Can Smart TV Technology Enhance the Over-the-Top Video Landscape?

Despite the fact that over-the-top video streaming already accounts for an impressive amount of bandwidth usage in the United States, the technology is far from reaching saturation with the population.  The influx of various services with varying business models in a relatively short period of time, plus the new partnerships being formed such as Verizon/Redbox, indicate that there is still a stake to be claimed in the market.

While starts and stalls have been disappointing, especially when it comes to the available content libraries of these services, often dictated by the entertainment industry that demands to live in the past, the transition will most likely take place to predominantly on-demand model of entertainment consumption.

Mobile Devices Will Partially Drive OTT Growth

One need not peer into a crystal ball to understand that mobile devices are, and will continue to be, a hot commodity, and that accommodating wireless traffic fueled by video consumption will be key.  But the real issue holding us back from transitioning to an entirely new way of consuming video entertainment is the issue of integrated access.  We have access to various streaming players and other devices capable of supporting various OTT platforms.  But what we are missing is something to pull our entertainment together as a central focal point in our lives, marrying entertainment, commerce and social media together in one enjoyable, interactive experience.

But . . . Smart TV Will Facilitate Widespread OTT Video Adoption

One related technology poised to explode on the marketplace, barring a sluggish economy and a budget-minded populace, is Smart TV.  And what an impact it will make on our collective lives with its integrated media capabilities.   Either through apps pre-added into the operating system, or selected by consumers and loaded onto the TV after-the-fact, the next generation of television will transition entertainment from a passive into a more active experience.

Your Smart TV will scrutinize your habits and anticipate your interests through various data mining efforts already taking place by entities such as Facebook, Google and YouTube.  It will facilitate search in a variety of unique ways, including noting what your online friends are watching and recommending, so you can join in on watching content that others are chatting about, and get in on the conversation.

You will even be able to command search with voice recognition technology, or browse video snippets served up for consumption as if at a smorgasboard.

Advertisements Served Up Will Be For Products You Care About

Your purchasing habits, along with your viewing habits, will be combined in an integrated fashion to keep you informed about products and services that fit in with your lifestyle and preferences.  You and your friends can also inform each other about what you’re passionate about, and what you’re spending your money on.  Word of mouth advertising will be taken to a new level.

Recent Attempts at Smart TV Technology Have Been Disappointing

So why is this prediction any different than in recent years?  In a word, Apple.  Something new needs to be added to both the operating systems and the apps available on the current batch of connected TV offerings, which really do not resemble what this article has outlined.  Could this technology simply not be ready for prime time?  Apple will most likely dictate that.  The next 18 months will be quite telling.


Anne Madison enjoys researching technology, especially related to the streaming services arena.

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