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Cable Technology Feature Article

June 06, 2013

New Survey Challenges Paradigm of TV Content

By Ben Bosco, TMCnet Contributing Writer

A recent study found that the rising influence of over-the-top content on television has reached parity with pay options. After an independent company polled 1,200 consumers aged 18-65, CGS Systems International Inc. revealed that instead of the prevalent assumption that consumers would be more apt to stream/buy over-the-top content rather than to search for what they want in a broadband store where you’d have to pay the cable company for your selections.

The poll actually revealed that people were equally as likely to do either. Seventy percent of those polled were willing to buy content from a Pay TV provider, while 71 percent were willing to buy over-the-top content from an internet connection. Seventy-one percent also think that Pay TV should have digital content charges on their TV bills to offer a convenient way of paying for this service.

Not only is the way we access content changing, but what we access it on is changing as well. About 79 percent of users use their computer to download digital content, 39 percent also use tablets and 36 percent use Internet-connected televisions by way of an internet-capable game console or a TV with internal Internet access. Due to the increasing number of devices that can connect to the Internet in the average home, there are more ways to access content – and more ways that billing companies have to track.

What over-the-top content means has nothing to do with the sensationalism of modern television, but is another word for getting content via the Internet. This can be achieved one of many ways; a user can hook up a laptop via an HDMI cable, they can use a Nintendo Wii or Xbox Live, they can use new TVs that have Wi-Fi capability built in, etc. How a user could get content in this way would basically be identical to how one gets it over the Internet currently. They could stream media over sites such as Hulu and YouTube (News - Alert) or buy it to watch over sites such as Netflix, or just browse the Web. Some TV stations such as PBS have even dipped their feet in trying this out with their Roku app, which allows shows curated by whichever PBS network you are on to stream free to the TV.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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