Thoughts on Apple TV, Cloud Platforms, and the Opportunity for Mediamplify
Recently, Apple Executives put on hold their plans to roll out a “Live TV” offering for the Apple TV. News reports indicate that major networks may have requested Apple to stop momentarily on those plans.
To our view, it seems inevitable that TV streaming (Internet TV, IPTV and Over the Top, OTT) and cable are going in a collision trajectory and an all out war is about to commence. The question is, are there any ways to find a consensus? Our platform, Mediamplify, is positioned to bridge the worlds of IPTV/OTT which are cloud-based services with the Cable TV network, a purely DVB broadcast system.
Technically, in our opinion, Cable TV and Streaming TV are complementary technologies. On one end, Cable TV is a more efficient system designed to broadcast TV feeds using the matured Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) set of standards. DVB is in essence much faster, efficient, and more scalable than IPTV-based technologies are and even more efficient than Over The Top platforms (OTT) in terms of cost.
Cable TV systems are nothing but a broadcast medium that encapsulates digital content to all subscribers in a particular region connected to a coaxial cable. Cable TV also provides bi-directionally support data and Internet. The only limitation factor is the number of mega bits of bandwidth in the coaxial cable and the type of multiplexing technology used to “mix” multiple TV networks in one DVB stream that is directed to homes with a plethora of STBs
Over the Top (OTT) and IPTV networks, on the other hand, may use also some sort of multicasting mimicking a broadcast network however for the most part require one stream per customer serviced. In many cases Netflix, Hulu, and other Over the Top platforms use an independent stream per subscriber a) Each stream is secured for a particular customer b) The internet will not be able to carry multicast traffic unless a private network is in use.
In other words, if a cable operator spent $1M in a head-end and coaxial deployments, this CAPEX would be about the same for the cable operator to broadcast TV/music to 100K users and to 10K subscribers. The price per subscriber is only limited by customer support costs and licensing fees.
While streaming TV or cloud-based streaming, on the other hand, requires more server instances to handle more subscribers, which in turn is reflected in more bandwidth and potentially more cloud computing power dedicated to new users.
For a cable operator, adding subscribers is pretty much free, not so much for a cloud-based platform.
Hence, a bridge that can provide access to cable TV subscribers as well as to Over-the-Top customers is a must have in today’s industry.
A unique middleware that has been positioned to handle such integration is MEDIAMPLIFY. MEDIAMPLIFY has been thoroughly tested with cable head ends of all types from Motorola/Arris, Cisco, Ericsson’s Mediaroom, and other multiplexing technology. MEDIAMPLIFY also supports mobile, web, and other traditional IPTV/OTT distribution outlets.