Here are some of the highlights and trends of this year’s IBC conference in Amsterdam.
Voice and AI
One of the biggest trends at this year’s IBC is Voice and Artificial Intelligence. Already being prominent in smartphones and IoT devices, with Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, and IBM’s Watson, voice and AI for TV services is becoming a big part of how we are all going to watch TV in the near future.
Going beyond simple voice controls, AI understands natural speech and phrases, letting viewers interact with their TV service, instead of inputting commands. One aspect of how AI can add to the TV experience is search, filtering through large amounts of content, based on a simple query.
Contextually understanding these queries, AI systems can search through genres, cast members, year of release, and more. This information is run against metadata, returning relevant results. Voice and AI also make it easier to navigate through linear TV broadcasts, letting viewers simply name the channel instead of channel surfing and remembering hundreds of channel numbers.
What’s really exciting is that these AI systems are also learning systems, continuously getting better and more accurate as time goes on.
Sports are Coming to Cloud TV
A big reason why more people haven’t switched from pay-TV services to cloud TV or IPTV service is sports channels. Sporting events like the Super Bowl and Champions League Soccer always bring in large audiences, and until recently, supporting those audiences with an online service was close to impossible.
Being an important part of the TV viewing experience, sports are a major contributor to the move from standard-def to HDTV and Full HD broadcasts and the recent jump to 4K. With cloud TV, these jumps can be more frequent, and easier to implement, like switching to offer VR and AR content, offering a more immersive experience with more statistics and real-time information.
Making this possible are new advancements, allowing cloud TV services to scale like traditional TV services, making live sports content on cloud TV services a reality.
The Rise of Hybrid Pay TV Services
Cloud TV and OTT TV services, like Netflix and Hulu, have changed the TV landscape.
Now we’re in a transitional period, and there is a growing need to insert cloud TV elements into existing systems, including legacy set-top-boxes. That contrasts with standalone OTT services, which were launched as side services, completely separated from the main TV viewing experience.
This new breed of hybrid TV services is bridging the gap, allowing operators to better plan migration of legacy systems, upgrade their current setup, and offer a seamless transition for subscribers.
Attending IBC? Be sure to stop by Kaltura booth, 2.B29, and check out a demo of the Kaltura TV Platform, bringing together some of latest trends from this year’s IBC.