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April 12, 2011

Colocation: Telehouse Partner Demonstrates TV Everywhere Technology at NAB

By Ashok Bindra, TMCnet Contributor

This week at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas, Nevada, cloud optimization services provider Akamai (News - Alert) Technologies, a partner of Telehouse – a pioneer in the development of data centers – and online entertainment services provider Synacor unveiled technology that can easily facilitate new TV Everywhere services. TV Everywhere is a new model being embraced by programmers and system operators as a way to provide paying subscribers with access to their favorite TV programming across multiple devices, said the partners.

Leveraging Akamai's identity services, a common standards-based set of APIs, along with Synacor's authentication and authorization platform, the two companies demonstrated a simplified way to connect programmer content libraries with operator subscribers in the context of TV Everywhere.

Although TV Everywhere-type business models offer a tremendous opportunity to build subscriber loyalty and add value for operators and programmers alike, there are some practical challenges in bringing TV Everywhere to market. One of them is how to quickly implement the entitlement models at the center of these services. Likewise, seamlessly connecting programmers, operators and consumers typically requires individual integrations and can quickly get complex. Equally important is ensuring a consumer experience that minimizes barriers to accessing content, such as confusing and repetitive log-in processes. Akamai and Synacor (News - Alert) have each developed capabilities intended to address these challenges, aimed at providing a standardized way to bridge the gap between the involved parties, as well as enhance the consumer experience. Capabilities contributed by these companies include identity services for TV Everywhere, authentication and authorization of subscriber identity, smart identity provider discovery functionality, single sign on (SSO), viewing continuity and Akamai HD network integration.

While identity services for TV Everywhere provides a single integration point to normalize the authentication and authorization content requests between programmers and operators through a common, standards-based set of APIs, authentication and authorization of subscriber identity supplies consumer and operator specific metadata for business rule decision making. Similarly, smart identity provider discovery functionality is designed to surface only the most relevant consumer options for login, leveraging geo-targeting and common domain footprints. And SSO minimizes disruptions to the viewing experience. With viewing continuity, viewers won't miss a scene when pausing and playing back video across many connected devices. Plus, Akamai HD network integration allows for scalable, high-quality, secure streaming and audience analytics.

In a statement, Troy Snyder, vice president of strategic initiatives at Akamai, said,"We've been seeing the entertainment industry undergo a major digital transformation and with new business models like TV Everywhere, the pace of innovation is growing rapidly. Akamai's cloud based infrastructure has been enabling new digital business models for years, and working with our customers in this transformation is a natural next step." He added, "Akamai is committed to addressing the complete needs of the programmers, operators and consumers as content libraries are expanded, more devices emerge for on-the-go viewing and the value of the content available is enhanced."

Akamai partners with Telehouse, a data center and colocation facilities provider. Last week, AboveNet Inc., a Telehouse partner and leading provider of high bandwidth connectivity solutions, announced that it would provide fiber optic services to TrustComm Inc. to help the company connect with many leading oil and gas companies in Houston, Texas, that link to Africa through TrustComm satellite.

Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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