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Internet, the future of TV

altThe distribution of content on an OTT platform requires two elements: it requires technology that allows access to the contents through the Internet and, of course, the contents themselves.

By Richard Santa S.


Historically, whenever a communication or content transmission technology is developed, it is thought that its predecessor will disappear. This happened with the press when the radio appeared and with it when television emerged, but all of them are still part of people's daily lives today.

And although it does not disappear, the new technology forces the existing ones to transform to adapt to the environment and not be left out of the new market. This is the situation facing all internet communication industries today, including the television industry.

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There are several systems and technologies that have emerged and that allow access to television content through the Internet. Among them are Web-TV, Streaming, IPTV and one of the newest, OTT.

Over The Top television, also called OTT or TV by Broadband, is a technology recently implemented in the United States and is beginning to gain strength in Latin America and other developing regions.

Bruno Durán, Vice President of Sales and Services of DLA, explained that this "constitutes the natural evolution of a personalized consumption trend that allows access to television products on any platform, be it TV, computer or mobile phone, at the time the consumer wants it."

He argued that the future of television is on the Internet. And although traditional television, whether through the air or in subscription models, will remain in force for a few years, there will be an increasing consumption of free or transactional content via online.

"The new generations are setting a very clear and forceful trend in terms of the consumption of television content. They want to have access to programming instantly and on the platform they have immediate access," said Bruno Durán.


Paradigm shift
Daniel Collico Savio, sales director of Grey Juice Labs explained that by concept, telecommunications companies like to feel they own their customers, their network and their services. OTT is different because it forces them to think broadly, in terms of service only, and to reach customers who are not theirs.

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"It's a paradigm shift, where what they offer, which in this case is certain TV content, can reach beyond the usual borders. This requires a broader range of criteria than usual in this type of company."

OTT is the sending of audio and video directly to the consumer over the Internet. The above concept, IPTV also suggests sending audio and video, but with two differences:

- IPTV means a specific network, operated by a telecommunications company, in turn means that it made an investment in a relatively expensive network.

- Usually IPTV implies that the signal is for a specific STB, while OTT means any device (STB, connected TV, console, mobile, tablet, etc).

OTT needs bandwidth not as demanding as one would have thought a few years ago (approximately 1.5 megs), so it needs "reasonable" connectivity. Depending on the device being used, the bandwidth required may be even lower.

"This type of transmission opens the doors for a telecommunications company, through better ADSL or FTTH, to differentiate itself from cable or satellite operators, which historically are more linked to content," said Daniel Collico Savio.
How does it affect the industry? 
If OTT means breaking down barriers in telcos, it means that more and better content is available to more customers.

"So, perhaps the main consequence is in the need for a higher entity that manages the security and law aspects of the contents. In particular, the traditional owners of the best content, the big Hollywood studios, are the main stakeholders in preserving this," said Daniel Collico Savio.

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Another aspect in which it can influence, is that a large player may appear not necessarily associated with the telecommunications company field and offer interesting content to any Internet user who has a reasonable connection to the Internet. "As long as you pay what is owed to the owner of the content, I think there is no barrier whatsoever."

This technology is in full development and there are several bets made by the industry. Collico Savio indicated that the most popular cases are Roku (with or without Netflix), Sezmi and Boxee, which are "focused on STB boxes", although there are also similar variants focused on connected TVs such as Phillips and Sony.

Google TV is another Internet TV streaming case, but it faces a problem in court that needs to be resolved in the coming months.

Finally, the Sales Director of Grey Juice Labs highlighted some aspects to consider about OTT:
- Competitive situations with cable operators that provide a lot of "live" content.
- Networks that will suffer some kind of "stress" if OTT tries live broadcasts, although the strength of OTT is like streaming.
- Telecommunications companies will continue to benefit, even if only from the growing demand for the usual broadband services, on which the OTT is mounted.


Viewers benefited
Bruno Durán said that in the coming years the viewer will probably make a more definitive transition from traditional TV to this type of system.

"OTT transmission is a very recent development that is just beginning to gain traction. However, it is clear that its popularity and expansion are marking a milestone in the evolution of television and On Demand services."

This technology has become popular in the last couple of years thanks to the wireless connection of computers and televisions to the Internet network. And in this field the experience of the DLA company has been successful.

At the beginning of the year it launched its broadband solution for Latin America and its representative said that the response they have received from operators foresees its rapid adoption in the region.

DLA is characterized by being a pioneer company in the development and distribution of entertainment solutions for digital platforms in Latin America, offering operators a "turnkey" service, which allows them to provide their subscribers with access to Hollywood movies, children's channels, documentaries and music and other VOD content through the broadband platform.


Richard Santa, RAVT
Author: Richard Santa, RAVT
Periodista de la Universidad de Antioquia (2010), con experiencia en temas sobre tecnología y economía. Editor de las revistas TVyVideo+Radio y AVI Latinoamérica. Coordinador académico de TecnoTelevisión&Radio.

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