French bouquet operator CanalSat is currently testing a beta-version of its Cube set-top to allow for OTT streaming of channels.
According to the French website Tele Numerique a few beta testers now have a special version of the Canal+ Cube box which streams live TV channels directly to the TV set.
The Cube is a hybrid box that also includes a DTT tuner for reception of the free-to-air and encrypted terrestrial channels.
During the test phase 59 channels are distributed OTT with most channels with a bit rate of up to 2 Mbps, which equals regular SD quality; some of the premium channels have a higher bit rate.
CanalSat OTT also offers the on-demand services from the Canal group.
With a OTT product CanalSat can offer its bouquet across the whole of France as long as people have access to broadband internet as well as DTT reception.
Broadband TV Views. The move by CanalSat comes as no surprise, as cable operator Numericable has recently started to offer a nationwide OTT platform in cooperation with TevoLution.
Across Europe, several operators are offering various OTT platforms including Magine in Sweden, Germany and Spain, WeePee in Belgium and The Netherlands, and veteran Zattoo in a number of territories including the UK, Spain and the German-speaking countries.
Dutch cable operator Ziggo is also known to have tested a OTT offer, which was accessible across the whole of the Netherlands.
This is just the start of a new development, which could harm existing platforms – so it is only natural that established players such as Numericable and Canal will launch their own OTT products.
CanalSat is using a proprietary set-top box, but in the near future such OTT services will be delivered directly to the smart TV set and other devices, including tablets, smartphones and computers. Both Zattoo and Magine have already apps for a limited numer of smart TV sets.
The recent carriage contracts between Dutch public broadcasters and WeePee and between RTL Deutschland and both Magine and Zattoo also show that broadcasters are more willing to talk business with these newcomers.