In the traditional TV distribution model, the channel is broadcast in real time via satellite to operator head ends cover the last mile with their network.
Now it is possible to send the playout to video servers located on each cable operator, over the internet, in real time or in advance.
Real time streaming brings its own challenges and cost but for non-live content
the video server replaces the traditional receiver-decoder.
The content distribution completely managed using robust software and the whole process takes place over broadband.
The high penetration of the internet coupled with decreasing hardware cost makes this an extremely viable option.