Cable Technology Feature Article
Consumers Expect Pay-TV Quality Even for OTT Viewing
By Tara Seals, TMCnet Contributor
Guess what? Consumers just want their MTV. And their AMC, and their NBC, and their HBO. They don’t care how they get it, particularly, and they expect service parity across access methods.
A survey from Parks Research has found that consumers expect the same TV user experience throughout their home, regardless of whether the service is offered over the top (OTT), a managed terrestrial operator network, satellite or other delivery mechanism. Expectations also remain the same regardless of the receiving device, including set-top box or connected CE device.
The connected home research further found that users want all of the bells and whistles of a traditional pay-TV service within the user interface for OTT.
"While some operators might see OTT delivery or use on a connected CE device as a way to offer a slimmed-down version of their user interface, consumers still expect the full-feature service and interface experience regardless of how it is delivered to the TV," said Brett Sappington, director of research at Parks Associates (News - Alert).
Most operators are moving to an all-IP delivery infrastructure, which is a more efficient means of transport and also allows for a reduction in CPE components. But with the continued interest on the part of consumers in watching subscription and other content on tablets, smartphones and other connected devices, going all-IP also gives operators a greater opportunity for service innovation and nimble feature roll-outs.
"While cost is often mentioned as a key motivator, the trend of multiscreen content consumption is perhaps a greater driver of change in set-top boxes,” Sappington said. “Many operators now believe that the business of video services has fundamentally changed, and full IP distribution of content is the next evolutionary step for the pay-TV industry.”
He added, “Our research shows 4K TVs will reach mass-market pricing in the next two years, which will put even greater pressure on video delivery systems."
Edited by Alisen Downey