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OTT Trends: Raising the Bar

Whether you’ve spent 10 months or 10 years in and around OTT video, you’ve likely come to the realization that things are constantly changing. Yesterday’s challenge and wrinkle becomes today’s better mousetrap and improvements are made that drive how we deliver video content to massively growing audiences. Furthermore, as new OTT services are launched, the bar is being raised, requiring that streaming services replicate and improve upon traditional broadcast features and functionalities.

Content & ad replacement

It is no longer sufficient, and certainly not economically sound, to simply simulcast a broadcast channel. Several factors can affect OTT delivery of content — whether a channel can be streamed versus broadcast, sports and “couch” (in market) rights that may specify that you can watch a game in your home on your couch, but not on a device when you’re out of town. In these scenarios, it is becoming more relevant that OTT platforms support this business logic and enforce rules and enable content replacement on all screens. This more advanced workflow also should incorporate server-side stream stitching, where rights can be granted or enforced all the way down to an individual user level, meaning each viewer could get a different stream of content, including ads.

Mind the gap (avoid outages using multiple networks)

As OTT growth and deployments soar, so does the demand for robust, reliable content delivery networks (CDN) through which to deliver them. More and more programmers and service providers are embracing a multiple CDN approach to delivery in 2016. While today’s name brand CDNs all do a good job in making this content available to viewers everywhere, outages, unavailability and downtime happen. Having a multi-network path enables delivery of the content, irrespective of one network’s conditions in a geography or metro area. In international deployments, a multi-network path often helps to shore up and fix gaps between several providers.

4K & HDR

Lastly, you’ve no doubt heard about 4K in and around the video space, and maybe even in your living room. If you’ve seen 4K content, you know how rich and vibrant it looks. But talk of 4K streaming is a bit premature, unless you are Netflix or Amazon.  Sure, we’ve all heard about 4K at various trade shows and in e-mails, but the reality is that 4K streaming is still a few years away, at least for the masses. Most platforms are capable of processing this content, but it is a bear in terms of bandwidth and computer power. The average HD Netflix stream is delivered at 3.34 Mbps. A comparable 4K stream requires 15 Mbps of dedicated bandwidth.

Streaming 4K content is more than a technology problem, it is a business problem — in the high costs to shoot, edit, store and stream 4K. What may break through the glass on this front, though, is HD content created from an HDR source. In the most rudimentary terms, HDR provides for more and deeper colors that can be applied to a streaming rendition. I’ve seen some side-by-side comparisons of 4K and 1080p HDR and the HDR looks stunning.

In any event, and no matter what direction these trends go, the powerful Anvato Media Content Platform stands ready to process the content. 

Learn more at www.anvato.com.

Additional Resources:

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