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DISTRIBUTION & DELIVERY How to go ‘Over the Top’ with your video experience by Lorna Garrett, Co-founder of Garland Partners G oing “over the top” opens up boundless opportunities. As a viewer, you can watch content on any device you have connected to the Internet without going through an ISP (internet service provider). As a broadcaster you can use OTT to enhance what you already offer, like Channel 4’s Box TV service. These days, with careful choice of technology, you can offer a high-quality, reliable OTT service that viewers will want to watch. From there you can create new revenue streams from targeted advertising, Catch-up TV and Video-on-Demand services to interactive online shopping experiences. Consumers are spending more time watching OTT services that ever before. to embrace new formats as they evolve, such as MPEG- DASH. Consider using a mix of hardware and cloud-based solutions too. Getting fl exibility, scalability and versatility from your chosen transcoding platform is key. 4. Manage: You want your viewers to have easy access to your content – the best way to ensure this is to integrate middleware from companies such as HiBox. It does just want it says – becomes the middle-man for linking the viewer to their selection of video content. It’s great for stream management, authentication and verifi cation of users, billing and DRM as well as offering simple to use EPG. 5. Distribute: Now you need to distribute your video stream to make it available to your intended audience. You need to work with a content distribution network (basically a company that operates a large system of distributed servers) or an online video platform (a company that hosts and manages your video content for you). 6. Deliver: And voila! It’s there on the viewer’s laptop, tablet, phone, set top box … well, whatever device they choose. So what do you need to be able to offer that consumer- engaging, cost-effective, revenue generating service? Well besides good content, you have to consider fi ve steps to get that content to your viewers: 1. 2. 3. Ingest: First you have to acquire, capture, or import the video and audio you want to send to your audience. You may need to take in numerous satellite channels simultaneously using a DVB-IP gateway provided by companies such as Teracue or Wisi. You might even consider transmitting your own content direct from the source. For example, during the Olympics, many of the world’s leading news agencies uplinked live from their cameras using systems from LiveU that transmits video over cellular. Ad-Recognition: Once you have collected the content you want to stream, sending it out over the Internet offers you the ability to target advertising to your audiences. For example, Culloma Technologies ad recognition and replacement service recognises advertisements in TV streams. It inserts markers into the stream to indicate the ad positions, which allows broadcasters to replace them with alternative ads — all in a matter of seconds and undetectable to the viewer. Stream: Next up, preparing the content to be viewable on any connected device the end viewer chooses. For a consistent and rich user experience Media Excel’s HERO platform ticks all the boxes. Available as either appliance or cloud based architectures it can perform adaptive bit rate encoding/transcoding for multi-screen. The HERO product line enables both Live and File workfl ows in a single platform with densities of up to 8 x HD channels per platform. In the UK alone, companies such as Encompass Digital Media, IMG Media, Telegraph Media, UK Parliament, SSVC and QVC (through Simplestream) all use the HERO to offer a truly immersive experience. You also need to ensure your transcoding solution is “future proof” and able 48 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 103 JULY 2015 OTT Workflow: The technologies already exists to take advantage of the many opportunities OTT presents. What you need now is a professional digital video streaming partner to guide you through the workfl ow. My company Garland Partners can help you to reduce the complexities involved to ensure that you have professional support to get your content to your audiences, both existing and new. We have a proven track record of delivering the technology for a complete end-to-end OTT workfl ow through trusted partners such as Media Excel. OTT has gone mainstream – and you need to be part of the action. Garland can make this happen. Lorna Garrett is the Co-founder of Garland Partners and has been providing professional digital video solutions over the past 11 years.