A scalable and robust video streaming solution has been developed to deliver adapted media content to smart devices, with the level of quality that customers increasingly expect and demand. The CELTIC Plus-funded NOTTS project 2018 Innovation Award Winner in the "Competitiveness and Growth" category has made it easier for content providers to deliver Over the Top (OTT) services, a means of selling and streaming audio, video and other media content over the internet directly to consumers. A total of 27 technical innovations were delivered through the project and are now on the market, enabling media service providers to guarantee quality of service and thus attract more customers. NOTTS technologies have also been recognised by global standardisation bodies.
“There are no available solutions that gather all our innovative components”
Industrial and SME project partners that have implemented the technologies have been hugely positive about the results, reporting returns of investment of up to 1 000 %, translating into substantial turnover growth. “A good example of the project’s success is the significant increase in sales of ‘TV Tu i Tam’, the OTT commercial service of Orange Poland, and Watson Elisa’s OTT TV service in Finland,” says project coordinator Dr. Antonio Cuadra Sánchez from Indra Sistemas in Spain. “NOTTS also provided valuable insights for the launch of the Swedish OTT TV service Sappa Play in Sweden.”
Transforming media delivery
OTT media distribution is transforming the telecommunication landscape by enabling content providers to bypass cable or broadcast television service providers that would traditionally have distributed such content. New business opportunities are being created, both for OTT providers and suppliers of Smart TVs, tablets and smartphones, through which this content is consumed.
Change is happening so fast however that current internet architectures and business models are struggling to cope with the massive deployment of OTT services. In a globalised market, it is vital that businesses maintain a competitive edge, and that Europe has the infrastructure in place to ensure the rapid deployment of new OTT technologies.
The NOTTS project therefore sought to identify common technical problems, evaluate potential solutions and develop next generation OTT prototype technologies. “Our goal was to deliver an integrated solution to achieve a context-aware and media-aware delivery platform,” says Cuadra Sánchez. “There are currently no commercially available solutions that gather all the innovative components developed in NOTTS.”
Prototype solutions include advanced methods for smoother content distribution as well as technologies for monitoring and controlling OTT quality of experience. A scalable video-streaming solution based on different components to deliver adaptive content has also been developed.
The project has proved successful in other ways as well. A total of 23 new permanent employees have been hired by partner organisations to meeting growing demand and spin-off companies created due to the activities generated by project results. “We were also able to provide support to five PhD students and 12 Master students, who contributed to and used our project results to write their theses,” says Dr. Cuadra Sánchez.
Looking ahead, Dr. Cuadra Sánchez notes that Indra is currently developing new technologies for monitoring the quality of service of OTT multimedia content. Close collaboration within the consortium has also strengthened links between companies and partners and resulted in further cross-border collaborations in CELTIC-Plus projects such as MONALIS and 5G-PERFECTA.