06.12.2005 08:00 AM
IPTV offers broadcasters content delivery efficiency

Path 1 has worked with a number of broadcasters to move content using packet-based IPTV technology.

With competition heating up, the IPTV market is growing. Local broadcasters should recognize the opportunities and act quickly. The addressable market for IP products and systems was estimated at $25 million in 2004, according to The Yankee Group, and by 2008, that figure is estimated to be in excess of $800 million.

The technology has allowed telcos and other non-traditional program providers to build out high-quality content delivery systems to consumers’ homes and businesses. Independent stations groups are beginning to warm to the idea, especially for sharing content between stations, as Sinclair Broadcast Group, for example, does now between its Hunt Valley, MD, headquarters and many of its stations across the country as part of its News Central initiative.

Both the CBS and FOX networks used IPTV technology during the past two NFL Super Bowl telecasts, to help get the live signal from the game to network operations. FOX Sports used the Vyvx network and IP technology to broadcast all of its NFL games in HD last year and will do so again this year.

For Super Bowl XXXIII, in 2004, the live signal went out over SBC Communications’ local loops in Houston, to the Vyvx network and on to the Verizon Network in New York to bring it back to CBS’ production facilities.

Cable companies have also recognized the value of IPTV delivery. Cox Communications, in San Diego, CA, is currently broadcasting Major League Baseball Padres games in HD as IP packets using Path 1 equipment to send the games over Cox’s fiber network, which was already deployed for vice and data services.

Cox is also using IP to distribute content between its headends, in Las Vegas and Orange County, CA, over the Vyvx network. Out of state games are sent via a Vyvx truck from, for example, Shea Stadium, in New York, back to the Cox headends in the three locations. Cox produced more than 150 games last year and will do more telecasts this year. To do this, nothing in their broadcast infrastructure had to be changed. They simply added Path1’s Vx8000 video over IP gateway technology and were ready to roll.

The Vx8000 is a multi-port, bi-directional IP video gateway. It enables broadcasters to deliver real-time, broadcast-quality MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 video in both SD and HD formats to remote locations over public and private IP networks.

With the Path 1 gateway, broadcasters can move live content from venues to studios and production facilities for content contribution applications, as well as backhaul the feeds to aggregation and distribution providers.

For more information, visit www.path1.com.

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