The final decade of the 20th Century was a very exciting one for the North American cable television industry. With major video threats emerging from the Direct To Home (DTH) sector, cable responded quite effectively with its digital cable rollout. Furthermore, with the Internet rapidly becoming a “must have” across America, cable took the high road with the successful standardization of DOCSIS along with market leadership in the broadband segment. More recent initiatives such as HFC telephony, VOD and HDTV are now beginning to gain momentum. Extensive fiber deployment and upgrades to two-way capability became the technical underpinnings for many of these new services.
Broadband streaming media is the next big wave and will create dramatic shifts in the way content is created, delivered to, and viewed by subscribers, affecting each constituency along the way. Moreover, broadband streaming media will enable an entirely new category of content, offering limitless possibilities and unprecedented choice for consumers. Operators who embrace broadband streaming will not only enhance their competitive market position, but will also find new revenue opportunities.
This paper provides an overview of the broadband streaming media technology and opportunity, contrasting it to the now familiar digital television experience, and including a brief discussion of the various emerging standards and technical elements which make up the broadband streaming media systems of the future