Deploying IP Video Services, Architectures and Technologies (2018)

By Eduardo M. Panciera Molanes, Adrian Grimaldi, Norberto Harmath, Gaston Diaz & Marcos Aberastury, Telecom S.A.

In recent years we have seen the growth of IP-based content distribution services, not only in terms of services over controlled networks where we can highlight the IPTV deployments made by TELCOs companies, but also the proliferation of content distribution in unmanaged networks, also known as OTT(Over the Top).

But the new paradigm of TV consumption does not impact only in the distribution, but also and more important, in a better user experience(UX), with advanced User Interface (UI), new integrated applications and functions, new ways to consume the video, not only linear and on-demand but also different flavors of network-based time shifted video (like cloud reverse EPG (REPG), cloud Digital Video Recording (cDVR), Pause live TV, and others), new ways to show the information to the end user, where the video itself is not the only main piece, also the metadata that exposes to the end user enriched information and assists them with improved visual approach, searching and recommendations, or generating extra information, during special events, that allows end client interaction with applications related to the content.

In addition to this, there are also a new set of devices like PC, Tablets, Smartphones, Smart TVs, Consoles Games, etc., these are in general known as Consumer Electronic (CE) devices. They are starting to be used more and more to consume video services, and even more, there is an interaction between those CE devices and the traditional STB that are using in general in the cable operations.

The cable industry must be prepared to move in this direction, and the purpose of this paper is to explain how our company is transitioning to video over IP delivery. We have already moved from legacy Digital TV (DTV) to Hybrid (DTV+IP) system and now, finally, we are starting to deploy Full IP Video delivery.

The explanation will include the drivers that generate these necessities of the migration towards IP world, as well as the technologies and architectures involved, starting in the headend using High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) compression technologies allowing not only High Definition (HD) definition but also Ultra High Definition (UHD), the System Delivery Platform based on cloud which controls advanced functionalities like HTML based user interfaces, network DVR, reverse EPG and others, the media transport -not only over DOCSIS access network but also over FTTH1-; and in the end the challenges and opportunities to deliver video in the home network using WiFi connectivity for customer electronic devices and for IP Set Top Boxes.

This document will describe which are the new necessities in terms of TV services’ user experience, the definitions and first steps to move from Legacy TV system to a new ecosystem that allows satisfying those necessities. Then it will enumerate and explain some drivers to evolve the ecosystem towards a Full IP system. It also will take a look at which are the possible IPs mechanism to distribute the different types of video services, and finally, it will go through every domain, from the Head End to the Home Network explaining which are the changes that the operator will introduce finally to move to Full IP video.

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