CNTV

CNTV provides high-quality video experiences enabled by Akamai

“Akamai Media Delivery Solutions offered us a simplified, one-stop solution for multiple platforms which has enabled CNTV to deliver a more streamlined and improved viewer experience abroad. This consistent and accelerated viewing experience is key to viewer attraction and retention.”

Chen Wei , Deputy Director , NOCC of CNTV

The Situation

A national web-based TV broadcaster officially launched on December 28, 2009 by the Network Broadcasting Division of China Central Television (CCTV), China Network Television (CNTV) provides users with a globalized, multilingual and multi-terminal public webcast service platform. It offers interactive audiovisual services, integrating features of Internet- based operations with those of TV programming.

To fully maximize the advantages of being a dual-platform (Web-TV) service provider, CNTV seeks to develop into an authoritative Internet-based broadcaster in China. Its webcast coverage is timely and accurate, covering local as well as international events in a wide variety of areas that range from politics, the economy, society to culture and sports. Moreover, CNTV has committed itself to providing audiences worldwide with user-friendly, highly-efficient, “full-featured” webcast services. These include live video, VOD, file upload, search and videocast services that are intended to make CNTV a popular online video platform for public information and entertainment.

CNTV aims to provide an “interactive TV viewing experience”. It focuses on reproducing, reprocessing and fragmenting traditional TV programming resources, as well as producing and disseminating original Internet programs (produced by CNTV or netizens). CNTV continuously improves on its services through the use of a system that prioritizes user feedback, enabling netizens to be part of a fruitful process that provides fast and easy access to high-quality audiovisual services.

The Challenge

Every year at Spring Festival Eve, CNTV produces and presents a special celebration show known as the New Year Gala, featuring various acts, such as drama, dance, music, and comedy. It has a yearly viewership of over 700 million viewers, making it one of the premiere television events in Mainland China. In fact, it has the largest audience in the world. The show is also broadcast over the Internet through CNTV’s website and is one of its most important live-broadcasting events.

CNTV started to use Akamai for global network media delivery in 2009, with two bitrates (850k and 450k) on Akamai’s platform. However, with the ever-growing number of broadband users, there is a rising demand for higher resolution HD video. Meanwhile, due to the wide geographical distribution of CNTV’s audience, viewers from some developing countries, including mobile users, have had problems viewing even the lower bitrate shows.

With CNTV’s cameras and encoders located in Beijing, China, it is also challenging to stream HD-quality live broadcasting shows to many parts of the world.

The Goal

To support its objectives, CNTV needed to meet the following requirements:

  • Provide high-quality streaming video viewing platform for audiences outside China
  • Provide one-stop media delivery experiences and services on multiple platforms

Why Akamai

Akamai’s cloud-based media streaming and distribution solutions serve high-quality content across video devices, while efficiently delivering turn-key solutions in a secure, efficient, and open media workflow.

The Akamai Media Player (AMP) includes a suite of technologies, such as advanced heuristics and edge network server mapping, to support high-quality streaming video designed to help improve consumer satisfaction and consumption rates. AMP has been customized for a specific look and feel.

With the AMP, it took CNTV only a few weeks to put its New Year Gala event onto the Akamai Intelligent Platform with all the advanced features (PIP, DVR) across PC and mobile devices. The global broadcasting (outside China) attracted more than 50,000 concurrent viewers on Chinese New Year Eve.

After implementing Akamai, 100% of foreign visits to CNTV web pages were accelerated via the Akamai content delivery network (CDN) platform; 70-80% for visits to video on the website. The Akamai-accelerated monthly traffic exceeded 1000TB for more than 2000 million visits; in addition, the speed for foreign visits to the CNTV website improved by 70%, attracting more foreign users. By adopting Akamai’s unified streaming media solution, CNTV streamlined its video production process and saved bandwidth.

About CNTV

As a national web-based TV broadcaster, China Network Television (CNTV) provides users with a globalized, multilingual and multi-terminal public webcast service platform. It offers interactive audiovisual services, integrating features of internet-based operations with those of TV programming. Making the best use of its advantages as a duel-platform (Web-TV) service provider, CNTV seeks to develop into an authoritative internet-based broadcaster in China. Its webcast coverage is timely and accurate, covering local as well as international events in a wide variety of areas, ranging from politics, economy and society to culture and sports, etc. Moreover, CNTV has committed itself to providing audiences worldwide with user-friendly, highly-efficient, “full-featured” webcast services. These including live video, VOD, file upload, search and videocast services that will make CNTV into a popular online video platform for public information and entertainment.