Even as the number of paid streaming-video services like Netflix and Hulu become more accessible on gadgets, built into TVs and installed on videogame consoles, people watching video online still prefer free.
4K streaming, mobile broadcasting for the crowd, generalized delinearization, worldwide video events… OTT delivery is just multiplying the challenges, as customers’ expectations are raising each day in terms of video fast-start, instant channel switching, lack of buffer and high frame size/rate – on all devices in all network conditions. To answer those challenges, OTT delivery answer today is basically more unicast sessions, more servers, more peering – and less and less guarantee of satisfying end-user experience as long as there is no specific end-to-end paid agreement to guarantee that the path will be provisioned from the origin server up to the video device. Even in this ideal scheme, the device might still suffer from poor wireless conditions which jeopardize the experience. So, how do we deal with all this stack of potential problems: do we stick to the aging receipts, rely blindly on Moore’s law and perpetuate a hopeless CDN weapons race? Or do we try to find smarter ways to make the OTT growth reach a sustainable delivery model ?
Before over-the-top video can gain ground with consumers, the industry needs to solve persistent video buffering problems.
WD is no stranger to making media streaming devices — it’s been in the business for several years, most notably with its WDTV Live and WDTV Live Hub products. But those devices both are priced at $99 and above, with the Hub also including built-in media storage. The new WD TV Play, by contrast, is focused on the lower end of the market, with a $69 price tag and a number of streaming services already lined up.
France’s Orange was at the 2013 International CES previewing a video-on-demand service it plans to launch this spring on a Samsung connected TV that leverages High-efficiency Video Coding HEVC to deliver bandwidth-efficient 1080p HD content OTT.The Orange-Samsung HEVC implementation will be among the first, perhaps even the very first, in the world.
Consumers are gravitating to an ever expanding array of OTT services – much to the chagrin of telecom operators. Andreas Bernström, CEO of Rebtel, argues that not partnering up means missing out on big revenues and the control of their market.
Getting Web video off your PC and onto your plasma screen used to be a niche activity. No more: Consumer-tracking service NPD says TV sets are now the most popular way to watch streaming video.
NPD says 45 percent of consumers report that TV is now their primary Web video screen, up from 33 percent last year. It basically swapped places with the PC, which used to account for 48 percent of viewing but now represents 31 percent.*