Pay TV players look to open platforms to stay competitive

26 Jun 2018

Pay TV operators struggling with increased competition from broadcast and OTT service providers and the entry into the content market of tech giants such as Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook are under pressure to transform their content delivery strategies.

While the set top box (STB) remains the key way of delivering a differentiated user experience to the home, content providers seeking to stay ahead of the curb must adjust their strategies and seek to future-proof their business by adopting open platforms, according to Irdeto product director Frank Poppelsdorf.

Android TV is currently the most popular and practical open platform option. Poppelsdorf said a recent study from the company and ovum found that 72% of video service providers are considering Android implementations as part of their STB strategies.

“Android TV is already an excellent option for operators wishing to launch a hybrid STB quickly, with low development and operational costs,” he said.

“By leveraging built-in features of Android TV, operators can add their broadcast service in 6-12 months, or even faster if they work with pre-integrated solutions. Furthermore, they can give consumers instant access to thousands of OTT and other apps in the Google Play Store.”

But the wide availability of apps also introduces challenges for operators. These include the proliferation of illegal content aggregators available on Android set top boxes. Malicious apps may also expose customers to threats to their personal data.

“What operators should keep in mind is that while Google has taken some steps towards securing Android TV, operators must take additional steps to protect their service, platform and data,” Poppelsdorf said.

“These include defining specific security requirements for STB vendors to meet on Android TV, adding best-in-class content protection technologies, managing threats continuously and having effective response capabilities.”

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