Content Delivery Management
Content delivery is the essence of Internet traffic. It can also be the bane of Internet users, due to the Web's legendary traffic jams.
International Datacasting Corp.'s new Datacast XD software keeps content moving smoothly. Datacast XD contains 'modules' that manage, multicast/transmit, and receive data files over an IP network. For instance, XD Schedule Manager allows users to multicast files based on a 24/7 schedule, a continuous "carousel" (repeating the same list of files over and over), or as needed/ad hoc. XD Stream Manager handles on-the-fly encryption of audio and video streams, while XD Playlist Manager creates accessible file menus of data, Web and streamed media files; all of which can be delivered and controlled from retail-based kiosks, among other sites. National Public Radio (NPR) is using Datacast XD to distribute programming to its 770 member stations via satellite. NPR is currently testing IDC Superflex satellite receivers and Datacast XD in its headend test lab.
In a different vein, BTBS content management solution helps audio/video producers digitize, catalog and stream their products across the Internet, so they can sell access on a per-program or per-channel basis to subscribers. "This development validates recent research on trends in entertainment and communications," says Mark Smith, BTBS' managing director. "People don't just sit in front of the TV anymore--they want their entertainment wherever they are, and they want to interact and feel involved in the experience. Content owners realized that this social shift will bring new commercial models worth more than the old models--but only if the underpinning technology makes them simple and cost- effective to manage."
More Apps Are Needed
Clearly, the global satellite industry has recognized the opportunities inherent in the current Internet data expansion, and is doing its best to exploit them. More breakthroughs will be required, however, if satellites are to compete effectively with bargain-priced fiber optic networks. The key to success lies in minimizing the problems of satellite transmission--limited bandwidth and signal latency--while promoting satellite's ability to deliver data to an entire world with just one broadcast. Fortunately, many satellite companies have already grasped this truth and are creating products accordingly.
As Via Satellite's senior contributing editor, James Careless has covered all aspects of the global satellite industry for years.