Get Adobe Flash player
The OTT land by Simen Frostad, Chairman at Bridge Technologies A s countless movie directors have proven, the wild frontier is an exciting place. There’s always plenty of action, intrigue, and the danger of venturing into the unknown. In the classic wild west story, the good guys win, so there’s a happy ending too. Nowadays it’s the lightning pace of technological development that supplies the thrills and spills for the pioneering spirit, and this year’s wild frontier is being explored by prospectors staking a claim in OTT land. The potential is massively exciting, but it’s not guaranteed that the good guys will always win. On offer is the chance for service providers to extend their presence through the web, reaching new audiences without having to make any outlay on fiber infrastructure. The dangers arise from delivering video content over an unmanaged network. To give OTT pioneers a way to minimize the risks and bring the delivery chain under control, Bridge Technologies have launched the most comprehensive monitoring and analysis system for the ‘tv everywhere’ infrastructure, giving operators total visibility of all points in the delivery chain, from ingest onward, right through to the viewing device. The new microAnalytics™ system delivers sophisticated monitoring and analysis of OTT streams at any point before the operator’s content delivery network (CDN), and at any point beyond it. Bridge Technologies’ active OTT technology is also a monitoring option for its full range of digital media probes, allowing deployment 82 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE (OTT – over-the-top delivery – think iPlayer on Virgin Media as a key example – or LoveFilm. It means an on-demand content service that is delivered over the top of another network) anywhere in the delivery chain for accurate evaluation of OTT stream availability and delivery in that part of the chain. With minimal setup requirements — thanks to its intelligent self-configuration capabilities — the OTT option needs no specialized knowledge to operate; operators can start monitoring streams simply by entering the URL. By integrating OTT into probes such as the VB120, VB220, and VB330, Bridge Technologies makes it unnecessary to add extra layers of infrastructure complexity, while enabling operational staff to monitor OTT services alongside broadcast- IP services within the familiar, graphically-rich, advanced monitoring environment. In a typical architecture, Bridge Technologies probes with OTT capabilities are located at the origin server to monitor stream quality and integrity prior to the CDN, and then at the exit point of the CDN, as well at the ISP and EDGE networks. For monitoring of the ‘home network’ — the subscriber’s network of content-reception devices — the Bridge Technologies microAnalytics System can be deployed to integrate data gathered from the set-top box, connected TV, computers, and mobile devices into the operator’s centralized monitoring and analysis environment. To cope with the huge increase in traffic OTT services will create, Bridge Technologies has also introduced the VB330, a core network probe based on 10GB architecture. The first product to be based on Bridgetech’s entirely new 10G architecture, the VB330 will offer the highest performance to form-factor ratio available in the monitoring and analysis sector. With three blades fitting in a single 1RU chassis, each VB330 probe can have up to six 10GB interfaces, delivering a massive monitoring capability. Designed for extremely high- density applications at points of maximum data throughput in today’s 10GB core networks, the VB330’s enormous capacity offers telcos, network operators and digital media organizations a monitoring solution with the potential for scaling to match almost any level of throughput. The arrival of this ultra high- performance probe coincides with the growth of 10GB networks as operators uprate infrastructure to deal with ever-increasing data consumption and network traffic. The growing variety and complexity of data for OTT applications is just one aspect driving this expansion, and with the proliferation of data types, monitoring technology needs to keep pace. The VB330 delivers the capacity for very demanding applications at the heart of an operation, such as data aggregation points, VOD farms and data centres. Advanced intelligence and sophisticated data gathering didn’t feature in the average Western – the heroes had to shoot their way out of trouble. On the OTT frontier, it’s a more subtle and complex scenario, but with the right tools in place operators – however pioneering – will be able to keep control, anticipate problems and take action before they become a reality.