Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Battle Among CDN and P2P Video Providers

According to Light Reading, the arrival of high-definition (HD) video content delivered over the Internet will force significant changes in how network operators and content owners distribute video. It could result in a fundamental restructuring of the ISP business.

"Consumers now expect to find video content on the Internet, and expectations of high-quality video are rising. But, moving very large files to end-users places huge demands on existing infrastructures," notes Simon Sherrington, research analyst for Light Reading.

"There's an emerging battle between CDNs and P2P upstarts for control of the primary relationship with video content owners."

The choices made by content owners regarding their distribution partners will be governed by a wide range of factors, including how they have already encoded their content, the extent of their back catalogs, the likely size of the audiences for their content, the intended reach for their content, and the nature of the content.

Specifically, whether the content includes live events or not. This is a complex set of issues, so it is not surprising that multiple solutions are being applied.

Key findings of their market study include:

- Although limited end-user bandwidth continues to hold back more robust use of live Internet TV, options available to end-users for viewing content continue to grow.

- P2P applications are becoming mainstream, and P2P players are wooing ISPs and content owners.

- The benefits of a hybrid CDN/P2P approach for delivery of HD video over the Internet are clear, but there is a battle for control of the primary commercial relationship with the content owner.

- Some IPTV technology suppliers may be able to capitalize on the trend toward Over the Top (OTT) Internet video, but others face risks.