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AT&T Tests Streaming System for VOD

26 Mar, 2002 By: Hive News

AT&T is launching trials of new streaming capabilities for its Internet-based content delivery network and has opened a new Media Network Operations Center that provides enhanced monitoring and management services for distribution of broadcast video and rich media content over AT&T's Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) network.

AT&T hopes the new Web-based services will make it attractive to media and entertainment companies working on pay-per-view and subscription-based Web services.

The new Internet-based capabilities will use AT&T's Intelligent Content Distribution Service and broadcast-capable Internet Protocol (IP) backbone to deliver new streaming capabilities.

"AT&T has been there every step of the way as the network needs of broadcasters has evolved from simple transmission to today's advanced network monitoring and management," said Robin Young, SVP, AT&T Business Managed Services. "These new capabilities will help the media industry transform itself as the growth of the Internet compels entertainment companies to reevaluate their network capabilities and their content distribution models."

The new services are a bid to lure media and broadcast companies with hosting services, high-speed networks and bandwidth to transmit, cache and store digital, multimedia content for distribution.

Impending FCC regulation requiring media companies to convert their broadcast signaling from analog to digital is leading media giants to rethink their delivery options and buy the capabilities that AT&T's network supports, Young said.

The company is conducting a trial of a capability to let content owners repurpose and enhance their content and offer it through the Internet on a pay-per-view basis with two viewing options.

One example would be a live event like a concert or sports contest scheduled for a specific time and date that Internet users could register and pay for in advance and then view at the scheduled air time.

Pay-per-view subscribers could watch a Webcast or the selected content at their convenience, rather than relying on predetermined broadcast schedules. AT&T would host the audio/video content, provide the means for end users to pay, find and access the video content the customer purchased and track customer usage, while providing security against unauthorized access to the content.

The concept of "centralcasting" is behind AT&T's Media NOC. The AT&T Media NOC provides real-time, end-to-end proactive network monitoring and management of broadcast video and rich media content over AT&T's ATM network. Taking advantage of AT&T's local network presence and capabilities, the facility monitors a broadcast signal from the moment it leaves a content owner's premises, travels through encoding at the AT&T Local Network Services loop, is sent through the AT&T ATM network and is decoded on the recipient's end.

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