Software-Based HTTP-to-UDP Gateway

To accommodate shifting video consumption patterns, video service providers have been building out next-generation networks to stream video programming and commercials to Internet-connected devices, including smartphones, tablets, PCs, and connected TVs.

With advancements in OTT delivery technology and improved IP networks, it is now possible to provide cost-effective, flexible, and forward-looking architectures for both contribution and primary distribution of linear broadcast video channels.

Imagine’s Video Delivery Edge (VDE), an HTTP-to-UDP gateway, was developed by Imagine Communications to help video service providers reduce the cost and complexity of their networks by seamlessly bridging next-generation and legacy video delivery infrastructures. The VDE is designed to enable cable operators and programmers to improve the efficiency, performance, and revenue-generating potential of video delivery and ad insertion infrastructures, at the same time paving the way for the transition of operations to a fully virtualized environment based on generic computing and networking resources. By leveraging manifest manipulation, programmers are able to enhance revenue by regionalizing ads and competing in local markets, and maintain compatibility with their secondary distribution to STBs and smart TVs.

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Composite of screens showing different visuals

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  • Enables service providers to focus new investments on next-generation infrastructure while leveraging existing investments in QAM-based subscriber devices
  • Provides a path to deployment of next-generation ad insertion infrastructure, allowing the use of manifest-based ad insertion instead of legacy MPEG-2/4 ad splicing hardware
  • Enables the retirement of expensive-to-maintain hardware-dependent ad insertion and video delivery equipment
  • Accelerates the consolidation of multiple infrastructures into a single, HTTP-based service delivery network, eliminating the cost and operational burden of maintaining separate networks
  • Sharpens ad-targeting capabilities and provides operators with the flexibility to quickly modify, change and move ads and channel line-ups
  • Serves as a catalyst for the migration to an IP-based, data-center environment based on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment
  • Introduces new levels of agility that elevate the subscriber experience by improving video quality and delivering a more personalized video service
  • Increases resiliency and efficiency of the network through migration to HTTP-based infrastructure
  • Converts HTTP-based content to MPEG-2 TS UDP
  • Supports both MPEG-2 and MP4 video
  • Supports decryption of AES-128 encryption as well as 3rd party DRM solutions
  • Leverages investments in next-generation video delivery and ad insertion infrastructure
  • Software-based and compatible with COTS platforms
  • Compatible with SCTE-130 HTTP-based ad-insertion systems
  • Supports both centralized and distributed deployment models

VDE Product Diagram

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Thinking Outside the Set Top Box: Ad Tech Reimagined

Smitten with the freedom of OTT and the increasing ability to essentially be their own programmers, viewers are cutting the cord on traditional TV services. This has emerged as an opportunity. Because not only do national advertisers want to reach people on OTT platforms, they’re willing to pay higher rates to do so. According to a recent market forecast by Magna, IP-delivered OTT advertising campaigns will reach just over $2 billion in 2018—a 40% jump—while growth for traditional TV ad sales remains flat nationwide. These trends are not surprising given the power of addressable, targeted advertising, which IP-based streaming platforms were born to do well. It’s a dream come true for advertisers that want to target viewers who are more likely to have an interest in their products and services.

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Dynamic Ads Invigorate Cable Ad Sales Prospects

As we covered in the previous two blogs of this series, national advertisers are gravitating to addressable, targeted Over-the-Top (OTT) ad campaigns to zero in on viewers whose interests, demographics, or behaviors align closely with the products or services they’re promoting. Statistics published in the 2018 PWC Media and Entertainment Outlook showed OTT advertising has been steadily growing—from 2.61 billion in 2013 and 4.87 billion in 2018 to a projected 5.98 billion by 2022—largely driven by the platform’s innate ability to target desired viewers.  

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Switching Tracks: Ad-Tech Helping a Content Industry in Flux to Find a New Path Forward

The shift in consumer viewing habits is driving major advertisers to redirect ad dollars toward OTT-based streaming services. A new study from Advertiser Perceptions reports that 51% Of advertisers intend to increase spending on video – up 10% from a year ago. Digital video will be a major part of this. 

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