REDWOOD CITY, Calif., January 30, 2014 – Qwilt, a leading provider of transparent caching and online video delivery solutions, today unveiled the industry’s first transparent caching solution for live-streamed events online: Qwilt Live Stream Cache. The revolutionary new functionality will enhance Qwilt’s QB-Series Video Fabric Controllers, which were purpose built to address the unique challenges of over-the-top (OTT) video delivery for network service providers. Qwilt Live Stream Cache represents a major technological and commercial breakthrough for the Internet video industry, enabling the efficient delivery of high-quality live OTT event streaming to broadband subscribers worldwide.
The Live Streaming Problem
The number of consumers watching live events over broadband-enabled devices continues to rise, prompting content providers to make an increasing number of live broadcasts available online via live streams. The subsequent surge in Internet traffic places a significant and immediate strain on Internet service providers (ISPs) networks around the world, resulting in poor streaming quality, dropped sessions, incessant re-buffering, and ultimately, frustrated consumers. In the absence of a comprehensive, universal solution to address these quality of experience (QoE) issues, broadcasters and network operators have been forced to rely on content delivery networks (CDNs) to manage the delivery of live content with mixed results, or to develop content specific solutions that are expensive and difficult to scale.
According to CBSSports.com and NFL.com, during the 2013 Super Bowl, less than 1 percent of viewers watched the game online. For the relatively small audience of 3 million viewers who did watch the 2013 Super Bowl online, the quality of experience was below expectations. Similar reports of poor quality were noted during the 2012 London Olympics when millions of users attempted to watch events online. In both cases, poor QoE was a significant factor, with low quality streams, as measured by average bit rate, affecting both live streaming and video on demand (VOD) playback. Despite high consumer demand for live-streamed event broadcasts, the industry has, until now, lacked the innovation needed to deliver high-quality, live-streamed events to online viewers.
“CSPs (Communication Service Providers) are facing tough competitive pressure in saturated markets. To retain existing customers, and gain new ones, they need to offer better services and a higher quality of experience (QOE) than their competitors,” wrote Akshay Sharma, Research Director in the Carrier Network Infrastructure group of Gartner Research in the January 21, 2014 report Competitive Landscape: Mobile Video Optimization. The report also states, “Video optimization technologies give CSPs a competitive edge by offering a better video experience and higher-quality streaming for consumers.”
The Future of Live Online Video Streaming Is Here: Qwilt Live Stream Cache
The latest advancements in Qwilt’s QB-Series Video Fabric Controller Software bring the industry’s first solution to dynamically cache streams of unmanaged and managed live online content. This uniquely helps service providers scale their infrastructure and optimize the flow of VOD and live video traffic across their networks, while improving QoE for their subscribers. Qwilt’s QB-Series Video Fabric Controllers deliver an optimized network architecture to support popular live-streamed video events such as sports, concerts and online gaming from sites such as YouTube Live and ESPN.com. The new Qwilt Live Stream Cache lets network operators support live streaming events to reach millions of subscribers faster, and with vastly more improved QoE.
“Live streaming has long presented a significant challenge to the online video delivery ecosystem. This challenge has impeded adoption by premium content owners who want to deliver live streaming content to millions of consumers who watch live events online. As consumer appetite for live-streamed events continues to grow and more content becomes available, the underlying infrastructure has to scale efficiently,” said Dan Rayburn, principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “Operators seeking to reduce network strain from live-streamed events and deliver a significantly higher quality of experience for their subscribers should turn to transparent caching as a more cost-efficient, high-performance solution to deliver video quickly to subscribers. New innovations that can address the live stream cache problem are a step forward for the industry.” </>
Traditional live streaming protocols use unicast transmission, an inefficient and bandwidth intensive architecture that requires a dedicated HTTP session for every subscriber. In contrast, Qwilt Live Stream Cache quickly and efficiently identifies trending and popular live OTT video streams, enabling the QB-Series to instantly direct those streams into the controller’s FastCache, a dedicated control and storage path optimized for quick delivery of live streams. The Qwilt Live Stream Cache then establishes a local live video transmission point in each neighborhood that can serve a very large population of nearby subscribers using a single seed stream, offloading significant strain on operator network infrastructures.
“High quality live event streaming is the ‘holy grail’ of online video. However, until now, the required infrastructure from the origin server, through CDN, via operator last mile network, was not designed to deal with the scale and capacity required to deliver a high quality experience to the consumers. As consumers increasingly look to access live and VOD content from connected devices, network operators and content providers must keep pace with demand,” said Alon Maor, CEO and Co-Founder of Qwilt. “Our breakthrough approach to transparent edge caching continues to benefit network operators around the world with the delivery and optimization of online video. Now, with the addition of Live Stream Cache, we are offering the first comprehensive video delivery solution that addresses all aspects of the online video equation, with unprecedented quality of experience and performance.”
About Qwilt ?
Qwilt addresses the impact of OTT video on operator networks with a unified, turnkey1 solution that combines transparent caching, video delivery and analytics technologies deployed at the subscriber edge. Qwilt QB-Series Video Fabric Controllers optimize delivery of streaming video content to relieve network traffic congestion for operators and deliver a higher quality viewing experience for their customers. A growing number of the world’s leading cable, telecom and mobile service providers rely on Qwilt to optimize their networks to support growing consumer demand for online video content as a primary entertainment source. Founded in 2010 by industry veterans from Cisco and Juniper, Qwilt is backed by Accel Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Marker and Redpoint Ventures. Learn more at www.qwilt.com.
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