Skitter.TV has partnered with Western Digital to create an end-to-end IPTV system integrated with over-the-top (OTT) content. Skitter’s offering will include a live TV application complete with encryption together with OTT content via Western Digital’s established content relationships.
Skitter already does video encoding, middleware and encryption for some Tier 2 and Tier 3 telcos, according to its President Robert Saunders. For the combined pay-TV/OTT offering, Western Digital (WD) will provide a streaming media player that consumers will be able to buy at retail. WD, a consumer appliance manufacturer, already has some streaming media devices on the market, including its WD TV Live and WD TV Live Hub, and these retail boxes support content from Netflix, Blockbuster, HuluPlus, Facebook, Pandora and Spotify, among others.
Saunders says "These are very strong (content) partnerships. These products (Netflix, etc.) are really going to retail products at high volumes."
For live pay-TV from an IPTV service provider, viewers will click on a Skitter.TV icon that will appear on the user interface.
Although Skitter.TV offers IPTV solutions, Saunders says, "This isn’t just for telcos. We believe this (converged pay-TV and OTT) is a move cable companies will make too."
Even over-the-air antenna companies are getting into the converged TV marketplace. (See Cord-Cutting a Double-Edged Sword for Channel Master).