“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Itiva Content Delivery Network

by December 04, 2006
Filed under: Technology

We were fortunate enough to meet with a company that is rolling out a very innovative and downright exciting technology that may finally bring HD video to the desktop in a way that is both practical and widespread. Itiva (pronounced 'eye-tee-va') Digital Media is a Video Content Delivery Network (vCDN) service provider headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. Founded in 2005, Itiva's advanced vCDN service is based on a breakthrough technology that enables delivery of high definition video over the Internet to the masses, in a secure fashion, and at a cost that was previously unachievable.

Itiva's customers are companies that want to deliver video (even HD video) to a mass audience at low cost - without compromising on quality. Examples are on-line retailers, TV networks, media publishers, content aggregators and content distributors.

Itiva's vCDN offering addresses growing the demand for affordable Internet-based media delivery. Bandwidth traffic jams are escalating with the increased demand for video streaming and downloads. One solution has been to add more pipes, but as the demand for transmitting larger rich media files continues to grow, it's becoming clear that it will never be enough. Itiva's unique amplification platform delivers high quality video while managing bandwidth constraints and security concerns - and at a much lower cost.

Itiva's vCDN service is often used to stream video, but is equally appropriate for downloading and broadcasting.

Edge-server CDNs, like Akamai, have built successful businesses delivering media content over a closed network with servers pushed out closer to the viewers. However, in order to handle additional traffic, new bandwidth must be built out - an expense that will be passed on to the publishers. Itiva's hybrid approach uses three types of hardware. Itiva uses the proxy servers that ISPs have installed to keep content in their networks; it also uses viewers' hardware augmented by Itiva's servers distributed through the Internet to maintain a predictable quality of service. Itiva incorporates amplification into its delivery process which greatly reduces the traditionally required hardware. Since Itiva's amplification handles scaling to mass audiences, it can deliver the same traffic volume but only needing a fraction of the hardware - which translates to significant cost savings for the content publisher.

Itiva's vCDN service is different from peer-to-peer delivery in two ways. First, P2P relies on viewers' good will to share files. While this may work in the illegal file sharing space, it is not accepted where downloads are legal because viewers have no incentive to open their computers for others to access. Second, peer-to-peer's tunneling protocol is very costly to ISPs, so there is no incentive to support it. In fact, ISPs are throttling down the peer-to-peer packets to manage cost. In contrast, Itiva is ISP-friendly, reducing cost for everyone.

Quantum Transport is a patented technology that divides the video content into individual http Web pages (called quanta) and sends them out over the Internet. The quanta are then all re-assembled on the viewers' computers. This is the process that generates bandwidth amplification, allowing the elimination of bottlenecks and the reduction of cost to the publisher, the ISP, and, in turn, to the consumer.

From a client standpoint, viewers download a simple plug-in (similar to what is required before playing Flash content) before viewing content that is delivered via Itiva. The process doesn't require any external application installation or intrusive software.

Itiva is working closely with major Internet equipment manufacturers and numerous ISPs to assure current and future access availability. Itiva will take advantage of new Internet technologies and algorithms, such as Managed Distribution and Pre-Positioning schemes, and is committed to continued optimization of its technology so that every party benefits.

The service and technology is DRM-agnostic and will support the DRM requested by the content customer.

Itiva was founded by Dr. Robert Arn and Tom Taylor. Dr. Arn, CTO of Itiva, holds a Master's degree from Oxford University (a Rhodes Scholar) and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University (Rockefeller Foundation Scholar.) He founded MicroDesign Inc., the first consumer digital satellite TV receiver and was most recently, President and CEO of InContext. Tom Taylor previously founded Workfire Technologies Inc., an Internet network Quality of Service Equipment Company that has since been acquired by Packeteer Inc., as well as two earlier Internet firms. Itiva's CEO, Michel Billard, joined the company from Hewlett-Packard, where he was Director of Strategic Initiatives for HP-Digital Entertainment Services.

Itiva is completing tests with several large music and film companies and is commercially available. Itiva services are available now directly from Itiva. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

About the author:

Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

View full profile