Written by: Roshan Dwivedi
In a world where consumers are starting to expect access to video on a range of devices in a ‘TV Everywhere’ style experience where a single subscription covers delivery to all devices, a multi-layered approach to services is fast becoming the key to the success of service providers. As a result, a broader ecosystem of technology and services is emerging to help address the wide-ranging and fast-changing requirements for ubiquitous video across the TV, PC, mobile and internet connected devices. From content management and community building to delivery via mobile devices and IP devices (STB, PC, connected TV, game console, etc.), content providers, broadcasters, service providers and content aggregators are now realizing the true value of rolling out technology that can deliver on the promise of convergence. Against this backdrop, multi screen delivery looks set to grow in significance as the winning business model of the future. But there is also a question around which solutions are best and what needs to be done to ensure that the resulting services are good enough, profitable for each of the elements in the value chain, and last but not the least in line with user expectations in terms of experience and perceived value for the money.
If content owners & broadcasters want to offer a seamless multi-screen experience, they must deploy robust, predominately software based platforms that can adapt to different technologies and business models and bring content seamlessly to all screens.
THE TV EVERYWHERE EXPERIENCE
Consumers have hints of the TV Everywhere experience with streaming Video on Demand (VOD) from non-broadcaster 3rd party sources like NetFlix and Hulu. Today, over-the-top (OTT) transmission techniques can be easily extended into broadcaster’s backbone network or used in conjunction with external Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). This allows the broadcaster to easily augment their current delivery mechanisms and realize the advantages of TVE using low-cost cloud services. While OTT video delivery has gained popularity, it is not without major challenges. The Internet as a whole is still ill prepared for large-scale video delivery to the masses. Video viewing experience varies depending on network conditions and Internet congestion. Cost-effective OTT content delivery requires solving a number of daunting challenges, including:
- Transmitting over unmanaged networks for large-scale delivery with predictable quality of services
- Integrating with existing back-office infrastructure to support multiple devices
- Providing a common user experience independent of device, network or location
- Optimizing video delivery
- Delivering premium content with consistent content protection across all device types
- Reporting on content viewing and usage metrics
THE OTT REVOLUTION
OTT, by definition, is a delivery paradigm that leverages Internet Protocol (IP) networks, clouds and content delivery networks (CDNs) to deliver video. It is often classified as an unmanaged delivery method since the networks it leverages can only be indirectly controlled and are subject to network congestion caused by other users and applications. To broadcasters and premium content publishers, embracing OTT for TV Everywhere means that the delivery of their content is no longer confined to a physical TV set. Instead, any device that is used to receive their content at any time is viewed as a multiscreen TV equivalent. Users demand similar levels of quality and service, even though the providers may not have control over the delivery network. Content distributors and owners will also require reliable viewing metrics to fully account for Nielsen-like content ratings and associated advertising revenue.
CHALLENGES TO ‘TV EVERYWHERE’
To achieve wide end-user acceptance, OTT must replicate the consistent high-quality TV viewing experience when expanding to new video consumption devices. With this in mind, the technology solutions that will triumph in the multi-platform environment will be those that allow operators to quickly launch converged video services and to offer on-demand and live content to any device (Internet connected devices, mobile, PC and TV) over any network (3G, LTE, Wi-Fi, Wimax and wired Internet). It is the ‘time-shifted’ element of multi-platform TV that provides the best fit with consumer viewing preferences and which fulfils the ‘anytime’ aspect of converged TV delivery.
MUVI: CAPITALIZING ON OTT, TV EVERYWHERE & HARNESSING THE POTENTIAL OF OTT MULTISCREEN VIDEO DELIVERY
TV Everywhere, over-the-top delivery and the rapid growth of powerful endpoint devices have forever changed how we view and interact with content. Broadcasters now have the opportunity to capitalize on these changes by increasing distribution, driving new revenue streams and improving customer satisfaction. To do so, however, broadcasters must build a flexible video delivery foundation based on industry standards and their existing infrastructure. Many vendors claim they can deliver OTT video to multiple devices, but few have the experience and the technology to back it up. While traditional video vendors are attempting to cobble together a TV Everywhere story based on legacy products, the Muvi was built from the ground up to solve the unique challenges of next-generation multi-screen OTT video delivery. With Muvi, broadcasters & content owners can deploy true TV Everywhere with rich, protected content on multiple screens in hours. We integrate with your existing video delivery infrastructure – seamlessly.
As the company leading the video delivery revolution to multiscreens, Muvi is focused on bringing value to customers by simplifying the delivery of OTT Video on Demand (VOD) to any device over any network.