There is a thin line between fully managed IPTV services and managed OTT services – and the gap is closing. Soon we will see lots more OTT live streaming.
At this year’s Motorola Video Leadership Conference in Stockholm Finnish company Maxisat was showing how they deliver over 140 channels over their IPTV service to viewers across Finland – regardless which broadband connection they have.
The operator receives the signal at a central place and distributes them across the country – offering all the main Finnish terrestrial as well as cable and satellite channels plus a range of international channels. The signals
The Maxivision HD set-top box claims to triple the number of channels in Finnish households with antenna reception and it offers “a network hard disc with easier programme recording than ever before.”
We saw the service in action in Stockholm – and it works perfectly (the Finnish service is of course geo-blocked and only available to homes in Finland). Maxisat’s CEO Tommi Blom and development manager J-P Hela-Aro claim to be the first in the world to offer such a service, but they will certainly set a trend.
So far, broadcasters have been reluctant to licence their channels for live OTT streaming, but in Finland they agreed with Maxisat carrying their signals. With companies such as Motorola making their set-tops capable of handling both IPTV and OTT signals, it will only be a matter of time before the phenomenon will spread across the world.
In Stockholm we also heard that Turkish TTNet is planning to introduce a live streaming OTT service and many IPTV providers have already started streaming live channels to other screens. So far, only to screens that are in the same house as the main screen, but everywhere distribution can happen any moment.
In Switzerland, live streaming video portal Zatooo is already capable of delivering live signals to regular TV sets using connected devices such as the VideoWeb set-top, while CNBC is already available – live and streaming – on Samsung and Philips smart TVs.
Until now, managed OTT services were mainly used for VOD and perhaps niche channels, but it will only be a matter of time before cable, satellite, DTT and IPTV will face even more competition from live streaming OTT.