Translating the new language of TV

TV – it’s a whole new world.  With new ways that live and prerecorded video are being distributed, so too does the list of new terms that define this medium.  Here’s a list of the most common terms being used in Television today.

 

Addressable Advertising: TV audiences which can be segmented, usually at the household level, based upon attributes such as geography, demographics, and / or behavior.

Cable Operators: Companies that provide television content via a cable in the ground – for example, Cox communications.

Connected TV: A television that supports the delivery of OTT content.

Digital Video Recorder:  A device which records linear TV digitally,  for viewing at a later date.

Gross Rating Point (GRP): The common method in which television viewership is rated.  Also known as “TV Ratings”, it shows the percentage of households which watch a particular program.

Internet Protocol Television (IPTV):  Also known as Internet TV, it is the streaming of video content to any media device (such as a personal computer, game console, etc.).

Linear: Television service where the programs are delivered on a set schedule, as opposed to Video On Demand.

Mobile TV: This is real-time video content which is broadcast over a mobile network.

Multiple System Operators (MSO): An operator of multiple cable or satellite transmission systems. MSOs include AT&T, Comcast, Charter, Dish, Verizon, Cox Communications, Altice, Frontier, Mediacom, WOW!, Cable One, TPG, Windstream, Century Link, Midcontent Communications, Atlantic Broadband Group, Amstrong Cable Services, Service Electric Cable TV, Metrocast, Blue Ridge Communications, Google Fiber, etc.  They are also known as Multichannel Video Program Distributors (MVPDs).

Over The Air (OTA):  Television which is broadcasted using radio waves to a TV receiver.  OTA is typically not addressable at the household level, meaning that it cannot be segmented by household.

Over The Top (OTT): This refers to the delivery of video content (TV, movies, etc.) using an Internet protocol – without requiring a television subscription to a cable or satellite provider.

Satellite Providers: Companies that provide television content via Satellite transmissions.

Set Top Box:  This is the device which decodes the signal transmitted by your cable or satellite TV provider.  It likely was named because it was a box which, in early days, sat on top of your TV set.  The Set Top Box is registered and is unique to a household.

Streaming:  Streaming is the real-time distribution of video and audio content over an Internet protocol, as opposed to the content which is downloaded.  Streaming content can be stored for a short period of time (commonly referred to as a buffer, for obvious reasons) to ensure a consistent user experience in case of an interruption in the Internet connectivity between the device and the server.

Time Shifting: The process by which a viewer watches content at a different time than the scheduled broadcast time.  They can do so using various technologies and services, such as DVRs, VOD, OTT, and Mobile TV.

Video On Demand (VOD): Television and video content which can be accessed by the viewer at any time.

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