Implementation and opportunities for the operator smart TV

Rahul Mehra, Chief Technology Officer, Consult Red

Written by

Rahul Mehra

Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

Welcome to the Red Future Navigators series. Here, our domain experts will address a range forward thinking topics – guiding our customers, partners and peers through the complexities of innovation and the technical challenges of tomorrow.

Pay TV operators and communication service providers face both opportunities and challenges in integrating Operator Smart TVs into their subscriber offerings. This shift towards a more direct, user-friendly service model presents a unique set of considerations for implementation and future growth.

Paths to implementation

We see two primary models for deploying Operator Smart TVs: the custom-build approach and the factory-adopted model. Custom-build solutions offer operators a high degree of customisation and complete control over the user experience, albeit at a potentially higher development cost and complexity.

The factory-adopted model, where a partner OEM builds a retail-ready smart TV that can be ‘adopted’ by the operator before it leaves the factory, would be more cost-effective and quicker to market, but may limit differentiation and control. We also foresee a third possible option for implementation, similar to the factory-adopted model. Here an ‘operator-ready’ smart TV is sold via retail channels and can be field-adopted by the consumer.

The choice between these models hinges on an operator’s strategic priorities, local competition and market positioning.

Technology selection is key

Selecting the right technology platform is crucial. Specifically, the importance of choosing a TV operating system that supports the required levels of flexibility and control, while offering a wide range of apps and services, ensuring compatibility and delivering a seamless user experience. Considerations around software updates, security, and the integration of operator-specific features play a pivotal role in delivering a robust, feature-rich and engaging service.

The selection of the right Hardware and Software partners is essential when balancing the trade-off of quality, features and price matches the operators market ambitions.

Keeping it simple

Launching an Operator Smart TV involves navigating technological complexity, multiple implementation options and local market dynamics. There are however strategies for minimising these challenges, including partnerships with technology providers, modular hardware and software development and leveraging standards-based open software platforms.

The best approach is a unified technology strategy that encompasses both set-top and Operator Smart TV devices.

Seizing the opportunity

The Operator Smart TV market is poised for growth. As operators adopt this new model, they will find opportunities in content curation, advertising, and service bundling. Operators who successfully navigate these waters will not only solidify their position in the entertainment ecosystem but also drive the future of television viewing.



The Operator Smart TV: taking a new category of CPE to market

Working with a trusted consulting partner and platform tech developer

Consult Red is a trusted consulting partner that provides technology development services across the delivery platform – spanning everything from consultancy, connected TV hardware and TV OS – to ‘Sovereign’ app development and the backend systems to support them.