Couple streaming video

Lumen Technologies and Disney Streaming are working with other companies under the umbrella of the Streaming Video Alliance (SVA) to make streaming more efficient by standardizing content delivery network (CDN) configuration metadata and application programming interfaces.

SVA is comprised of more than 100 businesses in the streaming ecosystem. It recently published the first version of the configuration interface specifications. The second version is in development and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Streaming involves content publishers, CDNs and internet service providers (ISPs). Standardized metadata would enable content providers to use a common model and single API to publish CDN configurations to vendors. Without standardization, organizations “must separately model and publish metadata within each CDN vendor’s proprietary API or management portal,” the press release says. This is an inefficient, error-prone and costly process that impacts the end user experience.

“Commercial CDNs and open caching systems have many common requirements when it comes to defining and publishing configuration metadata,” Glenn Goldstein, Lumen’s CDN product strategist and lead editor of the SVA’s Configuration Interface Specifications said in a press release about the Lumen Disney streaming initiative. “We knew we could help the industry leverage those commonalities while still helping every company achieve its own interests. We started by agreeing upon a set of drivers that benefited all industry participants. These included standardizing feature definitions, providing for DevOps-friendly automation, and allowing technology vendors to differentiate.”

Finding the most efficient way to stream video is an especially important topic for rural service providers. Last August, an academic paper entitled “Rural Broadband and the Unrecovered Cost of Streaming Video Entertainment,” said that as much as 94% of rural broadband providers’ network costs relate to streaming video entertainment.

The biggest challenge is in the middle mile because it is not covered by government subsidy programs. A possible solution is a usage-based approach that would shift more of the costs to the entity that generated the content, according to the paper, which was written by Roslyn Layton Ph.D. and Petrus Potgieter.

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