What about advanced hybrid television services in the U.S.? Skitter.TV and Verismo Networks
But what about the U.S. market? Up until now, hybrids have been a more difficult proposition, as pay-TV has been the norm. In fact, our recently-released Digital Living Forecast Workbook indicates that pay-TV services will reach approximately 87% of all U.S. households by year-end.
However, there are at least two drivers for the consideration of hybrid services:
- Consumers are getting more fed up with high television prices and may consider ways to either reduce or eliminate their pay-TV services altogether. In fact, our study All Eyes on Video reveals very little satisfaction for the cost of pay-TV services, with the exception of subscribers to AT&T U-verse or Verizon FiOS services. I suppose these folks are still in the honeymoon stage.
- Second, the hybrid services themselves are becoming more compelling, both in price and features. Take Sezmi for example - for as low as $4.99 a month (and a $149.99 one-time hardware purchase from the local Best Buy), subscribers receive their local channels an HD DVR, and access to VoD. For $19.99, subscribers receive 80 cable TV channels.
I think that hybrid approaches will be something about which we'll be hearing a whole lot more, particularly with events such as TelcoTV November 9-11. We're already seeing some pre-announcements, including Skitter Inc. and and Verismo Networks.
Skitter.TV is a hybrid IPTV/over-the-top video platform enabling telecom service providers and entertainment content companies to encode, configure, deliver and monetize streaming media services. Skitter.TV provides a broadband media experience on computers, televisions, mobile devices and gaming consoles. The end-to-end video and audio solution includes head-end hardware and software for integrated Web video, live (linear) cable network and broadcast TV, digital audio, and video-on-demand content, delivered over IP via DSL, fiber optics or wireless networks. Skitter.TV's end-user software and program guide offer consumers premium-quality high definition (HD) or standard definition (SD) multiscreen entertainment service that combines live TV, over-the-top Web video, on-demand content, digital audio and apps, all in one unified, remote-control-driven environment.
Verismo Networks announced its next-generation high-definition VuNow Internet TV platform that allows Multi System Operators (MSOs), Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Telcos to bring linear channels combined with value-added internet applications over the Internet to their subscribers. By using the internet as a distribution method, service providers can rapidly expand their existing footprint and reach new global markets with minimal investment in their infrastructure.