This week, we have the pleasure to be joined by our DDN customer, Level 3 Communications at the 2014 NAB Show in Las Vegas, Nev., April 5-10. Level 3 is demoing their new Cloud Content Exchange Service, which distributes content on behalf of major content producers.

We caught up with Beth Ard, Director of Product Marketing, Content, Internet, & Security for Level 3 Communications, to ask her about the role of storage in enabling content delivery and about the continued evolution of today’s “always-on” media environment. Read Beth’s comments below and don’t forget to visit Level 3 at NAB as well where they will be demoing the Level 3 Video Cloud Service, which will deliver HTTP packets formatted by Elemental Technologies as a 4K video stream in HEVC.

Be sure to register on our site in order to meet the DDN team, check out our customer and technology demos, and enter a giveaway for an iPad Air while you are there. You can also follow @ddn_limitless and @Level3Now and the #StorageForMedia hashtag on Twitter to join the social conversation throughout the show. See you at NAB!

Leve3 CommunicationsDDN: How do viewers of online video content or traditional broadcast directly benefit from highly scalable, reliable storage enabling the delivery systems supported by Level 3? 

Beth: Today’s film and TV studios manage production and post-production workflows across a distributed team of talent that can span the globe.  Increasingly, these companies are using cloud storage platforms like Level 3’s Cloud Content Exchange Service to share content quickly in order to meet tight timelines for consumer release.  It’s a continuous scramble for studios to get the newly created content that consumers are clamoring for out in the market as quickly as possible.  Cloud platforms add efficiencies to that process.

Highly reliable storage is an integral part of the online video viewing experience.  Level 3’s Media Delivery services alone have 45 Petabytes of active storage including complete video file libraries from some of the world’s largest Internet companies and content producers. Consumers expect a broadcast TV quality experience online and the storage as well as delivery must be highly scalable and reliable to make that happen.

DDN: How have the demands for video changed over the last few years, with the new high-quality, high-definition, always-on requirements?  

Beth: We’ve seen significant advancements in visual quality over the past 5 years due to improvements in display technology.  With the failure in consumer adoption of 3D duly noted, it still feels like there will be a logical movement of consumer interest from HD to 4K aspect ratios.  So at Level 3, we are gearing up for 4k.  In fact, at NAB this year we are demonstrating delivery of HTTP packets formatted by Elemental Technologies as a 4k stream in production using HEVC format.  Obviously the migration to 4k will drive the need for highly reliable and scalable storage front and center.

DDN: How is Level 3’s Content Delivery Network preparing for the next era of video, with multiple screen and a diverse ecosystem of entertainment applications?

Beth: Audiences are driving a world where on demand content is no longer consumed in the living room but anywhere, at any time, on any device.  These devices include gaming consoles, mobile devices, Connected TVs and other “connected” objects such as Google Glass.  Supporting a myriad of devices creates a complex workflow for Content providers.  Our goal is to provide simple to use scalable content storage and delivery to any device.

  • Michael King
  • Michael King
  • Sr. Director Marketing Strategy & Operations
  • Date: April 4, 2014