Deutsche Telekom achieves the same latency on its OTT platform as it would get via satellite thanks to its partnership with Appear

Appear has revealed its latency busting OTT collaboration with Deutsche Telekom in a nomination for “off the shelf latency reduction in OTT” at this year’s IBC Innovation Awards.

The company researched the market and deduced that broadband investments would have a significant impact on the broadcast industry, therefore, in its findings it reflected that the need for strong OTT offerings is clear. In the same context, Deutsche Telekom predicted in 2019 that it was imperative to reduce latency. Because of this synergy, the telco selected Appear as a partner for the development of these solutions.

After initial work to reduce latency downstream by optimizing player buffering and segment sizes, Deutsche Telecom turned to refining the rest of the value chain. The telco decided to use the X Platform as the centerpiece of its OTT value chain. This Appear platform has the ability to fit multiple UHD channels with large ABR bitrate scale into a single chassis, maintaining very low latency and achieving video quality over OTT. Because the pace of development in the OTT space is so fast, Deutsche Telekom realized that flexibility needed to be built into the system so that parts could be upgraded and configured as needed. Unlike custom hardware, standard units can be easily replaced.

The end result, after three years of implementation, product development and consultation, is a fully functional OTT value chain that is now in production and using a channel from a well-known German TV station for validation and testing. Deutsche Telekom has already achieved latency figures equivalent to those of classical satellite distribution, given the same input signal, measured both in the production environment and in Appear’s test environment in Oslo.

Commenting on this collaboration, Koen van Benschop, head of TV headend at Deutsche Telekom Technik GmbH, said, “OTT is going to be a decisive battleground for operators. Although satellite and cable are currently more popular with German customers, the tides are changing. Customers want to choose how they interact with content, they want to have full control over what they watch and when.


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