User Experience – it’s About More Than the UI (Part 2)

In our last TV X.0 blog, we began a discussion about the importance of the user experience for any video service. As we continue to spend more time at home, we are paying more attention to the details of these services. (Or, is just me since I work in this industry?) This blog continues the user experience discussion, focusing quality of service.

Once we’ve found the content we want, we expect reliable video delivery. When I turn on my TV, I know I will see the last channel I watched. As I surf, both the audio and video for the next channel are available and in sync. This is the beauty of mature, managed pay TV networks: they have invested in managing all aspects of video delivery to make sure the consumer has a high-quality viewing experience. DTVE’s recently released annual survey indicates that consumers now expect streaming video services to provide a high level of video quality of experience. In fact, 51% of those surveyed expect streaming services to provide higher quality than broadcast TV!

Service management is one method of monitoring and managing quality of service (QoS). Pay TV providers have invested heavily in QoS and have implemented tools to measure the quality of the content image, delivery network performance and set-top-box management. They have the ability to correlate their findings and proactively resolve issues.

Streaming providers focus on three factors that can influence the viewing experience. These are: high latency, poor image quality and buffering. The challenge for OTT services is that they don’t own the networks over which their content is being distributed. In fact, they often depend on multiple content delivery networks. The result is a high level of dependency on monitoring content playback. While this can provide valuable real-time feedback as to the viewing experience, it only captures data when the consumer is viewing content and it does not enable any kind of root cause analysis.

All elements of the user experience will be key factors in the success, or failure, of streaming services. Despite the decline in pay-TV subscribers, QoS may be one area where Pay TV providers and their managed networks exceed subscriber expectations – simply because they are “managed” to ensure high quality video delivery.

Now, imagine streaming content delivered across the pay-TV provider’s managed network. The pay-TV provider aggregates and delivers both linear and streaming content. The operator provides subscription options, federated search across all content and manages the quality of service. It’s a video delivery service focused on all aspects of the user experience – building loyalty. Sounds good, right?

The future of TV is all about fulfilling consumer expectations. This means providing a captivating UI and ensuring high-quality delivery for both linear and streaming content. We call this evolution TV X.0 – where video delivery and consumption are driven by consumer expectations. This blog is the fifth in a series discussing the journey to TV X.0 where the ability to adapt to changing demands is the norm.

Peggy Dau
Connecting the Dots in Media Tech