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Three Reasons 2012 Should Be a Good Year for Cable VOD

Author: Bob Scheffler, Director, Next-Generation Video Solutions

With all of the TV Everywhere buzz, it’s easy to let growing levels of cable VOD services slip under the radar. That’s a mistake. Here are three reasons why video-on-demand should have a banner year in 2012.

Narrowcast QAMs are getting cheaper and easier to deploy.

New high-density edge QAMs mean cable operators can implement additional narrowcast video QAMs more cost effectively and in greater quantities than ever before. At the same time, the cost of video QAMs used for VOD and other edge QAM-based services is falling rapidly.  Video QAMs have dropped below the $100-per-downstream level, making it less CAPEX-intensive (from a QAM perspective) to add more VOD channels, and, for the time being, more cost effective than adding Internet capacity to support TV Everywhere services.

Canoe has big plans for VOD ad insertion this year.

According to Vice President Bruce Dilger, two to three cable operators are planning to deploy Canoe’s new platform for dynamic VOD ad insertion this year. Instead of waiting days or weeks to swap out a VOD ad, these operators will be able to switch up content within a 24-hour window, and they’ll be able to target specific audiences based on viewer demographics rather than just geography. The new ad platform means new revenue, and new revenue means more cable VOD growth.

VOD comes in HD.

While TV Everywhere services are multiplying, there is still no guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS) for HD content delivery. Online video is still a best-effort proposition and in some cases it faces downstream constraints found in lower throughput legacy broadband networks.  On the other hand, because VOD is delivered over a managed network, cable operators can ensure the quality of HD content comes through to the intended audience. For the many viewers who want to take advantage of their HD flat-screen TVs, cable VOD will continue to have a leg up over online or over-the-top video for some time to come.

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