Key Video Technologies That Are Keeping You Competitive

If you've been in the pay TV space for a while, you're familiar with some video technologies that received a lot of attention and effort, and are responsible for driving competitive experiences today. What are those technologies, and how have they been adopted?

May 22, 2024

In recent years, TV Service Providers have been focused on a handful of video technologies to enhance viewer experiences, improve service delivery, and stay competitive in a rapidly evolving media landscape. What are those key video technologies, and where are they today?

4K and 8K Resolution
Ultra-high-definition (UHD) content in 4K and 8K resolution offers viewers incredibly sharp and detailed images. More and more consumers want the highest resolution and are willing to go out and purchase 8K TVs - and then look for content to watch on them.  For service providers, the challenge is that capturing the programming in 4K or 8K requires major changes in production infrastructure that is slow in coming. These days 4K is becoming the norm; the transition to 8K may not be as dramatic.

High Dynamic Range (HDR)
HDR technology improves the picture quality by offering higher contrast and a broader range of colors. This makes the viewing experience much more vivid and lifelike, offering superior picture quality on compatible devices, which are widely available. The adoption of HDR has been in the works for at least 5 years and is built into the latest set top box technology. If a Pay TV provider wants to compete on quality, this is a must have.

Advanced Compression Techniques
With the adoption of more efficient video compression standards like HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) and AV1, pay TV providers can deliver higher quality video with less bandwidth – as an initial use case. Today, since most connections are sufficient for streaming, advanced compression is important as it allows more efficient use of bandwidth. If service providers can reduce bandwidth across all those connected devices without sacrificing quality, it’s a win.  

Cloud-Based Services and Infrastructure

Cloud technology – initially a topic of distrust and consternation among service providers - is everywhere now as it allows for more reliable, scalable, and flexible service delivery. Cloud-based platforms can support a range of services from content storage and processing to personalized content delivery and advanced data analytics. At the same time, the cloud offers capabilities for multiple sources that allow switch over if problems occur in one area of a network. And don’t forget the AI.  

Addressable Advertising
This technology – another one that has been the topic of much discussion for many years - allows TV service providers to deliver targeted advertisements to specific audiences based on demographic, geographic, or viewing behavior data. Addressable advertising enhances the relevance of ads for viewers and increases the value of ad slots for advertisers. However, like any kind of targeting or personalization, it can always get better. The benefits of addressable advertising are proven to drive rates and value for advertisers, but it is a much more complex ad sale, in effect selling the same ad spot to multiple advertisers where the audience is targeted with the right ad.  In theory this expands the value of the ad spot for the seller and improves the response for the advertiser.

AI and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are being used to personalize viewer experiences, optimize network performance, and improve content recommendations. AI can analyze viewer preferences and viewing habits to deliver customized content recommendations, enhancing viewer engagement. An argument can be made that AI and ML are still emerging, with new use cases being hailed practically every day. In the words of one large service provider exec, “It is sometimes a tool looking for a problem”.  

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

While still in the early stages of adoption for mainstream pay TV, VR and AR have the potential to offer immersive and interactive viewing experiences. Pay TV providers are exploring these technologies to offer unique content experiences, such as virtual concerts or sports events. Maybe this year will be the year of VR/AR?

Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and OTT Integration
The lines between traditional pay TV and over-the-top (OTT) services have long since blurred, with IPTV and OTT content regularly integrated into service provider offerings. This allows subscribers to access a wide range of content from both traditional and online sources through a single interface – obviously no longer emerging. However, the seamless integration of the customer experience is a key factor that many service providers still grapple with.

Multi-screen and Cross-Platform Services

Today’s consumers expect to access their TV content on various devices, from traditional TVs to smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Multi-screen and cross-platform capabilities that offer seamless viewing experiences across all these devices are the norm. However – similar to OTT integration – the key is making this seamless across devices and locations to continue to drive consumer adoption.  

Blockchain for Content Rights Management

Blockchain technology offers a decentralized and secure way to manage content rights and distribution agreements, and in some cases is still an emerging technology or approach. If adopted and integrated seamlessly into a provider's infrastructure, this can help pay TV providers efficiently manage contracts, payments, and content distribution rights, reducing fraud and ensuring compliance.

The adoption of these technologies - and consistently being on the bleeding edge of new technologies - helps TV service providers enhance their service offerings, improve operational efficiencies and service reliability, and provides more engaging and personalized viewing experiences to their subscribers that drive adoption and protect against churn.

Are you thinking about how you can deliver differentiated experiences to your subscriber base? Contact us at to chat.

STay in touch

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form