An Overview of TV Everywhere

by Aeyne Schriber on August 10, 2014 in TV Everywhere

Many people who have heard of TV Everywhere are aware that it is associated with the Internet, but they are unsure what it is and how to use it. Meanwhile vendors worldwide have forged ahead with new innovations and developments that is gradually moving us away from the legacy TV model.

The first TV Everywhere apps were first introduced in 2010. Since then, many new and exciting innovations have emerged and have been introduced at the most recent television and media conferences. While TV Everywhere moves forward, many users are still struggling to understand what TV Everywhere is and what it is all about.

During the last ten years, the television and media industry has been significantly shifting from the traditional living room television to a new model that is always on. This has been driving the consumer market to demand entertainment that can be accessed from anywhere and from any device. Many of the major cable television providers have jumped on board with services such as Comcast Xfinity TV Go, Watch ESPN, CNNx, and other services that provide access to programming from anywhere using any device.

So, What Exactly is TV Everywhere?

TV Everywhere is a term that was created by major television providers and networks to describe programming that is available on your PC, smartphone, or tablet after the episodes have aired on the conventional television channels. For example, if the USA channel shows a new episode of NCIS, the owners of the channel will allow television providers such as Comcast or DirecTV to make the rerun of the program available to their subscribers. The subscribers can download the program and watch it on any non-television device.

TV Everywhere can be convenient when you miss an episode of your favorite television series and it typically is made available through your TV service subscription at no additional cost. In most instances, the channel must also be part of your cable or satellite television package in order to watch the episode at a later date on your PC, tablet, or smartphone. Most of the channels require you to subscribe to prevent customers from simply waiting until a later date to catch an episode.

Many of the major television providers offer apps such as HBO Go, CNNx, Watch ESPN, and Comcast Xfinity Go that allow you to download content and watch it on your PC or mobile device. According to Adobe Digital Index, a provider of digital marketing insight, the transition to third and fourth devices has increased by as much as 245 percent during this past year alone. Authenticated program and video streaming from media boxes such as Apple TV and game consoles increased by as much as 539 percent in the last year.

Here is an interesting video.

How TV Everywhere Works

The first step toward TV Everywhere was the introduction of the DVR that allowed you to play, pause, or record your favorite TV program to a device provided by your cable or satellite television provider. The major television providers such as Comcast and Time Warner started to add access to high speed Internet to the bundle.

Wireless access means you can connect any Wi-Fi enabled device to your home network and this includes Smart TVs that are enabled with Internet access, satellite boxes, media boxes, and DVRs to update television listings. So, it only stands to reason that it would only be a matter of time before everything came together in a concept known as TV Everywhere. This provides you with the connectivity you need to watch both cable or satellite television and Internet TV on your PC or mobile device.

Here is how it works:

  • Control TV Viewing from Any Internet-Enabled Device: TV Everywhere provides you with the capability to control the programming you want to watch using any Internet-enabled device such as your smartphone, iPad, or even your PC where you work. When you download the app from your television service provider, this provides you with complete control over your home system.

The tools included in the app allow you to schedule recordings, select channels, and configure programming on your digital DVR even when you are not at home. This means if something comes up like a meeting or appointment and you do not want to miss your favorite show, all you need to do is open up the app on your mobile device and schedule the recording. That’s it.

  • Internet Enabled DVR: The major television providers like Comcast and DirecTV are providing their customers with an Internet-enabled DVR system. This is also commonly referred to as a sling enabled DVR. This type of device allows you to connect your television to any device that is connected to your home network. It also allows you to watch TV anywhere in your home using any device that is Wi-Fi enabled, including outdoors on your deck or by the pool.

Once you have used TV Everywhere, you will wonder how you managed using the legacy television systems. It really adds an air of convenience and allows you to control your daily schedule, instead of the TV program guide controlling you.

The Future of TV Everywhere

According to recent studies, 98 percent of broadband consumers now have digital media, 80 percent of broadband consumers have accessed free Internet television every week, and 78 percent have watched pay television. TV Everywhere’s success has become essential for moving forward with home entertainment. It is now expected by consumers that video will constantly be available on their device of choice. About 20 percent of consumers have accessed TV Everywhere, but the frequency of TV Everywhere usage is still unclear.

Meanwhile, the new innovations that are being introduced are making the future of TV Everywhere very exciting. Here are a few of the new technologies that were recently introduced at the TV Connect conference during March of 2014 in London. TV Connect is one of the top entertainment technology events in the world.

  • Future TV Anywhere: Ericsson, a leading provider of multimedia solutions and telecom services, introduced a new technology known as Future TV Anywhere which combines web technologies with television services. This enables the service providers to combine paid television programming with multi-screen capabilities and interactivity of OTT (Over the Top) Video.

OTT Video is a term that is used to refer to services that you access over a network that are not offered by the network provider. These services are on top of the paid service you already receive and play a significant role in the delivery of Internet-enabled TVs and Internet television.

In this video you will see a quick overview of the exciting technologies that are being introduced with the Future TV Anywhere project.

  • NPTV Sports Broadcast Solution: NPTV introduced a new sports broadcast solution that is cloud-based and interactive. The solution enables television service providers to deliver video content and next generation interactive services without incurring any infrastructure costs. The solution is rendered in the cloud and can be viewed on virtually any type of screen using an ultra-thin client. The apps that are provided by NPTV provide personalized sports experiences by combining real-time data, multi-cam views, and interactive graphics.
  • Viaccess-Orca Multiscreen and Data Enrichment Engagement Platform: Viaccess-Orca, a visionary partner that helps content service providers gain a competitive edge, recently announced a multiscreen solution that offers digital rights management (DRM), content protection known as Eye on Piracy, and content discovery and recommendations known as the COMPASS program. The solution is designed to increase subscriber engagement and customer retention while helping television providers to monitor piracy issues with paid and Internet television programming.

The Data Enrichment and Engagement (DEEP) platform provides TV Everywhere users with access to thousands of digital guides that relate to selections of video content and programming using an intuitive interface. Users can browse through the magazines to find unique videos and programming offered by the television services provider.

In May of 2014 Viacom, a global mass media company, released the results of a study that explored consumer experiences with sites and apps associated with TV Everywhere. The study was called TV Here, There (Not Quite) Everywhere and revealed a significant increase in television viewing among users of TV Everywhere and improved customer loyalty with television service providers that offer pay TV and TV Everywhere services.

The study was conducted using focus groups, online journals and other methodologies in New York and Chicago. Additionally, Viacom implemented online surveys which targeted both users and non-users of TV Everywhere. A large percentage of users agreed that TV Everywhere is essential to the television viewing experience and as a result, have been watching more television.

The study also revealed that the main aspects that are driving the increased use of TV Everywhere is the availability of content and the ability to replay it, flexibility to watch programming at any time using any device, and the excitement of trying a new technology.

In terms of the barriers that are slowing the adoption of TV Everywhere, the main obstacle is lack of awareness and understanding. A primary resource for promoting TV Everywhere is absent and most users learned about it from advertisements, word of mouth, and children that learned about it from their parents.

Other barriers are related to technical problems associated with Internet connections that lead to buffering issues when streaming video, as well as problems with freezing and crashing. For non-users of TV Everywhere, the barrier lies in the lack of perception as to why the service is necessary, lack of awareness, and concern over hidden costs.

Benefits of the TV Everywhere Experience

Overall, the main reason many users are viewing television programming with TV Everywhere is the capabilities it provides including smart searches, flexibility, broader range of available content, and customized logins. Smart search provides advanced search functionality that allows you to search for specific programming and organize it into a list of favorites.

The Digital DVR capability is another big plus, since it allows you to pause a TV program and resume it at a later time, even if you want to use another device. The Digital DVR allows you to control TV programming outside of your home wireless network from any location using your mobile device.

The large variety of programming provides TV Everywhere users with access to a deep content library. This provides a better entertainment experience that reaches beyond conventional paid television services.

The ability to create custom logins allows multiple users in a household to select, view, and organize their own content. It also provides a way for parents to control children’s access. This helps parent to protect their families against inappropriate content and encounters with strangers on social media and other sites.

When it comes to the future of TV Everywhere, the bottom line is it is not going away anytime too soon and new technologies and innovations are being released each year. If you are a non-user, hopefully this information has provided you with some background on the concept of TV Everywhere and has raised your awareness of what it is, how it is used, and where it is going in the near future.

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