The TV industry has witnessed a phenomenal transition from the industrial age to the current digital age. The proliferation of smartphones and tablets have boosted the consumption of videos. Today, people are increasingly leveraging the power of Internet to consume videos anytime, anywhere and on any device. The substantial changes in the viewing habits of consumers have caused significant market disruption creating many opportunities for the content creators, TV operators, and broadcasters. Consumers today have shifted from the linear TV viewing consisting of traditional distribution with strict time bound programming schedule to on-demand viewing that includes VOD, OTT solutions and time-shifted services with the help of digital video recorders (DVRs).
The DVRs have revolutionized the way subscribers watch television and consume digital content. The DVR services allowed subscribers to record any TV show or content on their local set-top-box (STB). But the subscribers had many concerns such as limited storage capacity, long provisioning time for adding storage capacity and restriction to watch the recorded content on a particular device. They were forced to look out for better options without storage limitations and freedom to watch recorded content on multiple devices.
Soon the services based on expensive and inflexible hardware shifted to flexible and scalable infrastructure in the cloud to provide rich user experience to subscribers.
Cloud DVR is a new paradigm shift in the media ecosystem enabling service providers to push the traditional DVR services on cloud providing more storage capacity to subscribers for an enhanced TV viewing experience.
A recent report by Research and Markets forecasts the global cloud DVR market to grow at a CAGR of 30.59% during the period 2016-2020.
The digitization of TV networks remains the driving force behind the increasing popularity of Cloud DVR services in the global market. The global TV operators, broadcasters, and the owners are leveraging the best-in-class features of cloud DVR to attract and retain subscribers.
What is Cloud DVR?
Cloud DVR is a service that enables customers to record live content and store it on the cloud. It allows the viewers to record videos/programs anytime and anywhere with an option to view the recorded content on any device or multiple devices, anytime. The cloud DVR services offer other additional services such as pause live TV, rewind, catch-up TV and restart. It also accepts parallel recording request from different viewers tuning to the system.
Cloud DVR services offer scalable storage that can be upgraded and expanded on the fly depending upon viewer’s usage pattern. This new wave of technology provides greater viewing options, scalable storage and recording flexibility allowing subscribers to view recorded programs on multiple screens such as a laptop, tablet, smartphone, or a TV connected to the Internet. Cloud DVRs also provide time-shifted services and offer various features which are cost effective as compared to the traditional DVR.
Cloud DVR implementation leverages economies of scale offering benefits for both provider and subscribers which are as follows:
Benefits to the Service Providers
- Incremental revenue
- Reduced operational expenses (OPEX) with optimized infrastructure
- Personalization to viewers
- Better flexibility and customizations offered
Benefits to the Subscribers
- Unlimited storage
- Rich features to choose from
- Anywhere and anytime TV viewing experience
- Multi-channel recording
- Single repository for recorded content
While there are many benefits for both subscribers and service providers, the cloud-based DVR service has faced many legal hurdles over the last few years due to copyright laws varying from country to country and region to region.
In spite of being surrounded by many challenges, Cloud DVR is on the rise, creating a niche in the industry. Service providers are increasingly adopting cloud to extend their offerings and continuously personalize services to cater to individual’s need. This technology innovation has made all content, anytime, anywhere and on any device possible. Cloud DVR is surely expanding its wings in the industry providing outstanding viewing experience to users while also widening the business opportunities for a large number of operators.