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Irdeto: “The next billion OTT viewers will be able to stream HD online”

Ben Gidley,  Director, Multiscreen Solutions,  Irdeto

Ben Gidley,
Director, Multiscreen Solutions,

With TV Connect (28 – 30 April 2015 ExCel, London) fast approaching, we speak to Ben Gidley, Irdeto, about the panel he’ll be chairing there: ‘The next billion viewers: Reaching and engaging the growing OTT footprint’…

IP&TV News: Hi Ben.  So who are these ‘next billion OTT viewers’?

Ben Gidley: The next billion OTT viewers will be those consumers who will be able to stream HD content online as new compression technologies get adopted, eliminating one of the major limitations – bandwidth availability.

Irdeto believes that currently there are approximately half a billion people globally with broadband connection over 1.0 Mbps allowing them to watch content seamlessly. However with new technology, this barrier can be lowered to 0.5 Mbps, allowing further 1.2 billion people to access HD quality content.

What new technologies and approaches can help reach these new viewers?

Crucial to reaching these next viewers are technologies such as high efficiency video coding (HEVC). This innovation in video compression standards will allow twice the compression capabilities of today’s advanced video coding (H264), offering substantial benefits for SD/HD.  The improved quality will mean that OTT content can be as good as broadcast. Once operators start using HEVC in their STBs, it will allow them to distribute the same quality video using half the bandwidth needed today for an H264 video.

This innovation however holds more opportunities than just efficiency. Operators will be able to provide not only more channels to consumers but also add further revenue generating services to their offering. Implementing comprehensive content discovery solutions, for example will be essential for a truly personalised experience as consumers will be able to have access to more channels and content.

Do you have any predictions concerning the significance of hybrid platforms between now and 2020?

The world is going to IP, but it’s still most common and efficient to watch live TV via broadcast. We believe delivering hybrid services which bridge broadcast and IP technologies are essential to compete for the current audience. A hybrid box can offer both really high quality live experiences and massive libraries of VOD and niche live content. In addition such a box can use the advanced content discovery experience the internet enables for both broadcast and IP delivered TV.

And can you give us a brief overview of who you have on the TV Connect panel and the perspective they can bring?

When inviting participants to this panel, our goal was to have someone represent all sides of the industry, who might even challenge each other to spark an interesting conversation. Nick Ontiveros, Director of Marketing TV & OTT at the Spanish broadband company ONO will be able to represent the operators; Remco Rutte, Senior Business Development Manager at TP Vision will bring the manufacturer’s view into the mix while Allan Dembry, CIO of Vubiquity and  Keith Wymbs, CMO of Elemental Technologies will be speaking from the solution providers’ perspective.

What’s the significance of TV Connect to the connected entertainment ecosystem?

We come to TV Connect London every year, as it is one of the leading events for connected entertainment and gives us the opportunity to meet with other key industry players and share with each other the kind of advancements that will bring the industry as a whole forward.

The next billion viewers: Reaching and engaging the growing OTT footprint’ is on DAY 1: Tuesday 28th April 2015, 12:10, Monetise track, TV Connect (28 – 30 April 2015 ExCel, London)

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