Blog post -
Understand OTT Content Delivery by Boris Asadanin
In a series of three articles Boris Asadanin describes how OTT content delivery relies on sophisticated technologies to ensure low latency, good quality video streaming services. This publication is part of a series of articles describing the principles of the technology behind video streaming. It could be read without any prior knowledge on the subject.
Like for any other web-based service, distribution of HTTP video streaming services should be no different. You just need an ordinary HTTP web server from which the clients can download the content. Unfortunately, this assumption only scratches the surface of HTTP video distribution. OTT content delivery relies on much more sophisticated technologies to ensure low latency, good quality video streaming services.
OTT Content Delivery part 1
Remember the traditional linear analogue broadcasted TV. Unless your TV antenna on the roof had fallen due to a storm (or having too many crows just hanging on it) there were rarely any quality issues. The broadcast was always on and the quality was reliable. To be fair, there was a very narrow selection of channels and the quality was SD TV grade, but it worked come rain or shine.
Since the beginning of streaming video content over IP networks the main goal has always been to achieve the uptime and quality necessary to resemble the traditional analogue linear TV service. And so far, we are still behind. So why are we forcing IP distribution models despite all the issues?
OTT Content Delivery part 2
While CDNs are just becoming a commodity for larger websites in the e-commerce, banking, and public sectors, they have been so for long in the media delivery industry. With the unmatched traffic load requirements of media content delivery, the CDNs are pushed to the limit. And when the CDN you use is pushed to its limits, where do you offload your traffic to? Another CDN of course.
OTT Content Delivery part 3
The traditional CDN technology is great, but its main drawback is that it requires up front investment to cover an unknown traffic peak level. Popular live events like the FIFA World Cup or season premiers like Game of Thrones are recurrently reaching new traffic peaks exposing failing CDN performance.
In this third and concluding article about OTT content delivery, we explore various types of CDNs, alternatives to CDNs, and aspects when building or buying CDNs.