Traditional managed service providers, as well as content providers and broadcasters, have all migrated their legacy CBR (Constant & Variable Bitrate, Transport Stream based) content to ABR (Adaptive Bitrate, video chunk delivery). This has been driven by the astronomical rise in place-shifting (watching entertainment on mobile devices) as well as the need to share the same content between fixed devices (e.g. Set-Top Boxes in-home) and mobile devices (e.g. iPhones, tablets, laptops). However, this mass migration to ABR content delivery has ushered in a variety of competing streaming standards such as HSS, HLS, DASH and CMAF, as well as a broad offering of DRM (digital rights management) solutions to protect the delivery of ABR content over managed and unmanaged networks. Media Edge resolves these challenges in a single solution that can be deployed economically deep into the edge network of the content distributor.
The OTT challenges inherent to this mass ABR migration also require a solution that can store content efficiently one time and then transcode, encryption and stream specifically per a variety of client-types’ demands requesting the content. Otherwise, costly storage and associated network distribution costs will be necessary in downstream delivery nodes to store an individual copy of each piece of content per each type of DRM or streaming format needing to be streamed. Media Edge meets these challenges as well, which means that the hardware costs for storage at each edge location can be minimized by leveraging cost effective delivery node edge storage capabilities within each Media Edge in the network, without the need to store or distribute multiple formats of content (since different formats can be generated on the fly). A centralized Origin Storage (e.g. VSPP) can efficiently distribute single copies of content specific to each Media Edge delivery node as needed and leave the formatting, streaming and encryption demands up to each localized Media Edge.
Each Media Edge delivery node in the edge network can be centrally controlled via VSPP to deliver (and refresh) only the relevant content to that node (e.g. specific regional content and common content). Media Edge itself does not require multiple copies of content to be stored, taking up unnecessary diskspace. Rather, each copy of content is stored only once and then is delivered according to the specific requirements of the client device requesting to view it. This additionally provides significant OPEX savings over the Core Network since content only needs to be delivered once to the Media Edge delivery nodes (and can be store, encrypted and packaged as needed on demand).
Media Edge is a Best in Class Just-in-Time Packager. All popular ABR streaming protocols are supported (e.g. HSS, HLS, DASH-ISO) and most industry DRM solutions are supported as well. This enables Media Edge to store content only once and then deliver it on an as needed basis. The same Just-in-Time Packaging facilities are used for Live, Timeshift, Recorded and On Demand content, providing consistency across the content library.
The Media Edge delivery node features an aggressive and bright future with such upcoming capabilities as OTT/Unicast Dynamic Ad Insertion, RTSP/UDP unicast delivery (for legacy devices), CMAF HTTP Chunk Transfer (common payload for HLS & DASH) and CMAF-LLC for Best in Class Low Latency delivery to OTT devices.