In Broadcast - August 2013 - 58


I N T E R N A T I O N A L

WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | ISSUE 22 - AUGUST 2013

N E W S

InMEDIA

Delivering Anytime Content On Cable
By Mark Christie
Chief Technology Officer, KIT digital

A

58

udiences now want to watch at
a time that suits them, not when
broadcasters dictate. Consumers
have time-shifted their favourites
since the VCR was invented – now
they want to be able to choose from
a wider selection, without deciding
in advance what to record.
Video on demand is best delivered
as an IP stream. While the open
internet is often used for “over the
top” (OTT) television, there are huge
advantages in using digital cable.
A cable network has much greater
capacity than the typical broadband
ADSL service, and technologies
such as DOCSIS allow very high
quality streams to a large number
of subscribers.
For the cable network there are
two clear advantages. First is brand
loyalty. Consumers can choose live
linear channels or catch-up OTT
content from the same user interface,
using the same device and remote
control, in a seamless experience.
Once consumers try it they are likely
to stay, reducing churn.
Second, the cable network is
likely to own all the plant from the
headend to the set-top box or home
gateway. This increases security of
the content and delivery.

expense. Not only do they have
to open negotiations with content
owners, they have to establish
content delivery networks and other
infrastructure to serve what is likely
to be an uneven demand.
This gives established players,
such as cable networks, a big
advantage provided they act
quickly. Cable networks also
have a subscriber management
infrastructure which can be
extended to cover OTT, through
an additional subscription (SVoD
or subscription video on demand),
pay per view (TVoD or transactional
video on demand) or both. In turn,
if these offerings are attractive they
are likely to draw in new subscribers,
increasing core revenues as well as
adding earnings for the new services.
To succeed, the network must
develop its technology platform
with particular focus on the user
interface at the subscriber end,
ensuring that the experience is
welcoming, easy to use and reflects
the brand values of the service. That
is especially important when the
portal is a home gateway serving a
range of networked devices, rather
than just a set-top box serving a
single television screen.

OTT Platform

Content Support

But OTT opens the market to new
entrants who can deliver over
the internet. These companies,
like Netflix or iTunes, threaten
the revenues of the established
broadcast and pay TV market.
On the other hand, entering a
new market involves significant

An OTT service has to support
everything from an HD television
to a smartphone. This means that
the encoding headend has to be
prepared to derive a very large
number of variants, in terms of
screen resolution, codec, wrapper,
and delivery format.

Away from the television, most
devices now support HLS, the Apple
adaptive bitrate streaming format.
Perhaps surprisingly, this includes
the Microsoft Xbox as well as
Android phones and tablets. Some
devices, though, need either Flash or,
in the case of Windows 8 computers
and tablets, Smooth Streaming.
Given this complexity, managing
the metadata throughout the system
is really important. It must drive the
encoding workflows to create the
right combination of packages for
delivery, either in advance to allow
content to be cached on the edges
of the network for fast response, or
packaged on the fly as a subscriber
requests the content.

KIT digital delivered the multiplatform OSN Play OTT service

Descriptive metadata is also
vital for content discovery. The
fundamental difference between a
linear television channel and OTT
content is that the linear channel
suggests a constant stream of
programming to the viewer; VoD
expects the viewer to find it. So you
have to help subscribers discover

content they are likely to enjoy.
As part of the KIT digital VOD Store
suite of software products, users
can choose to implement PerSys,
a dedicated personalisation system.
This is a simple way to implement
a recommendation engine into the
platform, learning the preferences
of the user and proposing similar
content that is likely to be popular.

User Experience
A good user experience does not
happen by accident. It needs to
be built in to the design from the
beginning, particularly if the plan
is to go for a staged rollout. Even
if the service will only be seen on
a small number of devices at first –
perhaps only the television screen
– the user experience should be
designed such that it is portable to
other devices and screen sizes later.
Major broadcasters such as OSN
in the Middle East and Channel 4
in the UK used KIT digital’s user
experience team to develop a
strongly branded look and feel,
bearing in mind that it would need
to be ported to new devices as they
became available. They now provide
services to large numbers of devices.
Consumers now want to use
multiple devices, selecting content
on whatever device is most
convenient at that moment. If the
established players in the market
do not meet this demand then
others will, stealing audiences
and revenues.
Cable networks are ideally poised
to benefit from the OTT revolution.
They have the content, the brand
recognition and the subscriber
management. Implementing
the service involves additional
investment in technology and
design, but companies like KIT
digital have proven solutions which
can be rolled out quickly to meet the
growing demand.

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - August 2013

In Broadcast - August 2013
Contents
InNEWS: Panasonic Announces AK-HC3500A Camera
InNEWS: Shotoku Elevates Newscasting for KETK-TV
InFOCUS: Camera Links – Following All the Vital Action
InTECH: Fischer Connections Solutions for Broadcast
InMEDIA: Delivering Anytime Content on Cable
InMEDIA: Screen – High Definition Subtitling and Beyond
InSOUND: DPA’s D:Dicate Recording Microphone Range
In Broadcast - August 2013 - Intro
In Broadcast - August 2013 - In Broadcast - August 2013
In Broadcast - August 2013 - Cover2
In Broadcast - August 2013 - Contents
In Broadcast - August 2013 - InNEWS: Panasonic Announces AK-HC3500A Camera
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 5
In Broadcast - August 2013 - InNEWS: Shotoku Elevates Newscasting for KETK-TV
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 7
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 8
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 9
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 10
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 11
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 12
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 13
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In Broadcast - August 2013 - 31
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 32
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 33
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 34
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 35
In Broadcast - August 2013 - InFOCUS: Camera Links – Following All the Vital Action
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 37
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 38
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 39
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 40
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 41
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 42
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 43
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 44
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 45
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 46
In Broadcast - August 2013 - InTECH: Fischer Connections Solutions for Broadcast
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 48
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 49
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 50
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 51
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In Broadcast - August 2013 - InMEDIA: Delivering Anytime Content on Cable
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 59
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 60
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 61
In Broadcast - August 2013 - InMEDIA: Screen – High Definition Subtitling and Beyond
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 63
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In Broadcast - August 2013 - 75
In Broadcast - August 2013 - InSOUND: DPA’s D:Dicate Recording Microphone Range
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 77
In Broadcast - August 2013 - 78
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In Broadcast - August 2013 - S1
In Broadcast - August 2013 - S2
In Broadcast - August 2013 - S3
In Broadcast - August 2013 - S4
In Broadcast - August 2013 - S5
In Broadcast - August 2013 - S6
In Broadcast - August 2013 - S7
In Broadcast - August 2013 - S8
In Broadcast - August 2013 - S9
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