Nivedita Nouvel, VP Marketing at Broadpeak, shares what she thinks will be the hot topics for the video delivery industry in 2019.
Scalable live ABR video streaming
With more than 10 ongoing deployments and a total of 40 customer trials of nanoCDN technology, we can say with confidence that network service providers (i.e., telco, cable and satellite operators) are embracing multicast ABR technology to accompany their migration from a TS-based architecture to a full ABR one.
The combination of CMAF (a new format that introduces small-size video chunks), chunked transfer encoding technology (a technique that allows service provider to process video segments on the go) and multicast ABR on managed networks (a strategy that creates network conditions allowing players to reduce the size of their buffers while preserving Quality of Experience) will allow operators to achieve a global latency lower than 2 seconds compared with 30 to 40 seconds currently seen with current ABR streaming. This implementation impacts the origin packager (which needs to be compatible with CMAF and CTE), the delivery network (which needs to implement multicast ABR and CTE) and the player (which needs to adapt its buffer size to the context).
The first deployments are taking place right now, but it should be noted that they only leverage the radio aspect of 5G (by emitting on the millimeter wave spectrum) and do not yet exploit the possibility of launching new business models through the usage of network slicing or multi-access edge computing, for example. The covered regions are limited and the number of devices including compatible chipsets will grow minimally in 2019 and 2020 (a predictive list can be found here). From a video delivery standpoint, streaming over 5G is naturally supported with the HTTP ABR formats. But optimizations such as local caching or dynamic allocation of network resources based on device capability and content popularity are yet to be specified and implemented.
Broadpeak has partnered with leading mobile operators to deliver the full potential of 5G in U.S. and in Europe.
Content providers’ own delivery solutions
There is a growing trend among content providers to increase control over their video delivery strategy. This goes from internalizing their headend (i.e., encoder, origin packager, DRM system) to using multiple CDNs and deploying their own caches in operator’s networks — building on the same strategy as Netflix with its Open Connect program.
Ad-based VOD (AVOD) is a business model that is driving an important interest and that could complement pay-TV and SVOD offerings without replacing them. Its advent will be driven by the improvement of ad personalization and insights into their viewing rate and impact.
Most software components are now dockerized, enabling them to be deployable in a virtualized environment. Yet, the benefits of virtualization aren’t apparent when there is no orchestration for allocating the resources dynamically based on instant demand. This aspect is much more complex to deal with and, moreover, does not make sense for all applications. 2019 should see a refocus of the efforts toward the use cases for which containerization brings a real benefit, in order to avoid suboptimal implementations that can reduce efficiency.
After being a big buzz word in 2018, covering a wide range of topics and often not being used in a proper manner, AI should see its promises refocused on the use cases that can be handled through “advanced algorithms.” What we call “machine learning” is nothing more than a smart way of programming the behavior of a system so that it can apply rules (implemented by humans!) to make decisions that may require the processing of a huge amount of data. The predictive aspects of these technologies are interesting to exploit with analytics data, which allow an operator model trends and pinpoint anomalies.
At Broadpeak, we also see a huge potential in these approaches to improve the content delivery chain through the election of the best route possible for every single chunk of video.