February 2, 2022

Pay TV Reality Check | Part 2

When it comes to enjoying video content, one device continues to outshine all others – the TV. Even as mobile devices provide portability – the combination of screen size, video quality and communal enjoyment has led to a renaissance for the TV, which continues to be the centerpiece of the consumer home.

The TV’s big screen continues to dominate viewing time garnering 73% of global viewing time according to Conviva. Most of these TVs are often paired with another device that enables streaming content to be displayed on the TV screen. These streaming devices are designed to give consumers access to high-end audio/video via a graphically appealing, easily navigated user interface.

So, what is a streaming device? Whatever the size, shape or color a streaming device takes they all share similar baseline features:

  • Video delivery over Broadband IP networks
  • Simple set up, typically via an on-screen guide
  • A variety of Premium, SVOD/AVOD and FAST apps
  • Connectivity to the TV via an HDMI port
  • Audio and video content (with gaming content emerging)
  • Ability to display content cast from mobile devices

While the market assumes that streaming devices are fairly new, in fact vendors providing set-top boxes for IPTV providers (e.g., AT&T, BT, Swisscom, PCCW) have been enabling video streams over IP networks for almost two decades.  What is the difference between these managed devices and today’s streaming devices?

Even as consumers subscribe to more streaming services, they still face service quality issues, which become more apparent on the TV screen. According to streamingmedia.com’s State of Streaming Survey from spring 2021, 33% say they have issues related to maintaining video quality. These new streaming devices, enabling access to streaming services, are designed for retail sale and use. While they are easily obtained, the consumer has limited recourse should the services they are accessing via the device experience buffering, poor video quality, video start failures, out of sync audio/video, or other performance issues. Additionally, these retail devices restrict the ability for video service providers (e.g., Pay TV operators, streaming app providers) to manage, validate or resolve the quality of the service delivered.

While streaming providers can and do capture quality metrics, they are limited in identifying the root cause or remedying service quality issues. However, operators who offer pay TV services and deploy set-top boxes have invested in service management for decades. Set top boxes are, in fact, managed streaming devices that provide operators the ability to view, diagnose and resolve performance issues.

Managed streaming devices from Amino provide value to video service providers and their subscribers by:

Enhancing operator visibility of deployed devices

  • Diagnostic data about device performance
  • Validate video delivery

Supporting a variety of technologies

  • Multicast and Unicast
  • Adaptive bitrates
  • Latest efficient dodecs
  • Players

Providing Customer Support

  • Someone to call
  • Knowledge of network and devices
  • Amino Engage as tool enhancing support agent responsiveness

Streaming is displacing legacy TV delivery methods while TV itself is being redefined as any kind of linear or on-demand video experience.  Amino, as a provider of IPTV set-top boxes, has been enabling delivery of streaming content for over 20 years. Amino Devices, when combined with Amino Engage, our cloud-based SasS management platform, give Pay TV operators centralized control of deployed devices. With tools to identify and address issues, operators ensure that their subscribers enjoy their favorite streaming programs on their TVs without delay or interruption.

Learn more about our managed streaming devices.