Television Content Delivery: A Primer

There’s been a great deal of disruption in the video content space—specifically, in how video content is delivered to the television set. To break things down into bite-size pieces, we can broadly categorize content delivery into three main categories.

Closed television networks

Closed television networks are those owned by cable, telecom, and satellite companies. In a closed television network, a box is connected to a television set within the home. The network operates in a centralized fashion: all of the television programming and delivery originates at the provider and is distributed to the network of subscribers.

The provider may rely on satellite, copper cable, or telephone line to get the television signal into the home. Regardless, delivery relies on a connection between the set-top box within the home and a central location from which the television content is delivered.

Over-the-top video streaming boxes

One of the most disruptive threats to traditional closed television networks to date has been video streaming devices. These small, inexpensive devices use a broadband Internet connection to acquire video content from many different services, not from a traditional television provider.

Over-the-top viewing has posed a real and present danger to closed television networks. However, the rapid rise and adoption of smart televisions poses an even larger threat to existing television delivery systems—both closed networks and over-the-top devices.

Smart televisions

Smart TVs provide the best of both worlds. For those who do not wish to relinquish their “old and reliable” television set top box, smart TVs provide connectivity to an existing television delivery service as well as to the Internet.

What does this mean?

In the near future, broadband availability and affordability will continue to evolve the manner in which television is delivered to the home, providing the viewer with even more options in how, where, when and which digital content they wish to receive into their homes. We believe that networked set top boxes and closed delivery systems will quickly fade into history and be replaced with even smarter televisions.

The real question is the role that televisions of the future will play inside the home.

Stay tuned…