Before jumping into the benefits of OTT and its role in the modern broadcasting industry, let’s enlighten ourselves about its real meaning. OTT basically, plays a role in streaming content across different devices anytime we want. This freedom of choice when it comes to viewership has only been made possible through OTT broadcasting. OTT is a convenient little term for “over-the-top” that explains the modern delivery method of film and TV content over the internet across the globe without the need for traditional broadcasting solutions such as cable or satellite pay-TV providers. The simplest and most relatable example for this type of broadcasting would be Netflix or Amazon Prime.
Media is distributed through OTT and it delivers content even on the outside of the closed networks that require traditional cable and satellite. In simple words, it has bypassed the media gatekeepers by making unlimited content accessible to anyone, at any time, anywhere in the world. Also, it has eliminated the need for expensive equipment that was mandatory for traditional telecom vendors. All they need is a stable internet connection now.
Benefits Of OTT Broadcasting
With the evolution of modern technology and ample content options online, the market for OTT services has grown as well. The real boom in this broadcasting platform has been witnessed during the pandemic as it played an essential role in the information revolution and development. It has evolved so much to an extent that it is actually expected to reach over $158 billion within the next three years. OTT has outgrown so many limitations that were once associated with traditional broadcasting.
- No need for hardware and software supply by the vendor. Hence there are no monthly costs for cable operators or any kind of interruption.
- Unlimited content options for everyone, anywhere at all times.
- High-quality audio and video content that makes your viewing experience better than traditional broadcasting.
- On most platforms. There is an option for you to customize the video and audio quality per your liking.
- Simplified, economic, and convenient content delivery process without any cables or satellites.
- Instant access to your favorite content as many times as you may like.
- Access the content through a mobile phone, laptop, or smart TV with an internet connection.
- All you need is a stable internet connection and a device to have an amazing broadcasting experience.
As people move towards OTT broadcasting, it gets more and more popular. It is expected that soon we’ll forget about the traditional broadcasting that involved complicated processes with limitations. Many have already shifted to OTT services while others have opted for a hybrid combination of both.
How Does It Work?
Well, we’re now familiar with all the good things about OTT broadcasting. So how about diving a little deeper into the way it works? First, the content provider uploads the content on an Online Video Platform. These OPVs are the back-end of all the processes and are handled by the developers. It sets the communication requirements for each device the user uses to access the content.
Now it is up to the viewer which piece of content they pick from the library. This is where the actual process begins. The hosting server is smart enough to choose the best format depending on the viewer’s device, internet connection, and bandwidth availability. Due to the large video sizes, it could be a bit difficult to provide a smooth viewing experience to the subscribers. To cater to that issue, video files are broken down into chunks, known as packets. Once these packets reach the particular device, they are reassembled under the streaming protocols.
Multi-bitrate lets the OVPs include multiple versions of the same content that is streamed in different sizes and formats. The best signals are transmitted like this to the users at all times. All this content is delivered over the Internet via content delivery networks.
OTT Broadcasting Types
OTT broadcasting and streaming can be categorized into two types:
If you’re more into the content you can watch at your own time as per your convenience and preferences, Video On Deman or VOD is suitable. The pre-recorded content that is uploaded on the platform and upon request is made accessible to the viewer.
However, the content is played in real-time and the viewer has no control over it using live streaming. Live streaming can be an exciting and thrilling experience for the viewers as they are part of a process and see the events unfolding in front of them. Thanks to modern technology, users can ask questions or give feedback live via chat as well.
OTT Broadcasting Platforms
We’re all familiar with the OTT broadcasting platforms as they have become an essential part of our everyday life over the past few years. In our cell phones, smart TVs, and personal computers, something that’s always open in the background is either Netflix, Hulu, or amazon prime. Back in the 1900s, people mostly relied on rented movies, and later they switched to DVDs. Weekends used to be all about one movie that the entire family watched together. But what if you don’t like that movie and want to watch something else? Thanks to the OTT platforms such as Netflix, every person in the family can watch whatever they want at any time.