The way we watch TV is changing dramatically, the abundance of new and exciting devices on the market is fuelling consumer demand for higher quality, more choice and greater flexibility for watching video. Our research tells us that consumers still value linear TV services, with 93% still regularly tuning into scheduled TV. Our challenge now is to incorporate the linear TV experience into the new anytime, anywhere multi-screen future.
As someone working in the industry, I am excited about how we are going to make the most of the new devices emerging in the market and how we are going to deliver the video services that will provide the desired consumer experience.
While Multi-screen TV seems like an attractive way to enable this vision of access to great content wherever and whenever the consumer wants, it is not going to change the way we watch TV unless it embraces, and integrates into, our social and personal lifestyles. Multi-screen TV mustn’t be thought of as a service, but as a way of life, an evolution through which everyone will consume, share and interact.
This means that as well as developing improved content, devices and broadband access we must think about how these will link with our social and personal lives. That way, instead of merely being a repackaged version of Mobile TV, it evolves into a whole new way of discovering and watching content.
In Ericsson’s vision of The Networked Society we predict that by 2020 there will be 50 Billion connected devices globally and of these more than 15 Billion are expected to be video enabled. Taking a fresh approach to Multi-screen TV will enable us to help operators and content owners to leverage this connected world, where different devices are all connected to one another and allow consumers to use them to their full potential.
In my daily life, scheduled or ‘linear’ TV is still how I watch most of my content, often time shifted, and series linked recording, but increasingly I notice that people are multi-tasking in the living room; being together as a group, but watching and doing different things at the same time on various devices. What I now want to be able to do is connect my individual devices to the TV to watch the content I have found, stored or recorded.
In a truly Multi-screen world I would be able to find content on the PC, watch it on my television, pause the video, and play it from where I left off on my tablet when I leave the house. As well as tapping into social networks so I can discuss, receive and share content with my friends. This is the future of multi-screen TV and connectivity. The applications, connections and use cases will expand significantly in the future, and in today’s rapidly evolving world, in ways we do not even know yet.
To make this future possible we decided that, rather than creating solutions that are vertically focussed on target devices or delivery network type, we would build a unified service delivery platform that simplifies the operator’s delivery of Multi-screen services.
By combining common functions of content management, service control, and media processing, a unified multi-screen delivery service is a reality. Using an architecture that enables an operator to provide the ultimate consumer experience, but also deliver and maintain that service in a cost-effective manner, is the core tenant of the Ericsson End-to-Endless approach.
I’m looking forward to the reaction to the launch of our new Multi-screen compression platform for linear TV at IBC. It combines the best parts of hardware and software to provide the most powerful and flexible approach to enabling the hundreds of linear TV channels that will need to be driven to all the new Multi-screen devices. This is the latest addition to our Multi-screen portfolio and highlights Ericsson’s innovative thinking, helping to drive the Networked Society.