• Ivan Verbesselt

Overcoming the challenges of IP migration

One of the key trends of the year has been the rise of IP-based broadcast. Some say this rise is irresistible, yet, warns Ivan Verbesselt, senior vice president group marketing of Nagra, migrating even a small part of a TV distribution network onto a new system is never easy and changing the media delivery method raises a number of key questions.

The delivery of pay-TV content over IP networks is heating up. In the race to satisfy the consumer appetite for on-demand content and multiscreen access, a growing number of pay-TV operators are moving some of their operations onto an IP-based delivery model of OTT unicast, IPTV multicast, or a mix of both. IP delivery offers a huge range of benefits, including cost savings, increased screen reach and better customer data. IP delivery also means providers don’t have to pay for advanced PVR receivers or home media gateways to deliver content to every TV or screen in the home. And they can start to think more like the giants of Silicon Valley and personalise their services with more advanced data.

However, migrating even a small part of a TV distribution network onto a new system is never easy. Changing the media delivery method means examining every part of the business model and raises a number of questions in the process. The first of these is whether to use IP-only streaming devices and smart TVs or hybrid STBs. This decision will be largely driven by business objectives and the existing technology in place. Pay-TV operators already have broadcast or IP multicast infrastructure in operation. As consumers want on-demand TV and VOD services as well as high quality linear channels, the challenge is working out which parts of the back-end and network to upgrade to IP to address these needs.

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