What is an OTT Platform or Over-the-top?

What is OTT or Over-the-top?

Nowadays, the little windows are very different from those of the 1930s… A few years ago, IPTV had already started to revolutionize the consumption of TV programs. IPTV made it possible to obtain channels using an internet box… But in recent years, OTT has once again shaken up consumption habits. OTT (Over-the-top) is a new technology that allows you to watch audio or video content without needing to go through the TV decoder of a box Netflix is one of the most famous OTT platforms. Here’s everything you need to know on the subject.

What is the Definition of an OTT Platform

OTT (Over-the-top) is also called “Over-the-top Service”. OTT thus refers to online platforms and services offering access to audio or video programs, media, or even linear television without needing to go through the networks and infrastructures of an operator. An OTT service therefore delivers programs and content offers without the need to use a traditional network provider such as a cable, satellite or telephone company.

Why are we talking about over-the-top service? Quite simply, it is an offer that allows access to video content and other resources on the web without needing to use a traditional distribution operator. These platforms differ from videos on demand or paid television offers because they are not managed by an operator. This is why Netflix is often cited as an example! Indeed, the internationally successful platform presents itself as a real circumvention service…

Please note, that although OTT services are generally less expensive than cable or satellite television, the latter still include subscription fees in the vast majority of cases!

How an OTT Platform works

To access an OTT platform, television “disconnects” itself from the internet box and the subscription, but the internet connection remains a gateway allowing access to this technology.

OTT services are similar to IPTV services in many ways. an OTT Platform service are available on television, on your computer or even on your smartphone. OTT services work in the same way because they also allow access to live channels, videos on demand or even rebroadcasts. However, the communication channel between the operator and the customer does not depend on the ISP. This means that the user can access the content wherever they want, even in the four corners of the planet… All you need to have is internet access and a good Wi-Fi connection!

Molotov clearly illustrates how OTT works. This platform has indeed revolutionized the French audiovisual landscape. Molotov allows you to access many television channels, record programs or find replays. The application is available at any time on any medium: television, computer, or tablet. The user can use Molotov wherever they want: at home, at the office, with friends or even on vacation! The only condition is to be able to connect to the internet.

Many players in the OTT market

As you will have understood, the OTT market is a booming market, because it offers many advantages to users of these platforms. It allows, for example, not to waste time downloading files. All content is available directly on web servers and the information is displayed in real time on the television, smartphone or even the games console.

New players continue to emerge in this market to offer their content solutions. This is the case of the very famous Netflix platform, whose success is still there. But this is also the case for Canal Play and Amazon Prime Video. Thus, and as you will have understood, it is today possible to discover video or audio content via the Internet, thanks to different connected devices… And all this is possible without even needing to go through networks and infrastructures from your operator!

Differences between OTT and IPTV

If OTT services are on the rise, it is normal to wonder if this could affect the future of IPTV… But what is IPTV and what are the main differences between IPTV? and OTT?

As we have discovered, OTT can be defined as content, a service or an application accessible by users on the “open” Internet, that is to say on the bandwidth of the Internet network and without intervention of an ISP or an operator. That’s the difference with IPTV! IPTV corresponds to Internet television, Internet Protocol TeleVision. IPTV is therefore the act of accessing television channels via the internet. IPTV services use IP protocol technology. Thus, the service operator will control the distribution of the content and also determine the content of the subscription package. It is also the latter who sets the prices. Unlike an OTT service, an IPTV service is not accessible outside the network… However, it should be noted that IPTV has better reception quality.

Access to Hundreds of Channels on an OTT Platform

But be careful, here we are talking about “legal” IPTV which often refers to a subscription including a TV service in addition to telephony and the internet box. In this case, it is a “triple play” subscription. With this type of subscription including an internet box, subscribers have access to hundreds of channels. They also have the possibility of subscribing to additional channel packages according to their desires and needs.

However, when we talk about IPTV, we often point the finger at “illegal” IPTV… Why? Because many solutions allow you to take out subscriptions allowing access to thousands of channels. This is the case for services like My TV Online or NEO TV Pro. These very attractive services are not without risk, because they are indeed illegal!

You now know everything you need to know about OTT. These very popular platforms, much appreciated by the general public, have indeed changed the way we consume content… And they have not said their last word!



Bahlo Badr is a dedicated software engineer with a passion for coding and problem-solving.

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