Sunday, October 28, 2007

Akamai Releases "HDWeb" Proof-of-Concept Portal

Akamai Technologies announced The HDWeb, a proof-of-concept portal designed to showcase the experience consumers can have with high definition content online. The Website, available at, showcases content from a variety of industries including music, movies, professional sports, games and news.

Companies providing HD content for the initiative include Apple, BBC Motion Gallery, CBS, Gannett, MTV Networks, NBA and more. Akamai said the proof-of-concept portal will serve as a temporary Internet Programming Guide to HD video on the Web and provide access to a complete HD experience. These companies understand the value that HD content brings their brand and are ahead of the curve by offering HD programming online.

  • In August 2007, Akamai Technologies began delivering HD quality video content for its customers via its distributed edge delivery network with servers in more than 750 cities worldwide. For the Internet, Akamai said it is making the HD web possible by continuing to refine the infrastructure required to bring the HDTV experience to online audiences.

    HDTV is defined as pixel resolution of 1080i, 1080p or 720p. A 2-hour feature-length movie would need to be encoded at a bit rate of at least 6-8 Mbps, which would result in the file being a size of 5-8 GB. This presents numerous technical challenges to deliver such a high-quality, large file.

    Akamai calculates that to deliver a file encoded at 6 Mbps to an audience of one Nielsen ratings point (1,102,000 households) would require 6.6 Terabits of sustained bandwidth. Another critical factor to enable high bit rate delivery of very large HD files is the proximity of the end-user to the server sending the file. As the distance from the server becomes greater, throughput dramatically decreases. Even a seemingly small distance can result in lost throughput due to lower throughput, higher packet loss, and increased latency. As an example, the only way to achieve 10 to 20 Mbps throughput for typical PC end-users is if the server is less than 20 milliseconds away.

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