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Cloud TV

  • May 2014
  • -

Main findings

The cloud TV phenomenon is part of the massive changes taking place in our TV and video viewing habits and, by extension, in video distribution. This cloud-based approach to distributing TV programming refers to the fact of offering services from a central platform connected to the Web, and which can serve any user device.
A cloud platform can be operated by OTT (over the top) content providers who deliver their solution directly over the Web, or by telecom operators who use their own networks. In this second instance, the service is typically not assimilated with the cloud per se, even if we will include it in our field of analysis.

What cloud TV brings to the industry

• It is above all a response to a growing demand among consumers to have access to TV everywhere.
• It paves the way for more personalised video viewing and targeted advertising.
• The fact of centralising the solution enables more flexible rollouts and the abilty to offer a broader array of services.
• The growing move towards virtualisation allows vendors to achieve more cost-effective capital and operating expenses for their video distribution business.
• And brings vendors one step closer to deploying concept of TV as a service, so creating ties with users, or of operator as a service, for distributors looking to achieve more operational flexibility.

But certain unknowns remain

In addition to increasing quality of service (QoS) to meet users’ demands, the gradual switch to cloud-based video solutions will no doubt also generate a sizeable increase in traffic on the Internet and managed networks, and with it the inevitable challenges of maintaining a steady level of quality.

New challenges are arising as barriers to entry into video distribution are being lowered, through expansive platforms that are not subject to any network coverage, device compatility or geographical imperatives.
• We could thus see an acceleration in the rise of independent video offerings, which could include libraries of self-distributed content. This type of configuration could result in telecom operators being cut out of the loop and losing control of consumers.
• In addition, service providers and broadcasters will be going head to head with their TV Everywhere applications, offering potentially identical content but being delivered by pay-TV providers and TV networks, for instance.
• The traditional TV distribution industry runs the risk of being marginalised by these developments. But it has developoled its own solutions to meet some of viewers’ new demands and, above all, has begun to integrate these new options into its own environment.
• And, finally, cloud TV represents a major gateway for the Internet giants that are currently competing against pay-TV providers and programme aggregators for a foothold in this new market.

Table Of Contents

Cloud TV
1. Executive summary 5
2. A whole new viewing environment 6
2.1. The development of IP video is creating a rich and diverse viewing environment 6
2.2. The ATAWADAC umbrella concept 6
2.3. More cross-cutting approaches complete the segmentation 10
3. Solutions from the TV side 11
3.1. Development of media gateways 12
3.2. Intermediate devices 14
3.3. Creating a bridge between home IP boxes and the Internet 15
3.4. Secure and consistent video distribution 15
4. Reponses from cloud TV 17
4.1. Cloud TV and its features 17
4.2. Solution providers 21
4.3. Customer needs 24
5. Conclusion 27
5.1. A very attractive solution 27
5.2. But certain unknowns remain 28

Tables and Figures

Table 1: A selection of vendors' TV everywhere features 8
Table 2: Summary: new viewing habits, new features 11
Table 3: How compatible are devices and TV solutions with the new viewing environment 16
Table 4: How the cloud responds to different needs 20
Table 5: TV solution providers' positioning with respect to integration 22
Table 6: Features included in a selection of vendors' cloud TV solutions 23
Table 7: Selection of recent deals between video/TV companies and providers of cloud TV solutions . 24

Figure 1: Anytime viewing poll 7
Figure 2: Growth of smartphone users watching TV or video, between June 2012 and June 2013 8
Figure 3: Number of TV and radio programme requests on the BBC iPlayer by type of device 9
Figure 4: The content dilemma 9
Figure 5: Illustration: the Freebox Revolution 12
Figure 6: Sky TV boxes 13
Figure 7: TiVo stream 14
Figure 8: The SES SAT>IP solution 14
Figure 9: The cloud-based service platform according to AVID 18
Figure 10 Cisco's Videoscape solution for distibution to multiple devices 19
Figure 11: Nagra's unified interface solution 19
Figure 12: Targeted interactive advert generated by the ActiveVideo AdCast solution 20
Figure 13: The ActiveVideo cloud TV solution 23

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