You may have noticed that some networks are offering their own apps to access content on their network. Some worry about this trend as it can create a sea of individual apps that are difficult to navigate for consumers. At CCW, we learned more about the back-end of some of these apps – in particular the Delta engine from Elemental Technologies that powers the CNNgo app.
Delta was introduced at IBC 2014 and is similar to a service called WOWZA. Both of these are cloud-based platforms that store and serve the content for these “go” services. CNN creates the user interface and the logic for how the content is bundled and presented, but the back-end is a Delta platform to serve up the content.
These apps are attractive to CNN and others as they offer a new way to monetize content by delivering it in a different format to their web site and offering new advertising options and revenue.
CNNgo is only available to in web browsers to pay-TV subscribers in about 86 million households, but it may come to set top boxes next year as well. Interestingly, with CNNgo 346 spend more time with CNN shows. For example, on CNN’s television channel, the average time spent is 47 minutes per day, while on CNNgo, it is 104 minutes.
CNNgo is a blending of live feed and on-demand video. CNN curates this content offering a series of related videos to allow users to easily gather more details. The content is only CNN content, however.
The Delta back-end is quite flexible in its ability to support this application. For example, live video feeds are encoded and delivered from the platform with CNN simply inserting a url for the video within the player in the app. What’s nice about this is that once the live feed is done, the same url now acts as a video on demand link.
Advertising can be scheduled and dynamically inserted. Lexus and Canon are major sponsors for this advertising currently.
A complement to existing content delivery network (CDN) topologies, Elemental Delta is based on Elemental’s software-defined video approach that allows video providers to run software across a combination of dedicated and virtualized resources in private and public data centers. Together, Elemental Delta and software-defined infrastructure enable integration of live-to-VOD services into existing broadcast workflows, from live broadcast capture to video encoding at the network edge.
The platform includes the ability to deliver content in several streaming formats including HDS, HLS, Smooth Streaming and the MPEG-DASH standard for on-demand, live and time-shift applications and services. Supported codecs include H.264 as well as the new high-efficiency video coding (HEVC/H.265) codec needed for next-generation video delivery. To secure content, the platform combines embedded encryption and decryption capabilities with JIT DRM wrapping, enables protected assets to be stored and moved efficiently through the network and applies DRM in real time upon delivery. Finally, Elemental Delta has built-in fail-over and redundancy, whether on the ground or in the cloud.
“Elemental Delta enables video providers to leverage a single multiscreen delivery workflow for every connected device, eliminating the management of multiple CDNs and network topologies”, said Aslam Khader, chief product officer for Elemental.
Elemental Delta is available as a cloud service, VM subscription, or appliance. – Chris Chinnock