Getting access to premium television online isn't exactly easy. Rights issues have made that particular market a tricky one for some time now, but yesterday, a step was taken in that direction as Cable & Wireless (News - Alert) Communication's (CWC) Caribbean division, LIME, selected their engine to bring the first of its kind PayTV service to the Internet: Entone's FusionTV.
Entone's (News - Alert) FusionTV delivers a lot of features that make it particularly useful for Internet-based television services, including an adaptive bitrate system as well as HTTP Live streaming technology. Combining these two technologies in one package helps ensure the smoothest video delivery while minimizing the total loss of bits and making the experience better overall for the users, regardless of conditions on the network at the time. In turn, users can connect their Entone HybridTV device to a network and, with their LIME subscription, get access to not only 130 channels, but a series of over-the-top (OTT) services as well, all from one central user interface.
LIME offers a fairly substantial lineup, including a variety of standards to United States television like MTV and Nickelodeon--as well as major networks CBS, NBC and ABC-- and even has some of its own like recently-launched LIMEstyle, a lifestyle channel devoted to showcasing new products and promotions.
IPTV (News - Alert), as discussed by Heavy Reading's senior analyst, Aditya Kishore, isn't always viable for operators thanks to the potential for expense and the equipment necessary to operate it. But with hybrid video approaches, like those offered by Entone's FusionTV, the idea of bring PayTV (News - Alert) over the Internet becomes a lot more viable than it did previously. Getting more offerings into consumers' hands also makes them more likely to stay as it adds value, something that consumers constantly demand. Additionally, as the vice president of TV and entertainment for LIME, Dianne Bissoon, revealed, using Entone's FusionTV service allows LIME to get its IPTV offerings in place without having to switch their set-top boxes out, saving money and speeding up the process.
Making a better television experience for users should be a top priority for all cable providers. With the Internet rapidly growing as an alternative venue for entertainment--and often at a much lower cost than cable--cable operators need to distinguish themselves in some way from the Internet-based options.
While the picture may be different in the Caribbean--services like Netflix and Hulu (News - Alert) Plus aren't available everywhere, though services like YouTube are much more common--LIME's move to offer more should be well-received overall, and help them keep subscribers who might have been planning to leave.
Edited by Brooke Neuman