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Why content discovery technology needs to keep up with viewer demand

By Gavin Ho, technical director, Insight TV

We take OTT services for granted now, enjoying the benefits that streaming brings: more quality content that we can watch when, and where, we like. 

Broadcasters and content owners are partnering with premium TV manufacturers creating their own smart TV, Android and digital applications to allow viewers to watch content in the same high-quality native format as it was produced, which in Insight TV’s case is always 4K UHD HDR.

For broadcasters, the relationship with consumer electronics manufacturers is critical, although many in the industry seem reluctant to acknowledge this; 3D burnt many people’s fingers. 

The growth of channels and the differing methods of content delivery to the consumer has resulted in demand for higher quality production standards. As consumers demand quality content through the increasing numbers of UHD smart TVs sold annually, we’ll see continued migration to UHD. And because the global acceleration of broadcast technology is speeding up the consumer cycle, consumer electronics manufacturers are under pressure to enhance and entice consumers to switch to newer devices. Broadcasters and electronics manufacturers need to continue their R&D investment in technology that provides the highest picture quality with stunning content to showcase it.

As well as major delivery platforms, consumers can increasingly access content on smaller OTT platforms, which serve niche audiences. While the sharp shift that we experienced with HD is unlikely, major content producers are already beginning to invest a proportion of their annual production spend on UHD programming. And let’s not forget that 8K is shimmering on the horizon. TV manufacturers have begun introducing 8K TVs prior to the launch of NHK’s 4K/8K channel, which began transmitting on December 1st. As internet speeds to the home and to mobile continue to increase, broadcasters will be able to deliver even more higher quality content.

As we can see, producing the highest quality content and delivering to multiple platforms is key, but the challenge doesn’t stop there. How do you then get the viewer to click on the channel and stay there? Brand recognition plays an important role, creating an instant association with content, as does data capture. Detailed and accurate reports that record information at various data points and highlight all viewing activity, such as what content is being played, where and for how long, allow the broadcaster to see what is and isn’t working from an audience-led perspective. All the information that Insight TV has gained confirms that its target audience of millennials’ viewing behaviour is very different from older generations that have grown up watching linear TV, as you would expect.

With so many different channels and shows to choose from, content discovery technology needs to keep up with viewer demand. We’re likely to see consumer electronics manufacturers providing ways for users to search for content across multiple platforms within their own ecosystem and having a search concept that reaches every application, sending those results back to the user without them having to jump from one application to another. For example, the viewer could enter “surf shows” as their search option and that would pull information from every channel on every application. Some manufacturers are already doing this to a limited extent. Artificial intelligence will play a part in future content discovery technology by automating repetitive tasks, providing a workflow that automates the enrichment of metadata to aggregate various data sources and provide recommendations.

Over the past three years, Insight TV has grown significantly and its content is available in different languages on platforms and smart TVs around the world. To ensure that its target audience can access its content globally, using simple-to-navigate app-based technology, Insight partners with consumer electronics companies such as Samsung and LG Electronics. In partnership with Intel, it has recently launched a sophisticated Windows Store Application built to support Universal Windows Platform (UWP) devices including support for Intel SGX content protection. Insight TV’s content is also available via seven linear services distributed worldwide.