Avec le passage au full HD et bientôt à la 4K de a diffusion OTT, le modèle de distribution unicast montre ses limites. La course à l’armement des CDNs dans le déploiement de baies de serveurs et la multiplication des points de peering n’est pas scalable à l’infini, et pourtant le traffic vidéo ne cesse d’augmenter de manière exponentielle, y compris – et surtout – sur les terminaux mobiles. La recherche de modèles de distribution OTT complémentaires avec le multicast est donc une priorité pour continuer d’assurer la qualité de l’expérience utilisateur et optimiser les coûts de diffusion. Les regards se tournent de plus en plus vers le transport multicast qui a fait le succès de l’IPTV, ainsi que le Peer-to-Peer qui, malgré sa réputation sulfureuse, a déjà fait ses preuves pour la diffusion de chaines live OTT à très grande échelle.
Pour tout savoir du multicast et du P2P, et apprendre des retours d’expérience et de recherche des membres de la Squad qui travaillent sur ces systèmes hybrides, OVFSquad organisait le 23 janvier 2014 une soirée spéciale de présentations (aka « Conférensquad ») dont voici le compte-rendu et les présentations.
The BBC still has a “long way to go” before looking to deploy 4K as part of its online video service the iPlayer, with its focus still on improving its support for existing technology like HD, according to iPlayer executive Henry Webster.
Speaking at the OTTtv World Summit in London, Webster, who is executive product manager, media services at the BBC’s Future Media division, said that though the likes of 4K represented a “great step” in quality, the BBC still had progress to make “even within existing standards.”
“iPlayer is HD now, but it is only 720p. We did our first live streaming in HD last year, but that’s very, very basic. So in terms of IP distribution, I think we’ve got a long way to go before 4K becomes really important, because the bandwidth to the home is not there yet. I think we could do a lot in terms of improving quality and taking things to improve what we do today,” said Webster.
Though he said that 4K, also known as Ultra HD, is a “great technology” that the BBC will look to use in the future, he said that he is focused on the iPlayer backend system and “turning around some of the things that we haven’t always traditionally done so well.”
This is especially so in terms of events, said Webster, “making sure that we’ve got the kind of business continuity and the resilience in place and more in line with the broadcast operation , than the online world, that we’ve traditionally been in.”
Speaking onstage at the conference, Webster also discussed the BBC’s recent replacement of its aging iPlayer infrastructure with live processing in the cloud through a new in-house system called Video Factory. Switching to the cloud means the BBC doesn’t have a fixed amount of storage so it does not have to limit the hours of content it can process or limit the hours of HD content it can handle.
Avec TeVolution, je reprends ici la série sur les français de la télévision connectée lancée au printemps 2012 et dont le dernier épisode concernait ATEME. Il en reste des dizaines à couvrir. La série va certainement durer encore quelques années !
TeVolution est une société très récente, créée formellement en 2011. Elle propose une solution intégrée box + middleware + back-end pour regarder la TNT et des contenus VOD, TV de rattrapage et chaînes TV thématiques récupérés via Internet. La box est vendue à la fois en marque blanche par des partenaires distributeurs et en marque propre dans la grande distribution et sur le web. La solution vise un marché particulier, mal adressé par les opérateurs télécoms : celui des zones desservies par un débit trop faible pour l’IPTV.
Viaccess-Orca, a global leader in the protection and enhancement of content services, today launched Connected Sentinel, a powerful new digital rights management (DRM) solution that enables pay-TV service providers to securely deliver HD premium...
Pay TV operators, rather than dedicated online services, will dominate the online subscription TV market in the coming years, according to Strategy Analytics.
The research firm predicted that the growth of online subscription TV would herald “the end of the first phase of online viewing which saw the rise of on-demand specialists such as Netflix and ad-supported platforms such as YouTube.”
In its 2013 Global OTT Forecast, Strategy Analytics added that though online subscription TV is “only just beginning to make an impact”, it will be the principal driver for OTT spending growth in the next five years, with global spending set to accelerate to US$4.7 billion (€3.53 billion) in 2018 – the lion’s share of which will be concentrated in Western Europe and North America.
“We are entering a new phase in the evolution of TV distribution over the public internet. Pay TV service providers are recognising the defensive imperative in ensuring they have a major say in the development of online TV. Standalone online subscription TV addresses the holdouts who will not be swayed by traditional premium TV offerings by promising high quality content including, crucially, live sport, shorter commitment periods, a lower cost of entry and much simpler installation and hardware requirements than traditional, ‘full fat’ pay TV services,” said Strategy Analytics’ director of digital media strategies, Ed Barton.
Citing the likes of Sky in the UK’s Now TV service, Strategy Analytics said the most successful online TV subscription services will come from pay TV service providers leveraging existing content rights and broadcaster relationships.
It also predicted that startups like Magine and Aereo will generate strong growth and said they would be “prime targets for service providers who are late to the online TV party.”
“While the next few years will see standalone online subscription TV services proliferate there are numerous issues the TV ecosystem needs to work through in the dash to deploy. Content rights and windowing will be impacted on a territory-by-territory basis while deployments will need to be designed in order to minimise cannibalisation of the core pay TV business,” said Barton.
“We expect to see bundling of online TV subscriptions with network access deals and device sales in the drive to build customer numbers. Once these services are established in the marketplace spending will accelerate and that is when we will see the extent to which online subscription TV can truly impact the huge spending volumes pay TV delivers today.”
The recent emergence of LTE broadcast and eMBMS has prompted many companies to bet much R&D and marketing dollar on the resurgence of the mobile TV model. I have trouble believing that many mobile users will be tuning-in "en masse" at regular appointment to watch their favorite show on a mobile device. There is nothing wrong with Pay TV, its audience is stable-ish and while most would see OTT services compete for these eyeballs, I see them as a more complementary play. Pay TV is here to stay and I do not see cord cutting as a credible threat in the short term, more cord shaving or cord picking. Many have been developing and promoting mobile TV models in the past either through broadcast or unicast technologies. The long defunct services from Qualcomm (MediaFLO) and DVB-H should serve as cautionary tales to those who are betting on the next generation of broadcast services. Many fail to understand that mobile TV is not attractive to most people in many circumstances. If you are like me, you will watch TV programs, by order of convenience: When I want, at home, on my PVR (so I can skip the ads)Live, at home, when it is time sensitive content ( news, sport event, ceremony...)At a bar, live, when I want to watch sport live with friends or strangersOn a tablet at home (wifi) when I want to watch something else/more than the main screenOn a tablet at hotel /airport (wifi) ...etc... when I want to watch premium content catch upOn a phone / tablet (cellular) if there is no other choiceDon't get me wrong I watch a good amount of video on mobile, just not TV programs. I remember living in Switzerland some 10 years ago and having one of the first video phones that would perform video calls and stream mobile TV. Past the novelty aspect, no one was watching TV on their phone then, and it wasn't due to network capacity or video quality. Having a video phone then was seriously cool but that did not take away the fact that the TV content I wanted to watch was not available when I wanted to watch it. My Sonyericsson K600 (remember?) joined my first Smartphone (Philips Ilium, I designed it at Philips) and my first MMS phone (ericsson T68i) in my private museum together with my first PDA (I sent the world's first picture message on a CDMA iPAQ in 2002). This is mostly due to the fact that TV is an appointment experience. I like to be comfortable watching TV because I watch only very specific programs. When I sit down to watch TV, I mostly know beforehand what I will watch. The videos I watch on mobile are not necessarily only short form content but I don't mind being interrupted as much because in my mind, it is mostly light entertainment that does not require concentration nor continuity. It is also mostly serendipitous in nature, I do not necessarily plan what I will watch in advance. I know that my children and their elder's behavior is similar. They might watch more long form content on their mobile than me but they are mostly not watching TV content. While some see broadcast as a means to considerably reduce video load on mobile networks, I think they are missing the point. TV by appointment is a very small portion of the preferred usage, for very specific content, in very specific circumstances. Broadcast TV on mobile makes very little sense apart from niche usage (stadiums,...).
I don't think that because LTE offers better network capacity, higher speeds, better quality pictures it will make a better mobile TV service. Don't think for a second that subscribers will pay more than a couple of bucks per month (if anything) to have a TV experience on mobile. People pay for quality, relevance and immediacy on mobile, not the best attributes for broadcast. So before you think about "monetizing" my mobile TV experience, think hard because I won't pay for TV broadcast on mobile.
If you haven't read the other posts in this series, you can find them here for context. Pay TV vs. OTT: Part I: The business models Part II: Managed devices and services vs. OTT Part III: CE vendors and companion screens Part IV: Clash of the titans
Apple is in talks with Comcast to enter into a deal to allow Apple to launch a streaming TV service over Comcast’s cable network, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The Journal, citing unnamed sources, said that Comcast and Apple were discussing privileged access for traffic to reach Apple TV boxes over the Comcast network. Apple hopes to deliver live and on-demand programming and cloud-based DVR services to Comcast subscribers, according to the Journal.
According to the report, discussions between the pair are at an early stage.
Apple was previously in talks with Time Warner Cable, which is subject to a takeover by Comcast, over joint TV activities.
Reports of the discussions between Apple and Comcast follows the deal struck last month between Comcast and Netflix giving the latter direct access to Comcast’s network rather than having to deliver its content via third-party content delivery networks.
I sense a lot of excitement in the market regarding the advantages that a combined Cloud / Smart TV approach without an STB can bring service providers. But I wonder about possible negative impacts that such a shift could have on the operational aspects of the service provider’s business, i.e. an OPEX escalating out of control.
This is especially true for Broadband Service Providers (BSPs) offering TV services. Roughly speaking, the idea consists of providing a BSP client application running in the Smart TV that interacts with a cloud-based platform. The main expectation is that this will allow BSPs to reduce CAPEX by eliminating the need for the STB – a dedicated device currently provided by the BSP to customers in order to deliver quality TV services. This expectation seems really compelling at first sight. (...)
4K streaming, mobile broadcasting for the crowd, generalized delinearization, worldwide video events…
OTT delivery is just multiplying the challenges, as customers’ expectations are raising each day in terms of video fast-start, instant channel switching, lack of buffer and high frame size/rate – on all devices in all network conditions. To answer those challenges, OTT delivery answer today is basically more unicast sessions, more servers, more peering – and less and less guarantee of satisfying end-user experience as long as there is no specific end-to-end paid agreement to guarantee that the path will be provisioned from the origin server up to the video device. Even in this ideal scheme, the device might still suffer from poor wireless conditions which jeopardize the experience. So, how do we deal with all this stack of potential problems: do we stick to the aging receipts, rely blindly on Moore’s law and perpetuate a hopeless CDN weapons race? Or do we try to find smarter ways to make the OTT growth reach a sustainable delivery model ?
InAiR turns your TV into a Minority Report-like experience, with layers of Web content, inline with the programs you're watching. (What if you could use the web & watch TV at the same time w/o looking up & down?
Netflix isn’t going to produce elaborate second-screen apps with a whole bunch of additional content any time soon. Instead, it’s investing in second-screen control – and having high hopes for Chromecast.