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2017
mmilligan

Video Takes on Vegas

Posted by mmilligan Apr 24, 2017

Yes, it’s that time of year again.  For those of us immersed in the video industry, April is when we get a preview from broadcast and media equipment vendors of their new wares at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.  For manufacturers, it’s a mad scramble to make sure new products are working (or least make it look like they work so they can be demonstrated).  For attendees, there is a lot of walking around the Las Vegas Convention Center during the day (and pursuing other Vegas offerings at night).  NAB has become the one-stop shop for learning about the latest technologies and trends in the video industry and deciding how to spend your capital budget during the rest of the year.

 

ANALOG ORIGINS

My first trip to the NAB Show was in 1990 in Atlanta, back before it found its permanent home in Las Vegas.  The industry was on the cusp of moving from pure analog technology to starting to implement digital solutions.  Companies such as AMPEX (remember them?) had huge booths filled with eager buyers.  I worked for a small startup at the time that was pioneering digital video editing.  I was envious of the big companies like AMPEX with their flashy hardware solutions.  That envy didn’t last long.

 

 

THE FIRST DIGITAL WAVE

After that, the first wave of “digital solutions” came along.  Companies like Abekas had huge booths filled with amazing digital solutions that seemed to mimic what the hardware vendors did, but offered greater flexibility and creativity.  In effect, they were doing what had already been done, but with digital technology.  The technology was interesting, but not necessarily compelling.

 

LOCAL WORKFLOWS

It wasn’t until vendors started delivering solutions that fundamentally changed the content creation and production process that digital technology finally took hold.  The breakthrough came with the ability to store media in digital form, allowing multiple people in the same facility to easily collaborate during the content creation process.  Multiple editors could seamlessly work together on the same television show or feature film.  Journalists had quick access to any media at the station, making it easier and faster to update news stories as they developed.  Suddenly, everyone in your facility could easily be involved in the content creation process.  This changed how people worked.

 

REMOTE COLLABORATION

The next wave extended those siloed workflows to include people in remote locations.  Fortunately, networking technology and the internet were getting faster.  Users were able to transfer or FTP media to someone in a remote location.   A collaborator in a remote location could access proxies and low-resolution versions of media stored in a different location.  Journalists in the field were able to view media at the station.  It was finally realistic to purchase enough bandwidth for media to be shared across long-distances.  The geographic barriers that hampered collaboration fell.

 

MOVING TO THE CLOUD

The next big disruption is underway.  “The Cloud” is fundamentally changing how and where content is created.  We have the ability for people to access media from anywhere, so why do we still need to build big centralized production centers?  Why can’t the media and the media production services be virtualized or live in the cloud?  The technology to fully virtualize the content creation process is here, although it may not all fit together as easily as we would have hoped (as the rollout of SMPTE 2022 and SMPTE 2110 have shown).  However, it’s easy to see the demise of large centralized content production facilities is not that far away.

 

OTT TAKES HOLD

So, what’s next?  Just as the content creation process has moved to a virtualized IP infrastructure, the content distribution process is also moving “over the top”.  It is easier than ever for viewers to find content that appeals to them and stream it on demand.  No longer do you need to wait for something to be “broadcast” to enjoy it.  It is always available 24/7.  Even live events are increasingly streamed online.  Most major sporting events are now available anywhere on the device of your choice. 

 

The final barrier to full adoption of online streaming is available bandwidth to ensure a “broadcast-quality” viewing experience.  With the speed of consumer broadband and mobile connections increasing, consumers are beginning to enjoy even 4K streaming media at home.  However, the core “Internet” doesn’t yet have enough bandwidth to support a major event like the Super Bowl where you might have more than 100 million Americans simultaneously streaming high-resolution video.  That day is still a little way away.  However, there are solutions available today to guarantee a great online viewing experience. 

 

 

PUTTING VIEWER EXPERIENCE FIRST

Limelight Networks helps content distributors deliver the best online viewing experiences.  The Limelight Orchestrate Platform includes a natively integrated online video platform, storage and security.  With a QoS-enabled network of over 80 Points-of-Presence (PoPs) and 21+ terabits per-second of egress capacity directly interconnected with major ISPs and last-mile networks, the Limelight Orchestrate Platform has the speed, capacity, and availability to support the largest global events, wherever your viewers are located.  Limelight delivers the world’s largest events.

 

At NAB 2017, Limelight has been meeting with companies to talk about how to best deliver the next great video experience.  If you are at the show, please stop by booth SU10714 to talk to our video technology experts.  Because at Limelight, we are dedicated to enabling you to create the world’s best content experiences anywhere.

We are days away from the annual National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference, one of the largest events dedicated to all things broadcasting. Being a Las Vegas show, the metrics are huge – 103,000 attendees from 150+ countries, 1,700 press, 1,500 exhibitors, 1 million square feet of exhibit space, and 700 educational sessions according to the show program guide.

                          

This is all a bit overwhelming from an attendee perspective, so I’ve scoped out the trends to watch will be, reviewed session descriptions to select which to attend, and looked at the exhibitor list and demo pavilions to plan my show floor activity. Keeping in mind my keen interested on online video experiences and my product marketing focus on Limelight’s video services, here are the areas I find of particular interest  at NAB this year:

 

Aerial Robotics and Drone Pavilion

Camera-carrying drones are in common usage for so many industries, delivering content from on high. The pavilion will have dynamic exhibitor demonstrations built to give an up-close look at the latest technology in action, and how broadcasters can best deploy aerial cameras to enhance the viewing options for their audience.

 

                           

                         

Cyber Security and Content Protection Pavilion

This pavilion will feature the leading companies securing digital assets today, and working to counter the increasingly more sophisticated cyber threats in the future. The broad range of video distribution technologies means more opportunities for theft of valuable content. 4K and HDR video will be prime targets for pirating, as this is premium content that subscribers pay more for, and will justify higher ad monetization fees.

 

Virtual and Augmented Reality Pavilion

The AR VR Pavilion will feature companies changing the way information is consumed. The latest AR and VR software and equipment will be available for demo and hands on experience. I expect big improvements in VR displays over what I experienced with last year’s underwhelming demos.

 

4K and HDR TV

4K broadcasting is gaining traction with sporting events, and some OTT services are making movie content available in 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR). The progress in HDR standards, as the multiple incompatible HDR schemes will slow market adoption of this game changing technology will be interesting.  Besides checking out the latest TVs, new developments in 4K broadcasting infrastructure – cameras, production equipment, network services, etc. will be center stage.

 

               

 

NAB Futures Park

This showcase features demonstrations of media developments in progress and products not yet available to the market from academic and commercial research labs in the US and around the world.

 

SPROCKIT and StartUp Loft                                                

Market-ready startups beginning to form partnerships are showcased In SPROCKIT, and the StartUp Loft  gathers newly created companies in the broadcast industry. Attendees can get a first look at their product and service offerings.

 

Limelight at the Show

We will be talking about new enhancements to video delivery services including:

  • DRM support for content protection
  • Low latency chunked streaming for live events
  • Live to VOD recording for subsequent use as VOD content
  • Live streaming from mobile devices directly to Limelight live streaming delivery

All these enhancements ensure the delivery of consistent high-quality digital experiences. Visit us to talk about these new video capabilities and our full video delivery solutions at the NAB show in the South Hall Upper booth #SU10714.

 

More to come

During NAB I will be blogging from the exhibit hall about significant findings and really cool demonstrations. After the show, I will blog a summary of impressions of the standout technologies and new trends on the horizon.   Stay tuned!

Webinar: 7 Qualities that are Revolutionizing CDN Origin Storage

 

Find out what CDN origin storage is, why you should care about it, and how it can save your business money and resources.

 

North America: May 9 at 2 PM EST. 

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EMEA: May 18 at 9 AM EST.

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Hacking, debilitating DDoS attacks and data theft continue to escalate in frequency and scope.  In a blog on April 14, I discussed the challenges of ensuring websites and associated origins are protected from cyber threats. Today, I’m excited to reveal new online security capabilities and existing services to solve these challenges.

 

Solutions for Scalable Protection

Today Limelight introduced two new additions to our Cloud Security Services that enhance protection against attacks on websites and unauthorized access or theft of data. Deployed together with existing security services, the new enhancements provide a scalable approach to protecting web servers and applications:

 

  •      Limelight Security Alert provides active DDoS attack detection and alerting of malicious activity against websites and application domains. Customers’ content delivery services are configured to minimize the surface of attack exposed to the Internet and to ensure the defensive protection of Limelight’s network is deployed effectively. This service is available for free to Limelight Premier and Enterprise customers.

 

  •      Limelight WAF Express includes the Security Alert capabilities as well as simple-to-implement, efficient, effective, and affordable web application security for organizations that may not have implemented security measures due to cost. It offers protection from web application attacks using OWASP 10 Rules, rate limiting, and access control. WAF Express customers can upgrade to fully featured WAF protection which includes all Security Alert and WAF Express capabilities, and adds custom WAF filter rules, activity dashboards, and 24/7 Operations Center monitoring.

 

The above new services complement Limelight’s platform security measures and DDoS Attack Interceptor available to our CDN users:

  • Defensive Protection—Passive attack mitigation via our massive CDN 
  • SSL / HTTPS Delivery—Deliver digital assets securely via the largest SSL global footprint
  •       Geo Fencing—Control access based on geolocation
  •       MediaVault—Tokenization-based video streaming access control
  •       CORS Management—Allow multiple content sources while restricting sharing to designated origin
  •       IP Whitelisting and Blacklisting—Control access based on IP addresses
  •       DDoS Attack Interceptor—Detect and mitigate attacks against websites

 

To Learn More

Want to learn more about how Limelight’s Cloud Security Services can protect your business?  Defense details are available here.

One of the biggest challenges facing organizations today is ensuring websites and associated origins are protected from cyberattacks.  The frequency and sophistication of attacks are increasing as well as the duration. Yet many organizations do not have the security protections in place to defend themselves. Typically this is due to budget constraints or the perception that they haven’t been impacted by attacks. In this blog, top challenges will be identified, to be followed early next week with the unveiling of new security solutions that solve these challenges.

 

Top Challenges

There are numerous challenges to keep E-commerce sites available for business and secure from cyber threats such as theft of consumer data:

  •      DDoS Attacks – These are the biggest threats against web server infrastructure. Over 50% of organizations experienced an attack in the past year according to the Bluecoat cyber threat defense report. The top verticals that come under attack are financial institutions and online retailing. The availability of hacking tools such as the Marai botnet, which is in the public domain and comes with a database of compromised IoT devices, makes launching an attack too easy.     Web Application Attacks – The goal of web app attacks is not to make websites unavailable, but to breach security measures and gain access to consumer data such as credit card data. Another motive is to compromise web apps and demand ransom money to unlock the apps.
  •      Theft of Content – Unauthorized access to licensed content or intellectual property can result in theft of VOD files and violations of content licensing agreements.
  •       Performance – Many security measures can negatively impact the performance of user’s interactions with web applications. Sacrificing performance for security is not an acceptable strategy.
  •      Site Access – Controlling access to your website is a key defensive measure – but how do you keep bad actors out, while welcoming authorized guests?

 

Stay Tuned

Early next week I will reveal exciting new security capabilities that address all these challenges. Don’t miss it! See you back here shortly.