MVE Technical Blog - Streaming Media Jargon

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In today's fast-moving world of technology, the line between historic forms of media (content) delivery are constantly shifting, as is the jargon employed.

Print media - newspapers and magazines - find that they MUST have a presence online. Originally considered far below the print media in importance and only a cost-center, these "Digital Footprints" increasingly have become subscription services like their hard-copy namesakes, compete for advertising revenue with the likes of Facebook and Google, and now contribute significantly to the bottom line.

But these Digital Footprints, are both different and potentially much more than their predecessors. While viewed as ephemeral when compared to print media, this digital content can be more exciting, informative and current. Multimedia news is now the norm, not the exception.

Written in 2002 by Jakob Nielsen "In the future, we'll all be Harry Potter," is no longer an inside joke on Muggles. With IOS 11 in 2017, Apple computer provided Live Photos, the ability to create photos which exist 1.5 seconds before and after your photo! A 3 second MOVING "still" photo . . . just like those on the front page of Harry's "Daily Prophet." As Barry Gehm wrote in Analog circa 1991, "Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced."

OTT stands for “over-the-top.”

This term became popular in the "Entertainment Industry" (Radio, TV, Film) circa 2010 with the merger of various media companies harking back to the 2000 failed merger of AOL and Time-Warner.

- some say the term derives from the "set-top-box" common to cable television systems and big TV Consoles, before the era of Flat Screen TVs caused those boxes to find a new location. Others say it refers to the tendency in the industry to refer to edgy (i.e. risque or violent) programming as "over the top."
Today the term is generally understood in the industry to describe the delivery of content (video and/or audio) direct to the consumer (viewer) via the internet, bypassing traditional Cable-TV distribution, i.e. without requiring viewers to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite pay-TV service like a Comcast (Xfinity), Time Warner Cable or Direct-TV.

However, OTT content is frequently a subscription based service itself, such as HULU, Netflix, Prime Video or YouTube Red.


Acknowledging the changing media landscape, the FCC defined MVPD on December 19, 2014 as Multichannel Video Programming Distribution. (FCC 14-210) At the moment, that definition does not particularly impact OVD, however, the precedence has been laid for regulatory actions in the future.


In that same rulemaking, the FCC defined OVD as "Online Video Distributors"

Streaming Media

Streaming Media is all about "Content." Content ceated by yourself or created by others. Just as with home movies of years gone by.

Do you believe your cat is just dying to be a celebrity?
Are you an online gamer and want everyone to watch you play?

Employing the Internet that content could be live programming streamed by you via services such as Twitch or Facebook Live.
Or pre-recorded films or personal videos like those found on YouTube and Vimeo. Or commercial sources such as HULU, Netflix, Prime Video or YouTube Red.

All are exampls of OTT Streaming Media.

No, you don't need a separate computer! (But you may need a 12-year old consultant anyway!)
In addition to multiple models and sizes of "Smart TVs", all on the market today - which connect directly to the Internet themselves - there are many versions and varieties of streaming devices and services being brought on-line, virtually daily. Just to list a few others:

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