Cloud digital video recording (Cloud DVR) has long been marketed to pay TV operators as a solution to supplant aging set-top box DVR architectures, with the main value proposition centred on cost savings and efficiency. While spending less money on set-top hardware and reducing maintenance truck rolls remain relevant considerations, many operators have begun to see network-based recording solutions in a different light. Increasingly, Cloud DVR is seen as a key tool in the fight to attract and retain subscribers, as well as grow video revenues. In this article, we will explore why Cloud DVR solutions are drawing renewed attention from Pay TV operators and how the latest solutions can deliver improved business results.
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When it comes to video technology, “cloud computing” remains a popular industry buzzword even though the term began trending well over a decade ago. Over the years, having a cloud-enabled or cloud-native platform meant your software could support the future. It was flexible enough to run on different hardware platforms and in different environments. It was elastic, so it could scale based on demand and it could be more easily managed using standardized tool sets. These days, almost every video solution provider offers cloud capable technology and yet, cloud remains a top marketing term despite that fact. Why is that?
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Facing rising content costs, operational expenses, and competition for consumer attention, multi-channel video program distributors (MVPDs) have begun searching for new ways to monetize stream viewership with the goal of boosting the business case for video. Recently, programmatic TV (PTV) advertising has emerged as a key area of interest for operators that believe it can help them generate more revenue from the streams they already deliver. While it is still in the early stages of growth, the PTV advertising market is expected to flourish in the coming years, eventually becoming the dominant way in which video ads are sold and placed. In this article we will discuss PTV advertising and the potential opportunity it presents for operators that move quickly to embrace the new technology.
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Reducing latency for live video streams delivered using HTTP adaptive bit rate (ABR) technology has become a top priority for service providers that are seeking to deliver a better multi-screen viewing experience to consumers. Latency is characterized as the delay between the time an event actually occurs (real-time) and the time the event is viewed by a consumer on their screen. With legacy broadcast TV signals, latency is approximately 5 seconds. With the introduction of traditional IPTV services a decade ago, latency rose to around 10 seconds. Today’s over-the-top (OTT) implementations of HTTP ABR technology can exhibit latency of 30 seconds or more for live content. Latency reduction requires a holistic approach to identifying and addressing sources of delay within the video streaming workflow. With the right approach, service providers can reduce latency for OTT streams to broadcast levels or better.
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Video service providers continue to face growing competition from online subscription VOD services like Netflix, Amazon, and now Apple, who are spending billions of dollars on original content with the goal of luring consumers away from traditional Pay TV. Service providers, unlikely to make the same investments in content creation, are left to ask themselves how they are going to defend their dominant market position and not only protect their subscriber counts, but grow them. Beyond launching new multi-screen services, adding more content, and refining bundled pricing models, there is a simpler way for operators to bolster subscriber counts – improving stream quality and reliability. Stream quality, including quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE), is one of the top reasons why consumers sign up for and stick with their Pay TV services. On the other hand, when quality suffers, subscriber defection is swift and consumers that cancel their TV service because of quality issues are unlikely to return soon.