Multiscreen television is fast becoming a reality. With the extremely fast take-up of tablets, both iPad and Android, these are destined to become one of the main destinations of streaming videos. A development, which is also bound to create new challenges to the traditional business models.
Platform operators around the world have already started creating Apps for tablets. The early versions offer an EPG, browsing the VOD library and perhaps offering a few trailers.
In the US, both Time-Warner Cable and Cablevision have taken the tablet one step further: streaming actual channels in real-time to the tablet. In Europe, Telenet is the first with their Yelo service, which streams – on an experimental basis – 10 channels. By doing so, they are adding a second screen for the viewer.
In the US, content owners, e.g. the networks were quick to react to TWC’s move and the operator has already removed a few dozen channels. Cablevision streams all 300-odd channels and claims this is within their carriage agreement with the broadcasters.
In Belgium, Telenet just ‘experiments’ with their Yelo streaming service with just 10 channels. The operator has agreed with the broadcasters to look at the contractual site during the pilot. The questions centers around a single question: have viewers the right to view content, for which they paid, anywhere in the home on any device?
At first sight, this might seem a complicated matter, but technology will probably offer the way out – Samsung is already demonstrating its new generation of Smart TV sets. And guess what is part of the technology? Streaming all channels from the TV set to a second screen, the Samsung Galaxy tablet.
With Samsung Smart TV, the tablet also acts as an EPG, a remote control and it can run several social media Apps as well. Of course, there will be full access to the Android market, opening up a wide range of opportunities – and possible threats to existing business models.
Like it or not, streaming to tablets is a development that can’t be stopped – it is once again consumer electronics that are leading the way.