C Spire is launching a new IP based TV service that won’t need a set-top box, and works with popular TV connected devices. This is a smart move by C Spire, and here are 4 reasons every traditional TV operator with a robust broadband network should be doing the same.
C Spire is a telecommunications company focused on the Southeastern U.S.. It provides quadruple play services to around 1M subscribers. Though the company has a traditional pay TV business, it is launching an IPTV service to Mississippi customers from its 1-Gigabit fiber broadband. Called C Spire TV, the service is all-IP and leverages customer provided connected devices to deliver service.
C Spire is working with MobiTV, which is providing a lot of the technology the services required. For example, MobiTV powers the network DVR, replay TV, digital rights management, and connected device apps.
Every pay TV operator with a robust broadband network should be heading in the same direction as C Spire. Here are four reasons why.
Reason 1: Save costs
Leveraging a customer-owned device to deliver service saves the operator the expense of providing, installing, and maintaining a set-top box. This is the biggest subscriber acquisition cost (SAC) an operator faces. For example, Dish Network’s SAC is $643.
Reason 2: Embrace a more flexible platform
If there is anything a pay TV operator needs today it is flexibility. To remain a relevant and vital part of customer lives the operator needs to be able to react quickly to market needs. For example, C Spire is touting the fact that the new service is integrated with Amazon Alexa. C Spire TV customers can control the service simply by talking to an Amazon Echo.
Reason 3: Get a managed service without net neutrality issues
C Spire has gone to great pains to emphasize that this new service is not an Internet service. The service will only be available in homes that have C Spire Fiber. The reason there are no net neutrality issues is because the service does not use the Internet broadband service the customer pay for. Instead, C Spire allocates a separate data channel dedicated to C Spire TV. It does not use the same bandwidth as the Internet broadband the customer pays for. And traffic on the Internet and for C Spire TV don’t interact with each other on the fiber connection.
Because there’s no interaction with the Internet connection, a download of the latest iOS release won’t affect C Spire TV. So, customers get a great managed service without any of the Internet problems.
Reason 4: Leverage IP innovation
Since IPTV services are built on IP infrastructure operators can leverage all the work and effort being put into making IP and the Internet work better. There are tens of thousands of Internet developers able to build apps and design systems. This is a big change from the limited number of developers qualified to work on traditional pay TV platform apps and infrastructure.
There are some disadvantages to launching an IPTV service. You can read about some of them in the free white paper Owning Input 1: The Future of the Pay TV Set-top Box and Software. Clearly C Spire believes the benefits of a future without the set-top box far outweigh the possible problems.
Why it matters
Traditional pay TV operators with robust broadband networks are beginning to launch IPTV pay services.
This approach allows them to leave the traditional set-top box behind.
It also gives them a flexible platform which will allow them to quickly react to emerging customer