Click through for photos of Comcast Spotlight bringing the Stanley Cup to Chicago clients, Starz's first Investor Day and more events for the week of Dec. 2.
Reviewing the NCTA's Technical Papers
No shortage of deep-dive in this year’s collection of technical papers, organized by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, with contributions from CableLabs and the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers.
The two I went so far as to print out to read on the plane: “Considerations When Delivering Cable TV to IP Connected Consumer Electronics,” by Comcast engineering fellow Mark Francisco; and “Evaluating Best-of-Class Web Service APIs for Today’s Multiplatform Video Management Solutions,” by thePlatform’s Alan Ramaley, CTO, and Nick Rossi, VP of engineering.
The latter caught my eye because of that term - “Web service” - which tends to pop up at every intersection of old and new; now and next. Usually the words “you just” are nearby, just to make sure you’re feeling stupid: “You just do it as a Web-service interface.” (Duh!)
If you’ve been feeling the need to take a deep soak in the language of web services, or if you’ve wondered about how application program interfaces (APIs) work, this one’s for you. Example terminology: SOAP, and why it’s a “heavy protocol” to work with; the verbs of REST. (Verbs! Writers love verbs! There’s hope!)
Francisco’s paper details the technical options associated with transforming TV into an app, from a service. If you’ve ever wondered about the similarities and differences between HTTP live streaming, DLNA, Flash streaming, MPEG-DASH, and Microsoft Smooth Streaming, read it.
Other notables: “Adapting Adaptive Streaming to Cable Access,” by Comcast’s Xiaomei Liu, because of the byline (Liu is one of Comcast’s first engineering fellows, and a lauded Big Thinker); “Will HTTP Adaptive Streaming Become the Dominant Mode of Video Delivery in Cable Networks,” by Ericsson’s Michael Adams, because it’s a perfectly phrased question for these times; and “Approaches to Integrating CDN Technologies into Classical Cable VOD Platforms,” by Time Warner Cable’s Chuck Hasek and Verivue’s Santosh Krishnan, because content-delivery networks (CDNs) are also a big part of the new vogue in cable’s engine-room discussions.
For this year’s nod for the geekiest paper title - notably, either this year’s batch is more approachable, or we’re getting geekier, because nothing popped out as shamelessly geek - we’ll go with “Evolving Optical Transport Networks to 100G Lambdas and Beyond,” by optics veteran Gaylord Hart of Infinera and HBO’s stalwart technologist Craig Cuttner.
You can buy the whole set for $50, a price that hasn’t changed in a very long time. I highly recommend the CD-ROM (no printed book this year), but only if you’re into immersion learning.
Stumped by gibberish? Visit Leslie Ellis at translation-please.com or multichannel.com/blog