Industry Resources

Smart Media Terminals Revitalize TV Ecosystem in 5G Era

Monday 24 February 2020 | 12:00 CET | Advertorial | provided by ZTE

With 5G fully commercialized in China in 2019, 5G subscribers are growing at an explosive rate. By the end of 2019, 62 operators around the world had launched commercial 5G networks. The booming mobile Internet also promotes the development of OTT services and leads to a surge in OTT subscribers. OTT, featuring "Anywhere, Anytime" access to services, has attracted a new generation of viewers, made a huge impact on the traditional Pay TV service, and caused a widespread cord-cutting movement around the world.

OTT experience to improve in mobile Internet era

Lack of immersive experience: The OTT viewing experience depends on many external factors. For example, an unstable connection rate on the 4G/5G network may lead to bitrate switching and stutters, thereby affecting the user experience. In addition, due to limitations of the mobile device’s screen size and outside interference, it can be difficult for viewers to enjoy an immersive experience.

High latency of OTT live streaming: The live services currently provided by many OTT service providers offer users more options. However, compared with professional Pay TV solutions, the latency of OTT live streaming is relatively high, especially when watching live sports.

Fragmented user experience: In general, each OTT streaming service has a dedicated app. To use different services, people need to open different apps and sign in to different accounts. OTT services differ, from UI styles to operational functions, and require users to adapt to each one. This leads to a fragmented user experience.

As a mature ecosystem, Pay TV has high vitality and can be an ideal complement to OTT service in order to face the challenges of the 5G mobile Internet era.

Pay TV Ecosystem Full of Vitality, driven by Rapid Evolution of Multimedia terminals

New technologies are driving the technical upgrade of the Pay TV industry, providing operators with more and more ways to enrich their services. For example, 4K and HDR can provide more vivid images to improve the viewing experience, and AI technologies can bring disruptive changes to the hardware experience. Integration with OTT streaming services will attract more young people, and along with the rapidly evolving multimedia terminal market, an ecosystem with better experiences can be created for users.

Perfect match for TV: Pay TV benefits from a stable and mature operating environment and a variety of channels. With the help of a multimedia terminal supporting 4K and HDR, it can deliver an immersive experience to viewers watching TV at home.

Superior live streaming solution: In the Pay TV ecosystem, the full path of end-to-end live stream can be controlled. Whether it's live sports or on-the-scene breaking news, the latency of Pay TV is far lower than that of OTT live TV, where users may first get the real-time information.

Unified user experience: As a professional service provider, the Pay TV operator provides a unified user interface to adapt to people’s consumption habits. It can effectively aggregate multiple content resources and provide highly-efficient search and intelligent recommendation features, which avoids the limitations of OTT applications that only allow searching within their own resources.

OTT service integration: With smart media terminals built with Internet access and an open operating system, OTT services can be integrated into the Pay TV ecosystem. A growing number of operators have launched packages integrating OTT services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video in order to attract the younger generation interested in new forms of content.

The Pay TV platform, with multimedia terminals as the bearer, excels in defining the ecosystem and user experience. These strengths allow Pay TV operators to embrace the booming OTT services in the mobile Internet era and play an important role in the industry.

Bright prospects for smart media terminals in 5G era

5G and AI are expected to be integrated into various vertical industries. The Pay TV industry needs to follow the latest trends of technology development, and improve its competitiveness by introducing these new technologies and services. For example, 5G Live TV can enrich the live broadcasting possibilities, and the use of AI technologies on terminal products improves user interaction and efficiency. Compared to other components across the TV ecosystem, terminal products are more sensitive to new technologies. The efficient introduction of new technologies leads to continuous innovation and upgrade of products.

Intelligent interaction: AI technologies have developed rapidly in recent years, and have been widely adopted in various fields to make life more convenient. ZTE’s latest smart media terminal is equipped with the far-field voice function, and uses natural and smooth human-machine interaction to free up the user’s hands. Its real-time response to user commands delivers convenient searching and content retrieval. Depending on the intelligent perception technology of the AI engine, the device can understand the real intention of users and locate the exact information and content required from a wide range of content and services, significantly improving the user experience. With AI technologies, operators will be able in future to make full use of smart media terminals to build a smart home, with whole-home voice networking control. The improved service enhances customer 'stickiness'.

Immersive experience: Enhanced image resolution and frame rate can greatly improve the viewing experience. 4K channels have been launched around the world, and 8K live broadcast will be the next big thing, starting with this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games. High-quality media resources will attract more users with increased demands for image quality. The new smart media terminal launched by ZTE is equipped with a high performance multi-core processor and the latest audio and video interfaces. It can provide better UHD encoding and surround sound, making it the perfect match for television and home theater.

Extended services: Smart media terminals can effectively extend the range of services for operators. The hardware of the smart media terminal includes built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB interfaces, which can support increased interaction with the smart home and upgrade the terminal from entertainment center to the smart control center at home. Based on the open operating system, the smart media terminal can integrate multiple OTT streaming services to greatly extend the Pay TV service range. As 5G coverage and devices become more available, ZTE’s smart media terminals also can integrate a 5G module to flexibly run services and help operators enhance competitiveness.

In the rapidly evolving 5G era, multimedia terminals face the dual challenges of new product competition as well as opportunities for technical upgrade and innovation. The evolution from traditional one-way broadcasting to two-way interaction is the first leap, providing users with VOD and TVOD functions. Recently, ZTE, leading the industry trend, launched the S series smart media terminals which integrate smart voice technology and Soundbar function. Based on traditional set-top boxes, these terminals can provide convenient voice interaction and vivid surround sound effects, greatly improving the user's functional and audiovisual experience. In addition, the devices can deliver multiple value-added services and extend the range of an operator's services into the smart home. This delivers the second leap in innovation in terminal products. By virtue of continuous technological innovation, ZTE will keep improving the smooth evolution and iteration of smart media terminal products and bring new vitality to the development of the TV ecosystem.


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Name    ZTE
Contact    http://www.zte.com.cn/global

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Categories: General
Companies: ZTE
Countries: World
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