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Cable Technology Feature Article

November 09, 2011

Hybrid OTT Offers New Opportunities for Pay-TV Operators: Report

By Mini Swamy, TMCnet Contributor

According to the New Hybrid/OTT (HOTT) Integrated Service & STB Report by the Multimedia Research Group (News - Alert), pay-TV operators will now have greater opportunities to maintain their role in the evolving TV ecosystem by adding or expanding video services in a more cost-effective manner.

The report stated that this has been made possible by the introduction of integrated Hybrid OTT and live TV services using Adaptive Bit Rate (ABR) Encoding and digital video broadcast.

Tanuja Chati, analyst at the Multimedia Research Group commented on this enhanced ability that promised not only to attract new audiences that liked the freedom of OTT TV but also catered to those sections of the audience that were still comfortable with linear content.

With the ability to integrate bundled free-to-Air digital channels into one service, Pay-TV Operators can now offer live TV sources with OTT content depending on local market demands. This is especially relevant in Europe where HOTT markets have developed faster than elsewhere.

Gary Schultz, MRG's president commented on the failure of earlier versions of Hybrid service and noted that the absence of integration and failure to take advantage of ABR made them hard to use.

ABR streaming technologies are based almost exclusively on HTTP and have been designed to work over large networks such as the Internet. The end result is that there is very little buffering and a faster start time, both of which add to a good viewing experience. In addition, ABR also uses the security and QoS functions not available in previous Hybrid Set-top Boxes.

The report is primarily directed at Pay TV operators and analyzes the market and technology drivers that trigger HOTT services and also includes a forecast for HOTT Set-top Boxes for the period 2011-2015.

In another news story, MRG, Inc. reported that small and independent Pay-TV Operators will introduce Multiscreen Video and Mobile TV services by 2014, after introducing infrastructure upgrades and whole-home DVR, based on a survey sent to over 600 Operators and Vendors.

Mini Swamy is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell