What content providers need to know about OTT


Hiren Hindocha TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
Download PDF
Download PDF

1.) What are the key elements involved in OTT monitoring? Why is it critical today?

As OTT (Over-The-Top) technology has gotten more mature and established robust standards over the years, the concept of OTT monitoring is gaining popularity. With customer expectations soaring, it’s vital for OTT providers to deliver superior quality content. To deliver Quality of Experience (QoE) on par with linear TV broadcast, the entire system, starting from ingest to multi-bitrate encoding to delivery to CDN must be monitored continuously.

Streaming service providers and broadcasters understand the complexities involved in OTT delivery and the media distribution chain - from content acquisition to actual transmission. OTT monitoring primarily involves monitoring the status of all key elements in the pipeline starting with the media source, encoders, decoders, output of Content Distribution Network (CDN), etc. The amount of media consumed over OTT is growing at a staggering pace, and people’s viewing habits are rapidly moving towards a unified multi-screen experience. These rapid changes demand a strong comprehensive monitoring solution that takes care of all the aspects in OTT chain and makes it easy for people at various levels in broadcast operations to monitor and control the entire system.

The primary goals of monitoring OTT are to guarantee Quality of Service (QoS), Quality of Experience (QoE) and compliance monitoring. These quality metrics include media quality for confidence monitoring and delivery of captions, both for primary and secondary languages, to increase user engagement. In addition to QoS and QoE monitoring, broadcasters have another challenge to track viewership using ID3 Tag technology.

2). How has monitoring OTT content advanced in the past year?

OTT monitoring is evolving at a rapid pace. Early on, OTT monitoring had largely been limited to IT infrastructure monitoring, and to some extent, monitoring streams at edge locations as a proof of delivery.

With the market growing, more and more OTT broadcasters are starting to see the value of monitoring. Efforts are on to converge OTT platforms and optimize streaming protocols.

OTT providers use various streaming protocols for media delivery, including Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP), Real-time Transport Protocol, Smoothing Streaming, etc. Often, the receiving devices support only one or two protocols requiring service providers to stream their content in multiple protocols. Nowadays, the media streaming process is largely being performed in the cloud, making use of CDN (Content Delivery Network).

Also, transmission errors can occur while transporting media data using IP network; errors could pertain to packet latency, jitter, packet loss, etc. This makes it important for service providers to introduce complete quality monitoring solutions, including video monitoring at the CDN data centers and at edge locations.

3.) What is the state of Logging and Compliance today?

Logging and compliance of traditional broadcasts are being done by a lot of companies. However, these types of loggings neither cover OTT content nor do they cover content that has advertisements inserted at the MSO.

OTT operations have changed the way advertisements are delivered. They can specify ads for a specific market or a community. However, these broadcasts generally are poorly monitored, or at times not monitored at all compared to traditional broadcasts.

Thus far, there has been no major push from the industry to monitor OTT due to minimal FCC compliance requirements and a lack of industry standard on OTT.

4.) What is being done now on a more consistent basis?

Rapid innovations are being made in OTT and broadcast video delivery. Content owners are under constant pressure to respond to the surge in OTT content consumption.

OTT video service delivery technique is making use of dynamic adaptive video streaming over HTTP (DASH). Over the past year, MPEG-DASH has seen rapid growth and has also gained strong ground in OTT technologies.

The ATSC 3.0 specification is making use of DASH for Hybrid Broadcast-Broadband TV. ATSC 3.0 offers broadcasters the opportunity to deliver broadcast and broadband services to provide better television experience.

Statistical multiplexing (Statmux) helps in providing high-quality ATSC 3.0 streams and facilitates efficient use of available bandwidth and supports to optimize bitrates and video quality of channels that share the same physical layer pipes. OTT content travels via a broadband connection in the receiver and DASH acts as the enabler in this scenario.

5.) What are some of the challenges involved with OTT monitoring using cloud-based applications?

Multiple protocols being used to support a wide range of devices

OTT providers use multiple streaming protocols for media delivery, and the receiving devices support only one or two protocols, which prompts OTT service providers to stream their content in multiple protocols. The data that goes in and comes out from the CDN needs to be monitored to guarantee the quality of experience (QoE).

Last mile monitoring

Cloud-based OTT monitoring has to handle the problem of last mile monitoring.

Cloud-based applications must be monitored at various levels including user experience. Physically, there is a considerable distance between where the application is running and where the users are. Conventional monitoring, being part of the application environment, makes it technically difficult to monitor how an application behaves at the user’s end - be it a mobile app or a web browser. Internet issues specific to each region are to be monitored. Bad internet connectivity could impact user experience.

Another major challenge of OTT content streaming is that the devices and networks are far more diverse than those assembled in controlled environments like satellite, cable, etc. An adaptable architecture is necessary to address the varied needs of network conditions and device requirements.

6.) What can be done to combat those challenges?

  • Simulating last mile bandwidth variations.
  • Convergence of protocols.
  • Limiting the number of manifests and reducing error rates while switching from one manifest to another.

7.) What are you most hopeful about in terms of future advances with regard to cloud-based monitoring of OTT content?

  • Converging of streaming protocols, a widely adapted industry standard; MPEG-DASH for instance.
  • A protocol based on segmented delivery with near zero latency.
  • Advances in video compression, partly promised by H265 and efficient utilization of available bandwidth for best QoS

Tags: iss134 | ott monitoring | qos | logging | compliance | dash | atsc | cloud | Hiren Hindocha
Contributing Author Hiren Hindocha

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Download PDF
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Aframe Cloud Video at IBC 2013

    Aframe Cloud Video at IBC 2013

  • Volicon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Volicon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Root6 at BVE 2012

    Root6 at BVE 2012

  • Mediaproxy LogServer for compliance monitoring and analysis at NAB 2019

    Mediaproxy LogServer for compliance monitoring and analysis at NAB 2019

  • Front Porch Digital at IBC 2014

    Front Porch Digital at IBC 2014

  • Emotion Systems at NAB 2012

    Emotion Systems at NAB 2012

  • Suitcase TV at IBC2011

    Suitcase TV at IBC2011

  • Eyeheight at IBC2011

    Eyeheight at IBC2011

  • Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

  • Bridge Technologies QoE Monitoring with Mobile Videowall Display at IBC 2013

    Bridge Technologies QoE Monitoring with Mobile Videowall Display at IBC 2013

  • Nugen Audio at NAB 2014

    Nugen Audio at NAB 2014

  • NUGEN Audio: Loudness Toolkit at NAB 2013

    NUGEN Audio: Loudness Toolkit at NAB 2013

  • Junger Audio at IBC2011

    Junger Audio at IBC2011

  • The Teracue Application Cloud show at IBC 2018 (German version)

    The Teracue Application Cloud show at IBC 2018 (German version)

  • The Teracue Application Cloud show at IBC 2018

    The Teracue Application Cloud show at IBC 2018

  • Blue Lucy with BLAM3 and their very own cloud at IBC 2018

    Blue Lucy with BLAM3 and their very own cloud at IBC 2018

  • Playbox Cloud Air at IBC 2107

    Playbox Cloud Air at IBC 2107

  • Cloud Media Management with Medway from Marquis Broadcast at IBC 2017

    Cloud Media Management with Medway from Marquis Broadcast at IBC 2017

  • Hybrid Cloud Media Aggregation from Cantemo at NAB 2017

    Hybrid Cloud Media Aggregation from Cantemo at NAB 2017

  • Elemental Technologies cloud innovations at NAB 2016

    Elemental Technologies cloud innovations at NAB 2016

  • FORSCENE Cloud Editing at NAB 2015

    FORSCENE Cloud Editing at NAB 2015

  • ERA - Cloud Services - at BVE 2015

    ERA - Cloud Services - at BVE 2015

  • Haivision: Video Cloud at NAB 2013

    Haivision: Video Cloud at NAB 2013

  • Be More with Clear from Prime Focus Technologies at NAB 2017

    Be More with Clear from Prime Focus Technologies at NAB 2017

  • Object Based Storage Solutions from Object Matrix at NAB 2017

    Object Based Storage Solutions from Object Matrix at NAB 2017

  • New CEO and news update from TMD at NAB 2017

    New CEO and news update from TMD at NAB 2017

  • Prime Focus Technologies at IBC 2016

    Prime Focus Technologies at IBC 2016

  • Prime Focus Technologies at NAB 2016

    Prime Focus Technologies at NAB 2016

  • Playbox at IBC 2015

    Playbox at IBC 2015

  • ERA - Adobe Anywhere - at BVE 2015

    ERA - Adobe Anywhere - at BVE 2015

  • Grass Valley at BVE 2015

    Grass Valley at BVE 2015

  • NETIA at BVE 2015

    NETIA at BVE 2015

  • Forscene at IBC 2014

    Forscene at IBC 2014

  • Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

    Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

  • Comigo at IBC 2014

    Comigo at IBC 2014

  • ChyronHego Metacast at IBC 2014

    ChyronHego Metacast at IBC 2014

  • ERA at BVE 2014

    ERA at BVE 2014

  • ERA Avere at BVE 2014

    ERA Avere at BVE 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies FORscene at BVE 2014

    Forbidden Technologies FORscene at BVE 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies FORscene App at BVE 2014

    Forbidden Technologies FORscene App at BVE 2014

  • Haivision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Haivision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Front Porch Digital on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Front Porch Digital on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Forbidden Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Forbidden Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Cambridge Imaging Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Cambridge Imaging Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Digital Vision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Digital Vision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Haivision live encoding HEVC at IBC 2013

    Haivision live encoding HEVC at IBC 2013

  • Tedial at NAB 2013

    Tedial at NAB 2013

  • Haivision at NAB 2012

    Haivision at NAB 2012

  • Chyron at NAB 2012

    Chyron at NAB 2012

  • TSL at BVE 2012

    TSL at BVE 2012


Related Shows
  • Den Lennie and Larry Jordan - Cloud Editing BVE 2015

    Den Lennie and Larry Jordan - Cloud Editing BVE 2015


Articles
4k and HDR Wireless Camera Transmitters
David Edwards Across the globe, live events represented over 50 percent of the most watched TV programs last year. However, big budget episodic shows are impacting live TV and the way viewers want to see their content. Viewers are demanding the same quality of production for live event broadcasts as they see in pre-recorded TV series and films. Producers of live content are looking to new, immersive and cinematic mobile camera views to better achieve these results. This presents a challenge to live production teams as these new camera views and angles must match the quality of the rest of the production -  the demand for mobility means that the cameras need to be wireless.
Tags: iss136 | wireless | hdr | 4k | transmitter | bandwidth | imt vislink | hcam | David Edwards
Contributing Author David Edwards Click to read or download PDF
Streaming - Shut up and Sit Down
Matt Lees Twilight Imperium is a board game all about strategy and backstabbing. Known for its length of gameplay, the team behind Shut Up and Sit Down decided to deliver a mammoth 10-hour live broadcast, streamed to Twitch. Matt Lees is here to tell us how it went down.
Tags: iss136 | streaming | blackmagic | atem | 4k | canon c100 | sony pxw-z90 | Matt Lees
Contributing Author Matt Lees Click to read or download PDF
Keeping Your Post Prodction on Track with Subclips and Search Bins
Alex Macleod

For my 2nd Kit Plus article I thought I’d try and build on the theme of my first, and that’s one of making sure things are organised at all levels of your post production projects.

Last time I talked about trying as best as you can to stick to the ‘two week rule’, making sure that the names & locations of every asset you import, and every bin & sequence that you create in your project - will make sense to you regardless of how long it is you spend away from it.

Tags: iss136 | mediacity training | subclip | premiere pro | gvs | bve | bve2019 | Alex Macleod
Contributing Author Alex Macleod Click to read or download PDF
State of the Nation - Drama
Dick Hobbs - new If you can remember as far back as the 1980s, then you probably remember a Saturday night drama called Hill Street Blues, written and developed by Steven Bochco. Made for NBC in the States, it was widely shown around the world, including in the UK.
Tags: iss136 | drama holby city | night manager | netflix | bbc | ai | streaming | podcast | Dick Hobbs - new
Contributing Author Dick Hobbs - new Click to read or download PDF
Looking for the Silver Lining
Harry Grinling According to the World Meteorological Organisation, there are 10 different types of cloud, each of which can be divided further into sub-types. They range from the cirrus, the thin floaty clouds which generally serve only to make the sky look beautiful to the towering, all-embracing cumulonimbus which can deliver fearful quantities of rain – the biggest cumulonimbus clouds can contain 50 million tonnes of water.
Tags: iss136 | cloud | lto | archive | storage | Harry Grinling
Contributing Author Harry Grinling Click to read or download PDF