Three big pay-TV needs fueling the cloud’s market momentum

Murali Nemani

Digital TV Europe Cloud Virtualization Report

Like Jordan Spieth captivating the world golf community with back-to-back major wins, the big moment for cloud-based TV experiences is now. Just a scant few weeks after our CloudTV™ StreamCast won an international Product of the Year award, a survey of more than 150 representatives of video service providers overwhelmingly confirmed that pay-TV’s technological, business and market futures are inextricably linked with the virtualization of set-top box functionality.

In a downloadable report entitled “Television in the cloud virtualisation era” Digital TV Europe consolidates survey respondents’ views on the cloud’s role in video services delivery. For my money, the biggest takeaway is that the capabilities of most importance to pay-TV operators can best be provided from the cloud to any set-top box or connected device.   Among them:

  • Faster Time to Market -- More than half of the 90% who believe advanced TV services should be available to operators’ entire subscriber bases also believe that it is essential for those services to be delivered as quickly as possible.
  • Faster Service Velocity -- 86% of respondents believe that it is important or very important that pay-TV be able launch new services at the same speed as Internet video providers.
  • Consistent user experiences – Almost 80% said it is important or very important that pay-TV operators offer a unified overall user experience embracing content from multiple sources.

It’s crystal clear to the growing cast of cloud adopters that by virtualizing set-top box functionality in the cloud, they can accomplish three things: They can decouple the application performance from device resources; they can achieve reach across diverse bases of devices; and they can maintain a consistent application experience on every installed device, while complementing device upgrade strategies that address the need for next-gen codecs, HEVC support and advanced networking and storage functions. The same user experience can be delivered at launch to every subscriber without the delays inherent in rolling out new STBs, and changes in service can be facilitated in days, not weeks or months.

The cloud has enabled superior interfaces, faster time to market and better viewer engagement across a broad reach of subscribers.   We’d like to think that the Digital TV Europe survey results echo the value of cloud virtualization technologies that Ziggo, Liberty Global, Charter and others are adopting for their own services.   

It’s been an exciting couple of years for the cloud. “Television in the cloud virtualisation era” explores multiple genres of service delivery – user interfaces, online video, video-on-demand and even DVR – and is a finger on the pulse of the thinking that’s moved the cloud out of the pack and into an industry-changing position. You can download it here.