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NAGRA Blog: IP delivery – putting theory into practice

By Simon Trudelle, Senior Director Product Marketing​

We’re all now familiar with the benefits of IP delivery. 

We also know that, in the post-OTT era, an IP-based service is essential to the next generation of content delivery. 

But – and this is a big but – it’s crucial for operators to marry the flexibility, network and device reach inherent in OTT technology to the TV-grade reliability people expect from their TV services. Basically, it’s time to put all that theory into practice. 

Now, operators can either leverage legacy infrastructure by converting their networks and head-ends to support IP delivery, or they can build new dedicated infrastructure – much like what we’ve seen with Sling TV and DirecTV Now.

However, with likely budget restraints in mind, legacy systems may have to evolve over time.

And how this plays out depends on the type of operator. For example, telcos would benefit from rapidly cutting over to a more unified solution as operating two systems alongside each other for too long can actually prohibit network optimisation. But in a DTH setting, the satellite distribution will continue to coexist with the OTT system, but the latter component can immediately benefit from a more streamlined approach addressing both STBs and open devices.

But with a versatile UEX and security platforms that can handle both broadcast and IP-centric requirements, it is possible for operators to kill two birds with one stone and provide a seamless transition with economies of scale. This will be critical for the smaller operators with tighter budgets and fewer resources in particular.  

Of course, IP migration isn’t just a technical issue. In sheer practical terms, a project of this nature requires extra resources, on top of existing project and operations staff, to do some of the heavy lifting. Projects of such as these entail extra resources on the ground.

The message here is that this kind of investment shouldn’t be underestimated. A good example of an organisation taking the practical steps to IP delivery is Singapore-based StarHub. It partnered with NAGRA to migrate its TV head-end to IP in a new centre, migrating several TV systems to IP and virtualizing part of its back-end delivery infrastructure in the process.

Ultimately, managing the transition to IP requires two things: an in-depth understanding of the technologies and products involved, and management expertise in delivering mission-critical projects – all while optimising value, cost and time-to-market.

Whether it’s a gradual evolution or closer to an overnight revolution, putting the theory of IP delivery into practice takes careful consideration on the part of the operator.

Contact us to know more about the services we can offer to help you smartly transition from broadcast to IP!