Ashutosh Pandey
Head Technical,
Network 18.

Over-The-Top (OTT)

Video markets are still the bread-and-butter of the satellite industry, constituting a large percentage of overall revenues. However, it is facing challenges in the new ecosystem as video consumption migrates to connected devices such as smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and over-the-top (OTT) set-top-boxes which are IP-based and therefore exclude satellite distribution. Now, these connected devices do not rely on broadcast but rather on unicast connections which – at the rate they are currently proliferating – raises a yet unresolved issue with network scalability.

Today’s highly competitive marketplace requires broadcasters to efficiently generate OTT video programming for consumer OTT services, online syndication and social media. Broadcasters need a way to get to OTT easier, quicker, and more economically.

What is OTT

OTT stands for the term used for delivery of film and TV content via internet, without requiring the users to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite pay TV service. OTT TV, the delivery of video via the internet (unmanaged network) directly to user(s) connected devices, allows access to services anywhere, anytime, and on any device. The arrival of OTT streaming has brought a new approach and it is now possible to achieve levels of streaming quality over HTTP that allow live events to be broadcast over the internet.

Infrastructure required for OTT delivery

Three main factors that are key to OTT TV diffusion are increased penetration of broadband connections; high-quality online video content (i.e., catch-up TV, VoD); and replacement of old devices with those that are internet-connected.

High-level design for OTT architecture

Service application. Line TV, SVOD, recommendation personalization, subscriber and device management, DRM integration, social application, and portal

Delivery platform. Playback fulfillment and content ingestion;

Distribution network. CDN optimization, IPv4-v6 migration, new protocol support; and

CPE devices. App dev (HTML, native), media player, DRM integration, and embedded development and porting.

OTT TV: Importance and implications

There are a number of reasons why OTT will have such a major impact on the whole media industry:

  • It is a key enabler of relevant content and services can be tailored to consumer needs;
  • Users will be able to access services anywhere, anytime, and on a variety of devices as content becomes fully personalized and portable;
  • New players from both inside and outside the industry will challenge the existing operators as subscribers are offered a greater choice. Content will however remain king;
  • New service and business models will emerge facilitated by the integration of products and technologies in the area of digital rights management and device interconnection;
  • Users will have the ability to build a-la-carte personalized content portals from a variety of different content providers including the main studios, broadcasters, content aggregators and micro broadcasters; and
  • It will change the basis of competition for consumer spend on content.

Main challenges for OTT TV

This future paradigm faces four main challenges – lack of internet connection to TV; bandwidth limited video quality; lack of business model; and navigating through the millions of video programs and content clips.

Synopsis-OTT and new market opportunities

The era of multiscreen video has begun. Portability and mobility are changing the video landscape. TV everywhere and other multiscreen initiatives are fundamentally changing the entertainment business model, with apps streaming live to TVs, PC, mobile phones, and tablets. According to the latest forecast, the global online video market is set to outnumber traditional TV. Broadcasters, content owners, and distributors must engage multiscreen delivery to survive.

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