Media East show in NYC, taking place May 16-17, Prem Bangole, Director, of Engineering at Gogo will present how Gogo is streaming live TV to planes using HEVC and their approach in reducing bitrates without sacrificing QoS. With real estate space on planes in short supply, Gogo will discuss how technological advances such as HEVC and statistical multiplexing is helping to put live streaming on a plane. This case study will also detail how to achieve the challenge of monetize an OTT platform for consumers that demand more live content, be it their favorite soccer team or a presidential debate.

You can register online using code 200DR17 and get $200 off your registration ticket. #smeast

Publishing Latest CDN Pricing For Media & Performance Solutions On May 15th

On Monday May 15th, I’ll publish my yearly CDN pricing/market sizing and break down the latest competitive positioning of all the major CDNs in the market, at the Content Delivery Summit in NYC. (Presentation from 2016 is here) New to this year, I also plan to publish web performance pricing for the first time and talk about security services as well. The presentation will also discuss some of the takeaways from Akamai’s latest earnings report, news of some new large funding for a current CDN vendor, the latest on future DIY deployments and I am going to dispel the hype around the impact of OTT on CDNs revenue – with actual numbers. You can register to attend the CDN Summit for only $495, using my discount code of 200DR17.

CDN Limelight Puts QoE Front And Center: Guarantees To Improve Rebuffer Rates By 10% Or Better

For as long as CDNs have been around, they have all used the term “performance” to describe the quality of their network and the services they offer. But to date, most, if any have never backed up those terms with guarantees and any real methodology behind them. On Tuesday, Limelight announced the most aggressive video CDN promo I’ve ever seen, tied to something tangible. They are offering a money-back guarantee that they can reduce online video re-buffer rates for new customers by 10% or more and they will match customers’ existing delivery pricing. While their promo page doesn’t go into detail about the acceptable sources of rebuffer rates, people I’ve spoken to within the company tell me that they will accept customer and third-party sources. That’s a pretty bold move, and considering they aren’t insisting on using their own internal measurements and are accepting third-party sources, it seems like a pretty meaningful guarantee.

In a discussion with Limelight about the underlying change in their network that allows them to be able to offer a guarantee like this, the company said their ability to lower video rebuffer rates is a result of extensive in-house software, server, and network engineering efforts focused on optimizing the delivery of video. That by itself is a pretty broad statement, but digging deeper, they said it came down to three key elements of change; major improvements in the request and content-handling efficiency of their CDN; development of a purpose-built operating system; and a reduction of network and server “hot spots”

Limelight said when it comes to the OS of their network, their EdgePrism operating system is “designed specifically for delivering video, file downloads and web content, continually monitoring a user’s connection and optimizing how content is delivered based upon real-time analysis“. That’s not a ton of detail, CDNs are generally tight-lipped about specifics, yet it is impressive that a company Limelight’s size would tackle OS development. Regarding hot-spot reduction, Limelight explained that they have developed and deployed software to reduce the probability of bottlenecks occurring – and the impact of them if they do – from transit and peering links down to SSDs.

In the past year, Limelight said they have increased the efficiency of their network and caching software by more than 600%, but at the time they didn’t tout the positive impact to performance or video quality. For all the talk by CDNs and others in the streaming media industry around “quality” and “performance” of video delivery, it great to see that we’re finally starting to see a move towards actually measuring what performance means. And if more CDNs take Limelight’s approach and put actual numbers and guarantees behind their words, customers will get a better experience, content owners will provide a better user-experience and CDNs should be able to have a way to distinguish themselves from competitors, when it comes the very commoditized media delivery.

Note: Limelight provided me with customer-supplied data on % re-buffer-affected sessions for Limelight vs. a leading CDN over a 30 day period for a very large US video streaming company in North America, in addition to other data they shared. I can’t disclose that data since it comes from customers, but I have seen results from real customers, as measured by the customer directly.

Google To Give Update On VP9/AV1 Video Compression at #smeast Show

WebM’s VP9 has seen adoption by major media companies and has over two billion devices that support playback. At the Streaming Media East show in NYC, taking place May 16-17, Matt Frost, Head of Strategy and Partnerships at Google Chrome Media, will give an update on some of the latest performance benchmarks and discuss some VP9 encoding best practices around high bit-depth and HDR. The talk will also include an update on development of the next-generation AV1 codec by the Alliance for Open Media.

You can register online using code 200DR17 and get $200 off your registration ticket. #smeast

HBO, Sky, Fox & Others To Discuss Parity Between Online Video and Broadcast Television

We are starting to see momentum gather for online video: cable subscribers are declining and online video consumption is increasing. But the two experiences, watching TV and watching online video, aren’t the same yet. At the Streaming Media East show in NYC, taking place May 16-17, we have a panel that will talk about what it might take to get parity between the traditional television experience and streaming video. Broadcast television generally has better quality, more consistent delivery, and improved customer service. Yet the allure of anytime, anywhere access from any device is driving consumer behavior towards OTT services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and more. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Moderator: Jason Thibeault, Executive Director, Streaming Video Alliance
  • Clark Pierce, SVP, TV Everywhere, FOX Sports Go
  • Andreas Engde, Project Manager, Viaplay
  • John Narus, Director, Digital Products, HBO Latin America
  • Mourad Kioumgi, Solutions Architect, Sky

You can register online using code 200DR17 and get $200 off your registration ticket. #smeast