Traditional Distributor and Its Role in OTT Network

OTT network uses public Internet and local telecom for for delivery contents directly to consumers.

The development of the Internet has paved myriad ways to major changes throughout the recent years, most notably in people's viewing habits. Today your favorite TV shows can be watched anytime and anywhere thanks to the Internet and various mobile devices. With this revolutionary way of viewing contents through over-the-top TV or OTT networks, the future of entertainment media has already been sealed.

OTT is defined as the delivery of audio and video contents such as TV shows and films through the Internet. Basically, OTT networks of TV operators provide service to deliver these contents, bypassing traditional distribution. These networks offer TV solution that caters to the viewer's needs, programming shows whenever, wherever, and how they want them.

Since OTT contents can be viewed without the need to subscribe to cable companies or satellite pay-TV services, the latest TV solution might sound disadvantageous for traditional distributors. However, this is not necessarily true. In fact, traditional distributors still play a vital role in the development of the OTT network because they have the ability to sell the said contents directly to consumers.

The Differences Between IPTV and OTT TV Solutions

With the latest TV solution becoming a trend, it is easy to confuse OTT with other terms like Internet protocol television (IPTV). To shed light on this matter, one should understand the terms and the differences between them.

OTT, to put it simply, is the business model that uses publicly accessible Internet to deliver freemium and economical VOD contents. OTT are unmanaged contents usually provided by studios, channels, or independent services. Since it is publicly accessible, OTT does not involve dedicated network or infrastructure.

On the other hand, IPTV is the technology that manages the delivery of said contents. Unlike OTT, IPTV has a dedicated network or infrastructure provided by local telecoms, its operators. It is used primarily for premium and real-time content.

In terms of quality, IPTV offers better services compared to those that OTT network provides. Since IPTV is fully controlled and runs on private networks, it delivers lesser interruptions and higher quality videos among the viewers. Although IPTV generally offers more quality, OTT has been gaining popularity over the years with its low cost and flexible contents. Aside from the above, other notable differences between these two solutions include the following:

  • Transmission network: OTT network uses public Internet and local telecom while IPTV utilizes dedicated owned or leased networks.
  • Receiver: Both use the set-top box, but OTT can be viewed on mobile devices while IPTV is limited to PC.
  • Routing topology: HTTP-based Unicast and UDP/TCP-based Simulated Multicast for OTT while Multicast and Initial unicast burst during channel change leading to Multicast join for IPTV.

OTT Networks

The previous years have witnessed how fast the OTT network has risen. With the advantages the said trend offers, it would not be a surprise to see more and more viewers choosing to watch their favorite shows online instead of the traditional distribution. That said, one can expect to see it dominate entertainment media in the near future.