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OPINION: Cloud TV is on the horizon

Cloud TV remains a big theme for IBC and the industry this year, says Alticast EMEA president Tiaan Schutte

The infrastructure is finally in place and we are starting to see pay-TV operators leveraging cloud delivery for high-quality video on all devices. Multiscreen, cloud PVR, catch-up, and start-over TV are features made possible through cloud storage as well as intelligent software solutions for indexing, archiving and serving the content to any device. Cloud DVR deployments, led by IPTV operators, are appearing across Europe.

The delivery of these on-demand services to STBs is causing pay-TV operators to rethink their delivery infrastructure. Where they previously had separate platforms for OTT devices, they are now looking to consolidate them into a single cloud-based, multiscreen service delivery platform.

A single delivery platform improves operational efficiency allowing operators to consolidate and enhance service features across different devices as well as delivering cost optimisation. This factor can be further extended through the migration from dedicated hardware platforms to scalable software instances in the cloud.

At the Alticast booth, we are demonstrating services from pay-TV operators who are using, and capitalising on, the AltiPlex Cloud Services Platform (CSP) to deliver cloud DVR and multiscreen services.

Another cloud-driven trend is STB virtualisation which lowers the STB BoM costs and the TCO through reduced overhead in software release cycles, fault detection and resolution. Alticast is supporting these efforts with AltiPlex Cloud UI where the UI is executed in the cloud freeing up compute cycles on STBs and other devices. This radically changes the UI delivery model as interfaces can be defined on a per user per device basis allowing the delivery and test cycle to be shortened dramatically.

This is a win-win for both operators and consumers as new, innovative features can be introduced quickly and at lower cost without impacting quality. Alticast is presenting a case study about Korean Telecom and their success with the Alticast Cloud UI solution at the IBC Technology In Action Theatre.

IoT services in the smart home rely on the cloud and TV can play a critical role by acting as a control device for the IoT infrastructure. There are a lot of things to consider around the securability and usability of collected IoT data. Pay-TV operators can provide a robust HW interface to sensors with a single point for securing IoT interactions and the network while providing the necessary cloud platform for connecting the subscriber to their IoT services while away from home. This presents a great opportunity for operators to provide the central hub in IoT infrastructures in the home.

IBC2015 will definitely have clouds, but hopefully these will only be in the conference centre and not in the sky outside!