Apple HLS emerges as top OTT video format

Joseph O'Halloran | 16-07-2013

Indicating rather clearly the most popular devices used to view such services, Apple's HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) format is, according to Infonetics Research, the most important over-the-top (OTT) video format.

Analysing trends and assessing the needs of service providers deploying IP set-top boxes (STBs) to deliver video services, the Infonetics IP Set-Top Box Features and Vendor Leadership: Global Service Provider Survey found that operators rated video-on-demand (VOD), OTT/broadband video, remote programming via tablet/mobile device, and whole-home DVR as the top IP STB apps.
Only about a quarter of survey respondents who included ADB, Amino, ARRIS/Motorola, Cisco, Entone, Huawei, Netgem, Pace, Sagemcom, Samsung, Skyworth, Technicolora and ZTE currently required QAM or over-the-air (OTA) tuners on their IP STBs and the data also revealed that most operators do not plan to add video transcoding to their IP STB offerings by 2014.
Looking at the key issue of streaming video in a connected home, 802.11g as found to be the current leading IP STB Wi-Fi technology among carrier respondents, but Infonetics expects that by 2014 technologies that enable wireless streaming of high definition content such as 802.11n dual-mode and 802.11n MIMO will be the most required.
Looking to the near future, Infonetics believes that the current dominance of HLS in the OTT sector will be challenged by HTML5.
"We expect HTML5 adoption to grow, especially if the W3C adds new security features (a top concern among content owners), as it can scale quickly across multiple platforms and has already gained the support of Apple, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, Netflix, Amazon, Facebook and LinkedIn," explained Jeff Heynen, principal analyst for broadband access and pay-TV at Infonetics Research.
"In our talks with carriers, we're also seeing growing interest in MPEG-DASH, a new standard for video codecs. Backed by companies like Microsoft, Netflix and Adobe, it's gaining traction in North America and Europe, and we expect it to get more support from vendors in coming years."