The TV is being hailed as the most ‘evolutionizing’ gadget. Its continual dominance over the living room and constant embracement of new technology facets, like internet and social networks, vouch for the same. Viewers’ desire to watch/interact with TV differently has initiated, sustained and driven this evolution. The demand for a collective viewing experience, for instance, has led to the emergence of the social TV in US 1 and family TV services in India. Today, TV ecosystem players – original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), chip providers, content service providers – have to decode user demographics, socio-economics, culture and market maturity, to ensure next generation TV solutions aren’t outdated or ‘off the mark’ on user expectations. How does one achieve that?
A ‘usage based solutioning’ approach is one way to avoid a user acceptance debacle early on. It can help an OEM decipher ‘what will the user 03 switch to after turning on their DTV’ and also enable content providers zero-in on ‘what recommended content will have the ‘highest sticky’ quotient for different user segments’. One needs to begin with classification of the DTV market into established, emerging and next generation TV solutions, based on user patterns and evolution of feature sets. An in-depth analysis of next generation features demanded by each DTV user segment follows. These insights would throw open new use cases / opportunities for solutions. Each of the use cases / opportunities would be tinted with different colors like geographic specific user considerations, cultural diversities, age group specific demands etc. Solutions designed, architected and manufactured keeping the use cases in mind would result in a usage driven solution bound to be readily accepted, contemporary and cutting edge in the market.
Decoding User Preferences in DTV Market Segments
Established Markets-Basic DTV
Regular TV functionality is an established trend in the DTV market that has been commoditized today. The different standards used across global DTV market include Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) for North America, Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) for Europe, Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting (ISDB) for Japan, Digital Terrestrial Multimedia Broadcast (DTMB) and China Mobile Multimedia Broadcasting (CMMB) for China, and Sistema Brasileiro de Televisão Digital (SBTVD) for Brazil. The only product differentiation element is display size, with price variation being between $150 and $500. Semiconductor companies need to ensure high picture quality, HD surround sound, and cable and terrestrial support across all display sizes while Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs) are working on achieving ‘low price per feature’. They are adopting DTV solutions from ISVs to lower price. ISVs have common solutions with a complete feature set for cable/terrestrial/satellite reception to enable quick product roll out.
Emerging Markets – Smart TV
Today’s consumer wants to be empowered with the choice of content. Connected/Smart TV frameworks have enabled convergence of broadcast and internet content giving rise to an ecosystem of over the top (OTT) application providers like Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Rhapsody, and Pandora for content choice and Video on Demand services allowing the user to pay only for content consumed. The user is also demanding a connected entertainment experience where user content (bought, recorded or personal) is accessible from any device (tablet, smartphone, PC, etc). This is driving varying multiscreen content delivery solutions to transfer content across devices, both locally and online.
Opportunity for OEMs and Content Providers
User expectations open up different use cases, challenges and opportunities for ecosystem players(figure 1). OEMs are looking at this market as ‘ARPU based business’ moving away from ‘one time sale’ business. Their business models have transformed from sales to services maintaining a relationship with users. They are offering Apps on TV for networking on TV and TV based commercial transactions. Similarly, for content providers, functionalities like high-definition, 3D, VOD, DVRs, catch-up services, mobile and PC services are providing opportunities to retain subscribers and offer value-added services to advertisers.