IBC Printed Guide - September 2014 - 26


www.inbroadcast.com PRODUCT GUIDE | Sept 12 - 16, 2014

Enriching The Live TV Experience
Today, the lines between live TV and VOD services are blurred. Hitting the pause button to take
a quick break is now a practical expectation. Replaying a scene from a live TV broadcast
is now as simple as hitting the rewind button and catching up on a favourite show...
By:
Aslam Khader
Chief Product Officer

I

26

n order to remain competitive,
most pay TV operators now offer
pay-per-view or subscriptionbased VOD services alongside
a live linear TV lineup. However,
free VOD services such as catchup TV are proving to be extremely
popular. According to IHS Screen
Digest, over 90% of pay TV VOD
views consist of free content,
mostly catch-up TV.
Time-shifted services enrich live
TV experiences, can be adapted
for multiscreen viewing and offer
new ways to package live content
alongside targeted advertising.
Increasingly, consumers expect
their video anywhere, on any
device and want to view that
content with DVR controls like time
delay, pause or repeat. Between
2011 and early 2014, the number
of urban television consumers
watching time-shifted content
increased from 30% to 43%.
Example of advanced live-to-VOD
services include:
*	Catch-up TV: Enables viewers
to replay TV shows broadcast
hours or days earlier, allows pay
TV operators to offer an alternative
to on-demand movies and to
monetise content through targeted
advertising;
*	Start-over TV: Time-shift TV
controls let viewers replay a live
broadcast already underway from
the beginning and to switch back
to a real-time broadcast feed.
Targeted advertising streamed
on top of existing commercial
breaks offers distributors a new
monetisation avenue;
* nPVR: DVR controls, which
enable creation and storage of live
TV content recordings for playback
on any device, are increasingly
included as a component of pay

Catch-up TV enables viewers
to replay TV shows

TV subscriptions.
Pay TV operators can add value
to live broadcasts by creating
VOD assets in real-time. Though
customer satisfaction and loyalty
are important objectives for
operators, so too is monetisation.
Live-to-VOD capabilities offer
new ways to package live content
alongside targeted advertising. For
example, shortly after the privately
owned M6 launched its catch-up
TV service, 6Play, it was accessed
by more than three million
households per month through
set-top boxes and smart-TVs. This
added further value to both M6,
as an advertising platform, and to
the pay TV operators carrying its
channels.
Same Features, Different Device
Live-to-VOD services can be
adapted to second screen devices
such as PCs, smartphones and
tablets.
However,
formatting
live-to-VOD
content
to
fit
second screen devices is not as
straightforward as simply playing
back content on a TV set.
A live-to-VOD service needs to
be able to repackage content,
using recorded catch-up TV or
nPVR content as mezzanine
files, to a wide variety of devices
supported by the pay TV operator.
The system needs to be both
scalable and flexible to support
edge servers and third party
CDNs.
With premium pay TV content,
it is also important that liveto-VOD
services
incorporate
DRM technology to protect
valuable content regardless of
the device used for playback.
Finally, contractual issues also
require consideration as some

content owners might not allow
programming to be accessed on
second screen devices or for ad
replacement within catch-up TV.
Whether it's catch-up, start-over,
nPVR, or pause TV, each liveto-VOD service implementation
must also take into account the
different types of screens and
networks in use. Bandwidth,
storage,
monetisation
and
security concerns can lead to
complications that are quickly
multiplied by the myriad viewer
devices and scenarios involved.
As they look to the future,
broadcasters
and
pay
TV
operators need to ensure they are
ready to adapt their services to
new as well as updated devices
and protocols. By relying on a
software-based approach rather
than fixed-function hardware,
live-to-VOD systems can be more
easily upgraded to embrace new
standards and features as they
emerge. By also including a justin-time (JIT) packager that can
adapt video streams to network
and device parameters in realtime, pay TV operators can be
prepared for whatever comes next.
Elemental Delta
Having worked with a wide
variety of pay TV operators,
content owners, and third-party
technology partners, Elemental
is keenly aware of the technical
and legal challenges involved
in
implementing
live-to-VOD
services. Elemental's softwaredefined video platform currently
provides the foundation for a
number of live-to-VOD services in
the United States and in Europe.
Introduced at IBC2014, Elemental
Delta
provides
support
for
advanced live-to-VOD services for
multiscreen delivery.
Elemental Delta combines justin-time (JIT) packaging, origin
services,
intelligent
caching,
dynamic
ad
insertion
and

replacement, and end-to-end
encrypted content protection
functions in a single platform.
The platform reduces multiscreen
system complexity with the ability
to transform any input into any
output for high-quality, secure
video delivery. The IP video
delivery solution lowers storage,
bandwidth and transit costs and
helps content providers mitigate
distribution expense by taking
ownership of greater portions of
the delivery infrastructure.
Unlike generalised multiscreen
delivery services, Elemental Delta
provides on-the-fly support for
all major adaptive streaming
protocols, compression formats,
and
multiple
digital
rights
management
(DRM)
systems
within
a
single
framework.
Among supported protocols are
HDS, HLS, Smooth Streaming
and the MPEG-DASH standard,
which supports on-demand, live
and time-shift applications and
services.
Elemental Delta handles H.264
delivery as well as the new
high-efficiency
video
coding
(HEVC/H.265) codec needed for
next-generation video delivery.
To secure content, the platform
combines embedded encryption
and decryption capabilities with
JIT DRM wrapping, enables
protected assets to be stored
and moved efficiently through
the network and applies DRM in
real-time upon delivery. Finally,
Elemental Delta has built-in
failover and redundancy, whether
on the ground or in the cloud.
Elemental Delta enables video
providers to leverage a single
multiscreen delivery workflow
for every connected device,
eliminating
the
management
of multiple CDNs and network
topologies.
For a demonstration of Elemental
Delta, please visit the Elemental
Stand at IBC2014.

nPVR offers DVR controls, which
enable creation and storage of live TV
content recordings for playback on
any device


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