Net Insight Looking to Solve the Dilemma of Synchronized Live OTT

We’ve all been there when watching a live stream of a sporting event: a text, a tweet, or a shout from the other room spoils a scoring play as we sit with our devices as the game lags a few minutes behind. There are numerous points through the distribution chain that can cause buffering and delays, but Net Insight, a Swedish media transport company, thinks they may have finally cracked the code of a true live over-the-top (OTT) solution.

Per Lindgren, SVP, Strategy and Business Development, introduces Net Insight's new live OTT solution during a demonstration earlier this month.

Per Lindgren, SVP, Strategy and Business Development, introduces Net Insight’s new live OTT solution during a demonstration earlier this month.

Net Insight’s new True Live solution promises synchronicity, not just with live television, but between all screens in a home, be they TV sets, tablets, or smartphones.

“The live OTT experience, right now, isn’t really working,” says Martin Karlsson, CTO and VP, Product Portfolio for Net Insight. “It’s the interactivity that’s broken. If you look at a live event, you end up several minutes behind the linear TV experience and, what’s worse, is that it’s different for different viewers. That breaks the whole socia-media experience. When I watch a game online, I turn off my phone, because I don’t want my viewing experience ruined by someone telling me a result.”

The move to the OTT market is a first for the company, but Net Insight brass feel the company is uniquely positioned to dramatically alter OTT distribution. The hope is that this solution can offer content creators and distributors an entirely new method of storytelling in that it truly can maximize social media and the multi-screen experience.

“Today, if you want to enhance your viewing experience of your first screen with, say, an iPad, you can use it for stats and replays, but really not much more than that,” says Karlsson. “For a true live OTT solution, you can now enable a whole new live experience, but you have a second screen that’s actually in synchrony with the first screen, which would than enable customized viewing experiences.”

The most glaring issue facing OTT viewing experiences such as this is typically what’s referred to as the “last mile.” Content distributors have no control over the quality of the connection a viewer has in their own home, and it’s usually the point where the most packet loss and delay takes place.

“We have developed a technology to cope with packet loss and packet delay,” says Karlsson. “This is absolutely part of the solution and what we’re addressing here. It’s about unifying the latency and delay to all of your viewers.”

UPDATE (Nov. 25, 2015, 11:02 a.m.): Communications service provider Tata Communications has become Net Insight’s first customer to implement this live over-the-top (OTT) solution globally. The two companies have signed a framework agreement covering the use of Net Insight’s solution, which enables Tata Communications to integrate Net Insight’s solution in its Media Ecosystem, including its Video Connect service, underpinned by the company’s global network. This will allow Tata Communications to provide its media and entertainment customers with a range of live OTT content management and delivery services.

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