Innovation Road for Big Video

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In recent years, alongside the rapid development of optical bandwidth, the development of 4G networks and the popularity of smart terminals, video production, storage, transmission, and play have changed significantly. Consuming video has become an integral part of daily life for most people.

Professional media providers and user-generated content combine to create a rich and colorful video content landscape. The volume of video content in its various formats like super HD, is growing at an exponential rate. This we refer to as “big content”.

Today, a consumer can, through a private network, the internet, and/or a mobile network consume a wide variety of content at anytime, anywhere. This is a feature of the “big network”.

All the data, including viewing behaviour and interests, for each user on the network can be recorded precisely. The accumulated video data, through data mining, can be used to generate new valuable information about subscribers. The information gathered can be applied to the video industry to create products that resonate with your subscribers, attract more users, and generate more data. These are the features of big data.

Videos today no longer only come from the film and TV industry. Communications professionals across all verticals are helping to create video whether they are in hospitality, education, healthcare or retail – they are all using and creating video. These new players in video are a feature of big ecology.

Video has become the basic service of operators

As a result of a wide variety of factors such as national polices and the development of mobile broadband networks, traditional service ratios are changing. Operators are consequently paying more attention to new types of data service and have adjusted their respective service operation architectures so they can develop from a single physical pipeline to a model featuring a smart pipeline and service operation.

Where are the pain points for the operator?

Operators face a number of challenges when converting from a traditional service model to a data service, specifically when converting a traditional video service model to one supporting internet video services.

There are some of the differences between an operator video service and internet video service. The key pain points facing operators during the conversion process are shown in terms of operation mode, network architecture, and development mode.

The big video IPTV+ solution has following five major features:

1. Open and integrated platform: Its features include integrating the fixed network with the mobile network, rapidly assembling the content, rapidly releasing the content, and providing the 4K super experience. 

2. Precise big data capability: Its features include precise recommendation (refined operation) and realizing its business value through data mining. 

3. Panoramic O&M system: Its features include total equipment monitoring, total service monitoring, rapid fault fixing, and variation service assurance. 

4. Integrated CDN: Its features include multiple-service integration, smart perception, and SDN deployment. 

5. Smart terminal: Its features include triple-play interaction, family center, and cloud end collaboration.

Cloud video network

Traditionally, IPTV architecture couples software with hardware, and services with data. It is closely coupled to help deliver a single video service, however, this coupling is not favourable to developing and deploying new services or collaborating with other vendors in the industry. ZTE believes that in the big video era, an NFV-based cloudized architecture provides a better loose coupling and open system architecture, which is favourable to separating the hardware investment from the service investment. In addition, it is beneficial for multiple vendors to provide multiple services and for operators to assemble multiple services.

Smart video pipeline

To adapt to the big video service, the video service system architecture needs to be adjusted to possess the capability of handling the big video service. Another important condition is to make the video pipeline ‘smart’ by constructing pipelines such as smart content delivery network (CDN).

From the network layer and service layer, the integration of the fixed network with the mobile network and the total network can be flexibly deployed to cross the private network and the internet. The CDN is extended from the fixed network to the mobile network while the video service is completely covered through the multiple-screen integration service for mobile and fixed network users providing a new video experience any time, anywhere. 

Capability openness platform

Big video & big ecology requires that multiple vendors make an end-to-end collaboration along the industry supply chain. Openness of the video platform architecture is crucial. The capability openness is promoted by three aspects: openness of the service capability, openness of the terminal capability, and openness of the CDN capability.

Service capability openness is made possible by decoupling the service components, prior to making the component service available externally. An SOA architecture is used to build up a light internet openness service platform so that the architecture design is flat and the development mode uses the rapid iteration mode to support the grey-based version releasing mode.

At present, ZTE’s big video service platform enables user management, content management, and service management to realize service and functional components such as unified authentication, self-registration, payment, message, ads, bookmark favourites, recommendations, and statistic analysis. In addition, it provides the auxiliary service invocation capability through the access to provide unified services in the service discovery and presence layer.

User experience is king

To promote a positive user experience, the next generation of video networks needs to ensure that viewers are provided with high quality, relevant, video services. Big data analytics of user preferences and behaviour can be used to develop highly targeted content. The next generation video networks will provide powerful support and assurance for the delivery of high quality, targeted content.

Big data technology can be applied to video services to powerfully promote the user experience, including user data analysis, system optimization, user perception, service quality promotion, and new content services provision.

As a result of the rapid development of fixed broadband networks and mobile broadband, a wide variety of new video services are under development. Their features, such as interaction, openness, and focus on user experience, will affect the operation of traditional IPTV video services and encourage operators to update their system architecture and video operations, specifically towards developing big video services. Innovation will give the whole video service a new future and a new user experience.