"Traditionally, video infrastructure components have been disjointed and independent from each other, making for an inflexible platform," wrote Eric Abbruzzese, research analyst at ABI. "Virtualizing video delivery components and unifying them will solve this inflexibility and make supporting newer and popular IP video services alongside traditional TV services easier."
Those that already offer virtualized products, including Cisco, Elemental, Envivio and others, will have an early market advantage. Cisco, with their V2P system, and Elemental, now part of Amazon Web Services, are leaders in the space, ABI says.
Implementing virtualized and unified solutions could reduce total cost of ownership by 30% through reduced capex and opex. More leniencies in initial purchase or licensing limits the possibility of over- or under-buying required hardware, and the virtualized nature of the hardware means that more can be added or removed quickly, depending on demands. Easier integration of new services, such as cloud DVR, will also benefit those looking to expand their current offerings. The differing demands between broadcast video and unicast-focused video can be supported more easily with a unified and virtualized infrastructure.
"As the industry continues to move more towards things like mobile viewing, short form video and non-linear video, those who are primarily invested in broadcast and linear hardware will need to be prepared to adapt and pivot to support these new trends, and a unified headend or virtualized infrastructure solution is a promising way to do so," wrote Sam Rosen, vice president, consumer, at ABI.