Hybrid and over the top turn pay-TV market HOTT

Joseph O'Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 09-11-2011

Coining a whole new phrase, analyst MRG says that the growing uptake of hybrid OTT (HOTT) and live TV services are enabling service providers to cash in on a demand for multiscreen services cheaper than before.
The analyst says that the introduction of integrated and live TV services using adaptive bit rate (ABR) encoding and digital video broadcast is enabling pay-TV operators to add or expand video services less expensively than before. Furthermore it argues that integrated program guide for OTT and live digital channels are easing the ability of providers to tailor bouquets according to local market demands.
Indeed it is the addition of EPG integration and ABR streaming that in MRG’s opinion distinguishes HOTT services from past generations of hybrid services, which also make use of security and QoS functions not available in the older hybrid set-top boxes (STB).
"The HOTT services provide pay-TV operators the ability to grow new audiences from the younger demographic that likes the freedom of OTT TV, while attracting audiences who still prefer linear content," says Tanuja Chati, Analyst for MRG.

"HOTT markets have developed faster in Europe, often due to the need to integrate bundled Free-to-Air digital channels into one service," added Gary Schultz, MRG's President. "Earlier versions of Hybrid service were not integrated and did not take advantage of ABR, causing them to feel unfinished and hard to use."