Skip to main content

Raising the Bar of Expectations for Pay-TV Design


The world was a much simpler place for pay-TV providers when all their competitor user interfaces (UI) had the same unintuitive design, set-top box remote controls had dozens of tiny buttons, channel guides were not interactive and nobody cared to change the status-quo of perpetual mediocrity.

Then unwelcome outsiders introduced alternative offerings and the bar of UI design expectations was raised off the ground. The result? The legacy pay-TV companies are now struggling to keep up with the superior video experiences enabled by connected TVs, smartphones and media tablets.

Their apparent situation, caused by an apathetic slow-moving business model, as well as serving less technically savvy consumers, is exacerbated by suffering a significant hardware disadvantage -- as they typically rely upon cheap set-top boxes that are based upon a 5-7 year-old technology.

Meanwhile, the savvy consumers are looking at video content from a much wider selection of choices -- including more channels, a vast array of video on demand (VOD) options, DVR recordings and even internet delivered streaming video content.

"To meet this demand, pay-TV operators are adopting search, recommendation, and discovery technologies that can help viewers find the right content at the right time," said Sam Rosen, practice director of TV & video at ABI Research.

These enhanced systems typically leverage cloud-based technologies to compensate for the older set-top box technology in the home.

According to the latest market study by ABI Research, over 50 percent of the savvy consumers are already watching video content while on connected TV platforms (including Blu-ray players, Smart set-top boxes, Connected TVs, and Connected Game Console).

Between 31 percent and 52 percent of those enabled consumers are using these devices for access to internet delivered video content (depending on device type).

This sets a new high-bar for designing video entertainment experiences. HBO Go offers beautiful graphics, simple navigation, and responsiveness while Netflix has started to offer multiple user interfaces -- including one optimized for children.

Established digital media companies such as Rovi and Technicolor, TV middleware companies (notably, Viaccess Orca with its COMPASS recommendation technology), together with a set of innovating companies, including DigitalSmiths, APRICO, and Gravity R&D (winners of the Netflix prize for improving search algorithms) are all competing to offer the core technologies rolled out by cable, satellite, and IPTV pay-TV operators.

In addition, second screen experiences that are designed to use on a tablet while in front of the TV, are gaining more attention from the legacy pay-TV service providers.

Popular posts from this blog

Digital Transformation Spending Reaches $1.8 Trillion

Ongoing investment in business technology will remain on track, despite concerns about the global economic outlook which continues to evolve in 2022. Enterprise CIOs and CTOs are focused on operational profitability and digital business growth goals that are enabled by strategic IT initiatives. Global spending on the Digital Transformation (DX) of business practices, products, and organizations is forecast to reach $1.8 trillion in 2022 -- that's an increase of 17.6 percent over 2021, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC). Many anticipated DX investments will sustain this pace of growth throughout the 2021-2025 forecast period, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.6 percent. Digital Transformation Global Market Development "IDC expects to see aggressive DX technology investment growth in 2022 following a minor slowdown during the pandemic period," said Craig Simpson, senior research manager at IDC . "As orga

Flexible Working: Why Company Culture Matters

The main reasons for the Great Resignation are obsolete leadership, fearful middle managers, and a toxic culture that hinders employee engagement. Perhaps that's why some organizations are still struggling with the consideration and development of a flexible working model.  They're incapable of evolving to a more enlightened approach to work where employees are treated with respect. They're stuck in a bygone era of the 20th-century industrial revolution where 'shareholder value' tops all other values, and where spreadsheets and financial data analysis drives all key decision making. We should not be surprised that 76 percent of human resource (HR) leaders now feel that hybrid work challenges an employee's connection to organizational culture, according to a recent survey by Gartner. A 2022 poll of HR leaders reveals the most challenging aspect of setting their hybrid strategy is adjusting the current organizational culture to support a hybrid workforce. In fact,

Energy Sector IoT Cybersecurity Gains Momentum

The electric distribution industry continues to invest in digital transformation projects. Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) technology is becoming a driver for connected electricity meters, which will reach an installed base of 1.3 billion by 2027. AMI growth is prompting utilities and energy suppliers to revisit their IT infrastructure security and device management operations, according to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research. Energy Infrastructure Security Market Development Digitization of traditional electricity grids and the modernization of the aging energy infrastructure is among the top concerns for utility operators and governments worldwide. Security for last-mile energy consumption applications was frequently overlooked. "However, the introduction of AMI, smart metering, and grid digitization is steadily increasing spending for secure management services, assisting implementers to transition to IT (information technologies) and OT (operational techno