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ASK THE EXPERTS ask the experts OTT A MULTISCREEN ENVIRONMENT Sefy Ariely EVP Americas, Viaccess-Orca Just when pay-TV operators and content providers seemed to be facing an insurmountable number of challenges related to OTT multiscreen delivery, the cloud has emerged as their saving grace. During this Q&A session, Sefy Ariely, EVP Americas at Viaccess- Orca, discusses the advantages of using a complete cloud-based TV Platform as a Service (PaaS) for OTT multiscreen delivery, explaining the differences between relying on the CAPEX vs. OPEX model for broadcast delivery, from an infrastructure and cost point of view. Q. in the ott multiscreen environment, what are the main challenges standing in the way of pay-tv operators and content providers? Evolving service models, technology advancements, new forms of competition, and shifting consumer preferences are certainly big issues for pay-TV operators and content providers. While the components for delivering an OTT service have become more advanced, few technology providers are capable of deploying a complete solution of their own. This makes launching an OTT multiscreen offering with any amount of speed a significant challenge, as a comprehensive solution might require components from several vendors, each of whom enhance their products at a different pace. Another challenge is coverage; many incumbent service providers are anchored to a physical network, thereby constraining their total addressable market in a world where competitors can “poach” subscribers from one another. In order to maximize the audience, service providers must transcend the boundaries of their service area and pursue their target audience wherever they may be. Reconciling the required investments with the incoming revenues is also a major issue. Gearing up for OTT content delivery is not only a significant CAPEX investment, it requires ongoing operating expenses in terms of upgrades, maintenance, and integration and testing. In-house experts or costly outsourced engineers are needed to keep the ecosystem current with new versions and running smoothly. Consumer expectations keep growing, too. Operators must continually enhance their customer experience by adding new features, new business models, and new programming. Beyond that, to be competitive in the multiscreen environment, they’re also being called upon to deliver a mix of high-quality on-demand and live video to subscribers anytime, anywhere, and on any device. While there are new monetization opportunities, operators must move fast if they want to head off competition from new entrants and stay competitive in today’s evolving industry. Traditional broadcast delivery models are not designed to enable this level of flexibility and agility. 44 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 114 JUNE 2016 Q. how can service providers address these challenges? Generally, there are three approaches to multiscreen service delivery. The first is the traditional approach, where the TV service delivery components reside on the video service provider’s premises, giving them full control over the components but necessitating a robust external connection to the internet in order to distribute the content to its destination. The second is to uproot many of these same components and install them in external hosting facilities, perhaps in conjunction with a few systems that remain on premises. This addresses the connectivity issue, but the burden of operation is still on the service provider. The third approach is to utilize a cloud-based streaming service platform, typically on a fully service-based approach, so that the operator can focus on the service and can run the service on OPEX without requiring an upfront CAPEX investment and the pre-requisite debate over ROI. Many operators are choosing cloud- based service delivery. The ability to virtualize the servers (creating scalability- on-demand) and to leverage continuous software development practices