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Video: Do the Operator-Side Benefits of Cloud-Based Streaming Also Improve Quality?

Learn more about cloud-based streaming at Streaming Media's next event.

Watch the complete video of this panel, DT203A: Live Streaming: What Could Go Wrong?, in the Streaming Media Conference Video Portal.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Dan Murray: I thought it'd be interesting to look at some of the benefits of cloud-based streaming. Some of the benefits here might be more for the operator, but ultimately those benefits translate to customers and services they get.

Clearly, doing cloud-based streaming, compared to traditional cable and rolling something out saves potentially hundreds of millions of dollars, time-to-market, thousands of employees, PoP facilities, hardware, power, all of this kind of stuffBringing out a new service is clearly much, much faster on cloud streaming than it was in traditional cable. As folks set up their templates and operations and standard practices on cloud ... the idea that you set those up and then you can just replicate and do things goes from months to days.

Evolve with market changes. As you purchased hardware for a cable plant, of course you were forward-looking. You wanted to make sure it lasted 3-5 years. You had additional options in that hardware. One nice thing is, on cloud, as technology changes, as the software capabilities change, you can migrate from one to another. It's not rigid. It's very flexible.

Any service, any device, of course, traditionally your set-top box. Whether you're cable, satellite, what have you, you've got a fixed set-top box, but now any service, any device.

Lower the risk of investment. You can bring things to market at a much lower price point. Then, the huge investments that had to be made. The business cases and the level of innovation, where people can bring new services, new options, new features, and bring those very quickly, and then global scalability.

I kind of step back and look at this, and say, "Wow. How many of these great reasons were all about improving quality?" I mean, does innovation directly relate to improving quality or time-to-market? If things are really moving this fast, how does that translate to ensuring quality? Traditional cable TV operators were designed kind of from the ground up like telco reliability. If the power was out in your house, you expected to get dial tone. You just expected it to work.

Likewise with television. You click on that remote on your TV, and it's on. In fact, it's always on, on your set-top box.

At the same time, how does that work everywhere on every device? If you're traveling, can you watch everything? Whether it's physical hardware deployed at the systems, or whether it's servers with applications on it, just the idea of rapidly changing that is a major challenge for an operator.

You look on the streaming side, and it's kind of the opposite, right? It's designed for flexibility, rapid innovation, any kind of device. At the same time, it's so flexible and, honestly, complex. How do you reach that same level of cable-like reliability? When you turn it on, does it always work? During the operation, are there any glitches? Not just rebuffering, but does it work the same level or better than TV?

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