Saturday, April 2, 2011

Content Delivery Network (CDN) and Scalable Video Coding (H.264 SVC)

According to Global Industry Analysts, Inc, the global Content Delivery Network (CDN) market is projected to reach $4.7 billion by 2015. Key factors driving market growth include increased penetration of broadband services and expanding deployments of rich-media files across sectors such as media, enterprise and entertainment. The proliferation of video content over the Internet, increasing use of Internet for transfer of rich content, and consistent use of Internet among business sector for information exchange and communication are other factors driving the growth of CDN market.

The United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific dominate the global CDN market with a combined revenue share of more than 80%. Growing demand for high-value data, increasing use of Internet for transfer of rich content, advent of high-tech Internet-enabled devices, and shift in advertising spending from conventional media to online advertising are also expected to fuel revenue growth in the CDN market. Further, the explosive growth in online content (particularly video) due to the adoption of Internet by small, medium and large enterprises also boosts market prospects.

Asia-Pacific represents the fastest growing market for CDN and is expected to register a CAGR of more than 30% during the analysis period. The region’s fast-paced growth is led by the rapidly increasing penetration of Internet services, particularly in China. The launch of new Internet applications is resulting in the creation of huge market opportunities in the region’s CDN sector.

Leading vendors in the global CDN market include Akamai Technologies, CDNetworks, Level 3 Communications Inc. and Limelight Networks Inc. Other players profiled in the report include ChinaCache, Digital Fountain Inc. (now part of Qualcomm), EdgeCast Networks Inc., Edgestream Inc., Highwinds Network Group Inc., Mirror Image® Internet Inc., QBrick AB, Velocix Ltd., BitGravity Inc., Internap Network Services Corporation, NTT Communications Corporation, and Technicolor.

The detail report can be found in

In the latest "World Video Content Delivery Networks Market 2011":

Adoption of OTT (Over The Top) services and Streaming Video Continues to Spur the Growth of Content Delivery Networks Content delivery networks (CDNs) enable the distribution of the vast majority of all video content delivered on the Internet and today, still accounts for a large portion of the revenue CDN vendors receive. Thanks in large part to over-the-top (OTT) subscription services like Netflix, Hulu Plus and the ever increasing usage of broadband-enabled devices, CDNs continue to deliver higher volumes of video at significantly higher qualities. While the CDN market continues to evolve with vendors focusing on more value add services, the delivery of video content is still crucial in helping them reach economics of scale with their network, notes the analyst of this research. And, as consumers continue to watch more video, at higher quality and on more devices, video will continue to play a very important role in helping CDNs grow their business for the next stage of the video revolution." The biggest trend affecting the market over the past 12-18 months is the emergence of broadcast quality content being available through over-the-top services. Subscription-based offerings from Netflix and Hulu Plus along with videos from most major broadcasters have created a tremendous amount of new traffic for the CDNs to deliver. In addition, the past 12 months have shown a substantial increase in the quality of the video being delivered, adds the analyst. Today, it's not uncommon to see videos encoded at 2Mbps or higher which was rare 24 months ago.

The media transmission to numerous recipients, located in different locations, using different devices and connection speed is still challenge for CDN providers. H.264 Scalable Video Coding (SVC) is a technique to achieve scalability in Media payload over a peer-to-peer network and only distribute streams to relevant consumer groups that are based on network proximity, network conditions, and device/ media player capabilities.

SVC encodes video into “layers,” starting with the “base” layer, which contains the lowest level of detail spatially (resolution), temporally (frames per second) and from a quality perspective (higher detail). Additional layers can increase the quality of the stream using any or all of these variables.

Jan Ozer described that with SVC all the video layers are incorporated into a single file, reducing the administrative expense of linking and distributing via CDNs. "With hardware encoders, streaming producers can convert their current formats to SVC compatible streams on the fly, so video publishers like CNN and ESPN won’t need to convert their entire library to leverage the new technology."

MainConcept showed three streams of SVC encoded video at NAB. Click here to read that story.

The following articles and white papers show how SVC can help CDN:

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