Getting your favorite television shows and movies onto your screen quickly has always been Comcast’s goal. In a February 2014 column for Multichannel News (subscription required), Technology Editor Jeff Baumgartner outlined a journey over the last six years. Back in 2008, boosting our selection of HD video on demand choices to over 1,000 titles seemed like an ambitious goal. Today, that’s just a fraction of the choices our customers enjoy, thanks to the work we’ve done to evolve the Comcast Content Delivery Network (CCDN).
Last fall, Comcast and our technical partners at Ciena initiated field trials of a 1 Tbps optical transmission between Charlotte, North Carolina and Ashburn, Virginia. That trial didn’t take place in a lab, or on new lines. It happened on a live production network, demonstrating how we’re getting ready for a future fueled by choice.
For Xfinity customers, that means getting nearly instant access to a library of over 50,000 titles directly from a set-top box. On smartphones, tablets, and computers, that library grows to over 300,000 titles accessible from our apps and through Xfinitytv.com. Some video providers rely on centralized servers, which can cause delays and buffering gaps when pushing content to subscribers’ screens. Instead, we store copies of our most popular choices on CCDN gateways across the United States, meaning that you’re never more than a few seconds away from enjoying the country’s favorite movies and TV shows.
At the heart of the CCDN, we’ve built a central hub that enables producers to get fresh content onto our network quickly. Many new episodes of television shows are available in our Video On Demand library within hours of broadcast. We’ve even brought live sporting events from around the world to VOD viewers as they’re happening. Innovations coming to the set-top boxes and routers in our customers homes and offices will make the video experience even more immersive, even as more of our customers enjoy multiple On Demand choices across different kinds of screens at the same time.