July 17, 2013

Infonetics Research Offers Insight into Future of Video Streaming

Streaming video has made its way into a lot of sectors of technology. From a day of conferencing at work to an evening’s entertainment with Netflix, streaming video is an increasingly large portion of our lives. But behind the entertainment, behind the connectivity, are a host of issues related to how that video gets to where it needs to be effectively and efficiently. A recent study from Infonetics Research (NewsAlert) shows off just what’s going on behind the scenes, and how the technology that drives streaming video is a bigger part of the whole situation than some might expect.

Excerpts from the study entitled “IP Set-Top Box (NewsAlert) Features and Vendor Leadership: Global Service Provider Survey” emerged into the field recently, and what was contained in those excerpts is a very close look at the nature of the field over the next few months to come. Among the most important points found in the survey is that, when it comes to operators picking video streaming services, the biggest names in over the top video are a list of two: Apple’s (News Alert) HTTP Live Streaming followed closely by perhaps a more surprising contender: HTML5. 

Image via Shutterstock

Apple’s current status at top of the food chain, however, may not be around for long; Infonetics Research’s Jeff Heynen, principal analyst for broadband access and pay TV, believes that HTML5 adoption is likely to grow thanks in large part to its ease in scaling across a variety of different platforms. It certainly doesn’t hurt that HTML5 has already garnered support even from Apple itself, as well as a host of other major names like Google, Microsoft (News Alert), and Netflix. However, the growth may be tempered by the W3C and its rate of adding security features to HTML5, which is regarded as a major concern among content owners.

Yet there’s also room in this field for new contenders; many are looking at MPEG-DASH in video codecs, which has support from Adobe (NewsAlert) as well as Microsoft and Netflix. With North America and Europe being found increasingly on the side of MPEG-DASH, that technology may well see some spreading before it’s all said and done.

Other developments in the field are both in terms of what is and what isn’t offered. For instance, for most carrier respondents, IP set-top boxes (STBs) Wi-Fi technology is commonly measured in 802.11g, though by 2014, that’s set to change to 802.11n dual-mode or 802.11n MIMO. When it comes to the apps found on STBs, the top priorities in offerings start with video on demand services, followed closely by over the top (OTT) broadband video, then remote programming on tablets or other mobile devices, and finally, whole-home DVR. Video transcoding, meanwhile, is far down the priority chain, with most operators not planning to add same by 2014. Moreover, only about one in four respondents require an over-the-air tuner on IP STBs.

That’s a lot to take in, and a lot more than that can be found in the full Infonetics Research report. One thing is quite clear from just the excerpts, though: online streaming video is going to be a major part of the equation for some time to come, especially when it comes to the home entertainment market. While some find the concept of cable cutting dubious, it may well be, before too much longer, the go-to source for entertainment in a lot of homes. Video streaming providers are likely to be near the tip of that particular spear, and will play a major role in things to come.

Edited by Alisen Downey


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