Peek Behind the Scenes at Comcast’s Transition to IP VOD
Comcast has been betting big on Video on Demand over the last few years as the company has pulled its services together under the Xfinity brand. As the largest cable provider in the U.S., Comcast has certainly generated its fair share of detractors for its business practices and content and service offerings, but whatever your feelings about the company, the company has some truly interesting projects and technologies going on behind the scenes. It’s not often that we get to hear a whole lot about how a company like Comcast makes a major technology transition such as moving from a traditional VOD system to an IP-based VOD system.
The Comcast CDN, which the company has been building out over the last several years, is being leveraged as a way to more efficiently and flexibly roll out new services and ramp up the amount of content that it can serve to subscribers. The buildout was started as part ofComcast’s Project Infinity, which was announced way back in 2008. Since then, Comcast has not only made good on promising to add a massive number of new titles to its VOD offering, but by creating a simplified, IP-based architecture for delivery.
There was a time when the concept of IPTV seemed like a golden dream in the distant future, and I do not expect that it’s full idealized promise will ever truly be realized, but as more content delivery companies and industries transition to IP-based infrastructures we are going to continue to see innovative new services introduced to the market. Coming as it has in the midst of so many other new services, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that Xfinity on Demand being available to Comcast subscribers on a variety of different devices and offering so many content choices would have been remarkable a few years ago and unthinkable when cable television was in its infancy.