Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Time for Cable MSOs to take a controlled Migration path to IP

Even as the digitization is happening gradually, India is witnessing the growth of several OTT platforms offering music, movies, catch up TV and also Live TV. Simply put, emergence of Cable-like businesses on the “cloud”. Will this lead to cord-cutting? Seems no for now, as studies show that online content viewing is only an additive, rather than a substitute. However, it will be a lost opportunity if Cable MSOs cannot take a share of this, despite being in the best of positions in terms of having subscribers, in-house content and broadcaster relationships as opposed to new OTT service startups. For these reasons, a multi-screen approach is almost a must-have and the best part is it can be a phased approach.
Offer Hybrid HD, instead of HD 
MSOs can start with Hybrid TV which uses existing cable infrastructure for broadcast and IP return path for on-demand services on TV. They can offer “HD Hybrid STB” instead of a “HD STB”, for their subscribers who want to upgrade from Standard definition. MSOs in India are already evaluating STB options available in the market and Corpus is deploying its Hybrid TV middleware for few of them. It is powering up True Video on Demand, WebTV, Youtube and Catchup TV apart from other IP services. MSOs have the flexibility to offer Subscription or Transactional VOD or AD Supported VOD. The source can be operator hosted or external sources. With Global search options, users can directly find their content of choice and get recommendations. Integrated with EPG Data providers, actor based and keyword search are also possible. MSOs now have the best of both worlds and need to maximize by offering two-way interactive services and compete with DTH. 
Do more with Hybrid STB like Media Gateway
Going beyond, MSOs can offer the functionalities of a Media gateway with Corpus Hybrid Middleware. We have exploited the capabilities of SoCs and optimized hardware acceleration to enhance AV performance (eg: Lip sync), HD Video playing speed and Implemented FastRTV for Fast channel zapping. Here are few highlights of advance features what users can get:
  • Impulsive and scheduled program recording
  • To watch recorded (STB PVR) content on companion devices
  • The smart remote control feature enables viewers to use a tablet or smart phone to control Set-top Boxes in their home. A tablet or smart phone may be used to pause, trick-play, control volume, etc.
  • Shift video playback between devices. Users can watch on-demand content on their personal devices and then shift it to the big screen at their convenience
  • Home media support: Access pictures, movies and play music on TV and mobile devices
  • Widgets: News feed, Stock updates, Sports score, Weather etc
  • Integrate with Social Media 
Going over the top 
Reach out to more subscribers within and beyond your network and offer your subscribers the convenience to watch TV anywhere anytime.  The Corpus iPlatform TV anywhere solution is built to support adaptive streaming protocols such as HDS, Smooth streaming and HLS live streaming to deliver the optimal video quality to subscribers while taking into account varying network conditions and device types. It is also integrated with payment gateway to allow in-app purchases instantly. Corpus powered android and IOS mobile client applications are already available on IOS App Store and Google Play. Users can Search and browse for programs, set reminders remotely, resume watching content from where they left off; pause and play live TV channels and get notifications of new arrivals etc. MSOs can offer content on subscription or one time purchase basis. The service is activated instantly and subscribers can start watching on demand.

To summarize
It is becoming more common for an MSO to operate heterogeneous delivery networks and so the need middleware solutions that can unify services across cable and IP and allow quick roll out of new services over multiple pathways to multiple types of devices. This is one of the key strengths of Corpus. It has expertise in deploying for both classical broadcast scenarios and emerging areas such as OTT or hybrid. Hence with Corpus solutions MSOs can achieve:
  • Service differentiation
  • Timely Service roll out
  • Richer customer engagement
  • Reduced subscriber churn
  • Increase revenue per user
  • Increased subscriber reach
  • Stay competitive
Corpus Media Labs, CEO, Sachin Tummala adds “We have evolved along with the roadmap of MSO on the technology front and have built all the Middleware variants of SD, HD, Hybrid and IP to deliver the right customer experience. We are keen to support the migration of Cable MSOs and enable them to adapt to the changes in how people consume content and their need to be fully engaged in the TV experience”.

Source: http://cablequest.org/articles/item/6927-time-for-cable-msos-to-take-a-controlled-migration-path-to-ip.html

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