There is a world of difference between IP in managed and unmanaged networks, and it’s not just the IP stack that’s different. The business of on demand TV and video is probably more accurately described as monetizing content. There are really only three basic methods of monetizing content: subscriptions, pay-per-view and advertising. While these three methods may appear similar, there are additional elements and challenges that engineers may overlook when it comes to actual video delivery.
Requirements for successful video delivery
The first key delivery requirement that engineers must address is the prerequisite to maintain a certain quality of experience (QoE). Here, both subscribers and content producers expect a high degree of QoE, in part, because today’s display systems highlight every image impairment.
A second requirement is that usage data must be relayed back to an analytics system. Content owners want to know much more than just how many viewers were served. They want to know about the quality of those streams.
Let’s look more closely at the delivery architecture by breaking it down into three main layers: the monetization layer (analytics, transaction and billing systems, campaign and offer management), the management layer (managing and maintaining the flow of content through the system — packaging, workflow and content protection) and the delivery layer (actual transmission of content to the consumer).
Within cable and IPTV platforms, the production and collection of delivery data within the system are straightforward because all of the system components are directly under the control of the operator. However, with the transition from a managed IP environment to the public Internet (as in the case of OTT or multiscreen environments), there are some specific new challenges that must be addressed.