Net Insight tackles live-streaming lag with 'True live OTT' solution

Digital media transport provider Net Insight is turning its sights on over-the-top video delivery, announcing its entry into the market segment with a focus on the live-streaming niche. And it comes bearing gifts: a solution it says will make the lag between live-streamed and live-broadcast events like football games a thing of the past.

"Live is where the money is in broadcast," said Martin Karlsson, CTO & vice president of product portfolio at Net Insight, in an interview with FierceOnlineVideo. However, live streaming suffers from a nattering problem, he said, as "it can be up to several minutes behind the first screen experience. And even worse, my delay may be different from your delay. It's completely out of sync."

The company will demonstrate its "True live OTT" solution on Nov. 17.

Net Insight has specialized largely in video contribution, helping content providers, particularly in the sports industry, deliver digital video from cameras on the sidelines of a game to the studio. With its acquisition of ScheduALL early this year, the provider gained the capability to deliver video end-to-end.

The value in ensuring that live-streamed events are in sync with their broadcast counterparts is in improving the user experience. Currently, live-streamed games can lag behind broadcast by a minute or more, as many viewers noticed during marquee events like the FIFA World Cup and the Super Bowl. Not only is it frustrating to feel like the last person to know one's team has scored -- driving viewers away from the OTT stream if they have a choice -- the lag can affect both social media and second- and third-screen engagement, two metrics that are increasingly being taken into account by content distributors and advertisers as metrics of success.

With a tablet or smartphone running a social media app during a game, for example, "I may see a tweet about the touchdown before I see it," Karlsson said. That can be frustrating for, say, a traveler who is streaming a game and monitoring Twitter. "I have to turn off every form of communication with the outside world because otherwise my experience gets ruined," Karlsson said.

A better-synced live stream can enable providers to offer a more deeply interactive experience -- such as viewing a player-cam shot focused on the Patriots' Tom Brady on a mobile screen while watching a network's broadcast of the game on the big screen. That, in turn, provides more opportunities to monetize the live-stream.

Net Insight is currently piloting the technology with several unnamed operators and broadcasters, Karlsson said.

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