Riding the Wave of Over The Top Video Streaming

Category: HLS Streaming

Future of Broadcasting 2017: Sky and Conviva Case Study

One key observation is that “You cannot manage, what you cannot measure” and having insight into the video player behaviour is essential to optimise the viewing experience.

I was invited to present a joint case study by Sky and Conviva at the Future of Broadcasting conference in London. Where we describe how we saved up to 4,500 streaming sessions by automatically detecting and moving them to another CDN with our CDN selector capability.

For example, if a customer is unable to sustain a consistent 5Mbps throughput on their home broadband connection, the player will automatically step down to a lower bitrate and sometimes also to a lower screen resolution.

We take our customers streaming quality of experience very seriously and have four key streaming performance indicators that we constantly monitor.

  • Buffering Ratio of under 0.4% per hour.
  • Average Bitrate.
  • Video Start Failure.
  • Exit Before Video Start.


The slides are available below;

I’d like to thank Ed and Lindsey at Conviva for their assistance.

Streaming Forum 2017 – Virtualisation for media publishers, CDNs and operators

My second public speaking was a panel discussion at Streaming Forum 2017, running alongside the BVE conference at ExCel in London on March 1st. The topic was “Virtualisation for media publishers, CDNs and operators”. I’d like to personally thank Dom, Andy and Mike for taking part in a very interesting debate and hope you enjoy  watching the video.

We examine the evolution of technology trends in the streaming space over the past 20 years, and why the trend is towards virtualisation at all levels – from media encoding and transcoding to delivery – leading to higher availability, stronger security, and higher service velocity. The increasing availability of graphics processors in commodity chipsets is changing the dynamic of where and how media is treated. This session will present a case study showing how this can provide for ‘carrier-grade’ availability even if the underlying fabric is only offering commodity-grade SLAs. Panellists will discuss how virtualisation is evolving in the operator space, and how it is changing the strategy of telcos and media distributors as they seek to bring these capabilities to market.

My comments can be heard at;

25:45 Thoughts of virtualisation and the power of software and micro services. What happens when a premier league events happens?

36:25 Thoughts on why we need low latency video streaming to be closer to live. Challenges with standard protocols and why metrics are important. Taking your colleagues on the journey with you. “Why do you need to touch the Sky 1 channel? Hey there’s this IP thing, it’s the future and you need to get on board.”

47:20 Thoughts on opportunities provided by virtualisation, micro services to scale streaming and vod services.

56:49 Thoughts on storage and high performance storage.

1:00:50 “Satellite is a cost effective mass market distribution system”. “People are time poor and we all have this challenge and if anything, this pace is accelerating and this mantra about doing less with more, also applies to people and to time.”

Moderator: Dom Robinson, Director and Creative Firestarter – id3as & Contributing Editor,, UK
Andy Conway, Key Account Manager – Kontron, UK
Jeff Webb, Principal Streaming Architect – Sky, UK
Mike Ory, Engineering Manager, Digital Platforms – Verizon Digital Media Platforms, USA

Future Tidal Wave of Mobile Video

Analysing Mobile Internet Video Trends 2015-2020

In this article I will examine the growing trends of Internet Mobile video and how consumer behaviour is rapidly adopting to a world of ‘always on content’ and discuss the impact on the underlying infrastructure. This is very important because we often assume that the Internet has infinite capacity and we can get frustrated by buffering, which wouldn’t happen with our satellite and terrestrial TV services.

This pattern also follows other observed trends in social media, namely twitter, facebook and instagram, which provide consumers and producers with a highly valuable return path on the content, that they’re engaged with. It’s also a double edged sword in what they can provide is both positive and negative feedback, this can affect the brand in unexpected ways.

The source of this analysis comes from Cisco’s excellent Visual Networking Index, updated annually, which tracks the growing usage patterns across mobile and non-mobile devices. The most recent mobile data is from February 2016 and makes a compelling argument for anyone involved in providing video services, to review your infrastructure hardware and software stacks, to meet this oncoming problem head on. As customers expectations have changed over the past few years, you’ll need be prepared to cope with a 50-100% traffic growth every year, for the next 4-5 years.

Population Growth

According to the US Census Bureau the world population will reach 8 Billion by 2025 and by 2020 there will be up to 5.5 billion mobile users across the globe. If we take a closer look at the individual regions, we can observe that the fastest growing location will be in Asia Pacific.


Cisco VNI 2015-20 Regional Growth

The data shows where the global opportunity lies, with up to 2.8 devices per capita in developed countries and over 1 elsewhere, which is provable in our modern connected world where your phone is the one device that you are never without.

Cisco VNI 2015-20 Per Capita Growth Continue reading

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