It’s day 3 of IBC 2010 and I had a quick moment with Murali Nemani, Director of Service Provider Video Solutions Marketing, about his interactions with customers, what’s getting buzz on the show floor and the increased recognition of the role that the IP Next Generation Network and the Data Center are playing in delivering IP video.
3DTV is no doubt one of the top issues at IBC this year, being featured in booths of countless device makers and discussed by most off of the attendees in one way or another.
“it is the dawn of a new era of television,” “it is banished to the niche hobbyist and will never hit mainstream,” “it suspends disbelief even further and makes a good TV experience great,” “no one will be willing to pay for it,” “it’s possible only because of HD,” “it’s not going to take off because of HD,” and “what’s up with those glasses?” are all comments that I have heard in just the past few hours. All of them make sense to some degree, but do they miss the point?
As a longtime SP360 contributor and an obvious coffee drinker dealing with some massive jet lag, in the following video, I go into the debate further and give my opinion on the debate. (Next year, we’re seeing if we can get two competing animated characters yelling the pro and con debate from each shoulder, but until then, you’re just going to be stuck with me giving a dramatic reenactment…)
Content Delivery networks have been around for awhile now and are used in an outsourced overlay fashion by many providers around the world. But video, as we say, changes everything. Now this approach is being rethought – not in that it would be pursued, but are the content delivery capabilities being pursued far enough?
BT thinks not and is the first major provider to roll out an innovative new service called, Content Connect, in which Cisco is honored to play a role to help enable BT to bring this to market later this year. The benefits of this innovative deployment, one of many in a long string of network “firsts,” was described as “eliminating the Grumpiness Triangle” and that phrase alone, not to mention the ground-breaking service itself, was simply too much for Doug Webster, SP360’s roving blogger on the floor of IBC, to pass up commenting on.
Given the flurry of recent announcements on video content services, industry analysts and pundits have been busy assessing or commenting on the likely implications and outcomes.
Meanwhile, I’ve been thinking about where broadband service providers will likely be pursuing new related revenue opportunities. We believe that the upside market potential for forward-looking SPs is perhaps limited only by our own imagination. Here’s my perspective:
Apparently, we’ve collectively reached a point where an IP video strategy is considered a given. The focus has shifted to where to place appropriate emphasis towards that strategic direction. For example, we are now seeing some service providers leveraging their medianet assets to enable an increasing array of wholesale content delivery network (CDN) services.
We envision that broadband service providers will be working more closely with content providers. They now share a common cause – preparing for the evolving video consumption habits of mainstream consumers. Moreover, it appears that we’re already moving beyond the early-adopter stage of digital video consumption, via TV screens within the family room, towards anywhere, anytime delivery of video services to many devices.
How can service providers leverage their networks to engage new customers and thereby capture market share? First, let’s keep in mind that video quality of service (QoS) is an important attribute for a superior quality of experience that consumers will truly appreciate and value. Content delivery networks out there are already helping media providers to deliver content to consumers, but with an “over the top” delivery at the end that offers no guarantees of quality of service. Now, service providers are uniquely positioned to offer content providers such delivery services though their networks, with an assured quality of experience, all the way to viewers.
Armed with a solid service delivery foundation, retail IP video providers can then freely explore distinctive value-add service benefits. If providers have access to similar video content selections, then perhaps they must choose to innovate in other areas. Services such as multi-screen delivery, and targeted advertising, certainly come to mind.
As the IBC show kicks off in Amsterdam, I wanted to go over some main themes of the conference, share some near-death experiences, and highlight what’s on every service provider’s mind: thriving in an every changing industry landscape.