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The Technologies Behind Streaming Platforms Like Netflix and Disney+

Regardless of the service you use, everyone needs to deliver extremely high-speed video content and responsiveness.

Disney launched in the United States its new video streaming service, Disney +. The platform brings some impressive features, such as advanced digital technologies, including the transmission of content in 4K resolution, HDR (High Dynamic Range) image and Dolby Atmos sound, plus the possibility of up to four simultaneous streams.

With all this, fans are already preparing to marathon for hours, watching action movies from the Marvel or Star Wars universe. Just remember that, to provide all this entertainment time, a league of IT superheroes works tirelessly behind the scenes.

Quality Viewing Experience

Regardless of the digital media provider OTT (over-the-top) you use, whether Netflix, Amazon Prime Video , or Disney +, everyone needs to deliver video content with extremely high speeds and responsiveness to gain loyalty viewers.

According to a Cisco study published earlier this year, by 2022 video traffic will account for 82% of all consumer and business IP traffic globally. The crucial role that digital infrastructure plays in broadcasting entertainment is often overlooked.

The way they are designed, developed and operated directly influences the ability of digital media providers to provide a quality viewing experience in four main dimensions:

  • Bandwidth, because viewers want varied, high-resolution video streaming;
  • Consistency, because the transfer rate of the public internet can be unpredictable;
  • Latency, which influences the time between the viewer pressing the “play” and starting to watch the video;
  • Cost, which is a relationship between the amount of bandwidth used and the distance traveled by the content on the network.
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To overcome these challenges and offer streaming video without interruption, content and digital media (CDM) providers need to deeply analyze the digital infrastructure that provides video streams.

This digital infrastructure encompasses a set of interconnected telecom operators that, in turn, are integrated using fiber optic cables, network routers and switches, traffic exchange points and physical buildings, such as the colocation facilities that house the equipment.

From the perspective of the CDM provider, there are basically two main approaches to optimizing the digital infrastructure to provide the best customer experience: creating your own structure or using an existing infrastructure by outsourcing to a content distribution network (CDN).

Private CDN

Several content providers are so large that it makes sense to build their own private content distribution networks, such as Akamai, Amazon CloudFront and Google Cloud CDN. Netflix’s Open Connect is one of the most well-known internally created CDNs. Through it, operators connect directly to Netflix’s CDN to regionalize traffic, which helps solve bandwidth, consistency, latency and cost issues.

To connect to Open Connect, operators use the so-called “peering”, which takes care of the technical and contractual aspects of the Interconnection between two partner operators. Peering takes place at traffic exchange points around the world. When a CDN provider creates its own CDN, or uses that of a third-party CDN provider, it is trying to solve the same set of problems mentioned here.

They can better solve such problems if they are present in an IT infrastructure, data centers and globally distributed Interconnection that offers direct access to a variety of telecom operators, cloud providers and Internet providers.

Behind the content distribution network are the digital and industrial ecosystems that make up the digital media supply chain. It is essential to have a global interconnection and colocation platform that meets the needs for bandwidth, consistency and low latency video streaming.