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These are what I think are the most significant stories we published this calendar year, because each one demonstrates a new service concept that will help shape the future of TV.
Important because: It illustrates the next-generation, broadcaster-led Hybrid Broadcast Broadband (HBB) platform designed to migrate the free-to-air mass market into the connected era, and is a classic broadcast (DTT) and OTT hybrid that merges those two worlds fairly seamlessly thanks to its backwards-facing EPG.
Important because: This shows a Pay TV operator harnessing Connected TV to target new markets – in this case the free-to-air market in direct competition with online movie aggregators thanks to a movie offer of its own with more flexible pricing and contracts than you find with traditional Pay TV. This service will eventually include linear channels including sports and will be an early example of ‘Pay TV Lite’.
Important because: An IPTV provider has created a close partnership with a major television maker to provide a virtual set-top box app so it can enable classic multicast IPTV into new customer homes without shipping STBs. This is the TeliaSonera and Samsung deployment. It is a rare example of a Connected TV service that does not use OTT, instead delivering traditional, managed digital TV via the app. It could be the world’s first virtual STB app (it is certainly one of the first).
John Moulding, Editor, Videonet