San Jose, California – (The Hosting News) – November 9, 2007 – Colocation, VoIP, and Internet backbone company, Level 3 Communications’ Content Markets Group, has collaborated with Move Networks, to provide HD Streaming, to enable distribution and integration into Level 3’s content delivery infrastructure.
Additionally, the two companies have agreed to a comprehensive collaboration on further development of technology and intellectual property with the aim of further increasing the quality and cost effectiveness of streaming video over the Internet.
Brady Rafuse, President of Level 3’s Content Markets Group remarked, ”The Internet is emerging as a superior platform for distributing video and other large file content. The Level 3 network was conceived and built for the inflection point we’re seeing in the market today, the definitive move toward delivery of high-definition, high-quality video via the Internet. With one of the largest, most advanced networks in the world, we believe Level 3 is uniquely positioned to enable our customers to make the shift to mass distribution of their digital assets over the Internet.”
John Edwards, Chief Executive Officer of Move Networks offered, ”We are thrilled to be working with an industry leader like Level 3 to deliver Move Media Services. Move Network Services build audiences and bind consumers to broadcasters and advertisers like never before. We were attracted to the Level 3 streaming platform because of its cost advantages and ability to continually scale to meet the growing demands that increased adoption of HD streaming places on networks. ”
Level 3’s Vyvx broadcast services introduced HD transport in 2004 to help usher in the HD television age. Today more than 60 percent of all television programs that Level 3 transports across its network are HD. Level 3 maintains the largest HD fiber network in the United States, with direct HD connectivity to more than 100 professional sporting and multi-purpose venues in the U.S. Level 3 is now leveraging its HD expertise to help usher in the HD video age to the Internet.
Level 3’s HD broadcast backhaul services are an important element of the NHL’s delivery of live events, and we are pleased to see Level 3 has added streaming to its portfolio of content delivery services, said Grant Nodine, vice president technology for the National Hockey League. The delivery of HD streaming services is a natural extension for Level 3 and will enable rights holders to meet demand for high quality, online distribution of live and on-demand video.
Mr. Rafuse continued, ”Level 3 believes that Move’s service is a significant technology enhancement – a true step forward – in the delivery of HD content over the Internet. We are now working to deeply integrate the technology into our streaming solutions and working closely with Move to further advance this technology.”
Whereas some of its competitors mimic streaming with an HD download solution, Level 3 will be offering true streaming in HD. Level 3’s caching service is already more than capable of enabling high quality downloads of large files. Streaming enables users to click and start watching immediately without the delay associated with a download. Level 3’s solution will be a remedy to the well-known problems associated with streaming at high bit rates over TCP networks. A video stream carried over a long distance will nearly always get interrupted, and greater distances directly correlate to increased interruptions. Move’s technology simply opens up multiple simultaneous streams, precluding the need for distributing servers to thousands of locations and eliminates user perception of interruption.
Additionally, Level 3’s Move-enabled streams will dynamically adapt to changing network and end- user computer conditions. If bandwidth availability is constrained for any reason, or if computing power is limited, the Level 3 stream will reduce its bit rate automatically, without buffering.
Mr. Rafuse noted, ”It is a graceful transition – up and down – that most users will not even notice. With the Move Media Player, customers know in advance that the viewers of their content will always be able to watch the video stream on whatever computer they happen to be using.”
The technology is hoped to enable Level 3 to optimize for a more centralized and cost-effective content delivery platform. Level 3’s HD streaming solution will use all of the company’s deployed CDN capacity and reduce the need to dedicate numerous CDN servers for proprietary streaming software, which inevitably reduces the amount of capacity available to each streaming technology. Utilizing Move’s technology, Level 3 will be able to provide a very large amount of capacity, immediately, for its customers who may have very large audiences.
Mr. Rafuse added, ”Level 3’s HD solutions have no limits on file sizes or bit rates, and we will not penalize for bursting traffic. It is our intention to bring all of the advantages of our ability to scale our network to our customers. We believe that the common assertion that HD is not yet ready for primetime, because it consumes a lot more bandwidth and therefore costs more to provide is patently false. While it is certainly true that significantly more bits are required for HD streaming, we have found that that the higher bit rates, and subsequently higher viewing quality, encourage people to watch longer. Clearly, longer session times increase potential advertising revenue when compared to lower-quality streaming solutions. We believe that this raises the potential for our customers to actually make more money from HD than at the lower bit rates.”
Level 3’s comprehensive content delivery portfolio provides a full suite of services to its customers. From the acquisition of HD programming and live events on its Vyvx Broadcast Services platform, to the streaming of that content in HD to display screens around the world, Level 3 can provide solutions for every element in the HD supply chain. From camera to display, Level 3 enables its customers to distribute and monetize their digital assets. Major television networks, top advertising agencies, 8 of the top 10 most visited Web sites, top movie studios, and many of the biggest social networking sites all trust Level 3 with their business. Level 3 expects to offer its HD streaming service that is integrated with the Move Media Services in the first quarter of 2008.
Level 3 Communications, Inc., an international communications company, operates one of the largest Internet backbones in the world. Through its customers, Level 3 is the primary provider of Internet connectivity for millions of broadband subscribers. The company provides a comprehensive suite of services over its broadband fiber optic network including Internet Protocol (IP) services, broadband transport and infrastructure services, colocation services, voice services and voice over IP services. The services are designed to provide building blocks that enable Level 3’s customers to meet growing demands for advanced communications solutions.The principal components offered by Level 3’s (3)VoIP Enhanced Local service include network trunking, local telephone numbers, local number portability, the safety of E-911, operator assistance, caller ID, directory listings, and directory assistance. The service is designed to allow Level 3 customers to retain the flexibility to manage and control end-user features without the difficulties of implementing complex interconnection arrangements.
For more information about Level 3, please visit: www.level3.com.