Choosing STB for IPTV/OTT business, the technical characteristics in the specifications alone are not enough. We’ve identified the factors that often remain behind the brackets of ads, but play an important role in integrating the device into the system or launching a new project. We’ll be happy if this material becomes the basis of your future success.
8 factors for correct choice of Set-Top Box
1. Quality standards
Customers do not distinguish between the quality of the service provided from that of the equipment. If they face STB breakdown and are deprived of viewing, they will certainly blame you for it. The more non-working devices are on hand, the higher the load on the technical support service will be and the more negative feedback you will get. When you purchase a product with a high percentage of defects, you not only pay twice but also damage your reputation.
2. Warranty service
The product warranty service is an attribute of a high-quality service. If the seller does not give a guarantee on his/her products, he/she is unsure of the quality. Saving on purchase cost will almost certainly bring losses on an unpredictable scale and cast a shadow over your image. Also, note that the availability of a warranty service from the manufacturer does not, as such, always solve the problem. Especially if the nearest service center is located somewhere in China, and shipment is at your expense.
3. Technical support
A lot of questions arise during setup and use of the STB. One option is to try to find answers yourself online. It’s good if they’re there! You are more likely to waste a lot of time searching for the information you need. If you deal with a manufacturer that has adequate technical support, such a problem simply will not arise. Think big: besides money, it’s important to save resources and time.
4. Qualitative localization
It’s not about translating into dozens of languages, but about complete localization of the “default” settings into English. This is important when you need to restore factory settings. The last thing you want to see in a critical situation is hieroglyphics. If this is not your native language, and you are not a polyglot, and there is no technical specialist with knowledge of Chinese on the staff, give preference to a completely localized product.
5. Having your own software
Pay close attention to choice of middleware. The myth is still prevalent that, for the sake of economy, it is possible to buy a batch of inexpensive set-top boxes and independently write software for their integration. In this case, the company has to hire a team of professional developers and then pay for product creation and testing. The result: everything might not work on the first try. You’ll be bothered time and again with debugging, eliminating errors. And no one will tell you when they will end.
6. Synchronization of Set-Top Box with software
Imagine there is an operator A who has bought inexpensive equipment and tried to develop his own middleware. And there is an operator B who has purchased a completely ready solution from the manufacturer.
Who do you think will get the best result?
The correct answer is operator B. This works not only in the IPTV/OTT field. Conscientious manufacturers have been working on perfect synchronization of devices and software for years. It is unlikely that several hired developers will be able to replicate this result or surpass it quickly.
7. Modern functionality
Let’s continue the software topic. Do you know what is the main difference between licensed and unlicensed software? The correct answer is: updates. If you work in an IPTV/OTT business, you are aware how important it is to introduce new technologies on time. Solvent customers who buy expensive TV models want a STB to meet their needs. Do not disappoint them.
8. Adapting applications
As a rule, suppliers of set-top boxes from the low price segment on Android OS use illegal access to Google Play. To do so, they use access certificates originally designed for mobile devices. As a result, the quality of video in such applications is deteriorates significantly. This will for sure cause user annoyance.
Thoroughly weigh all the pros and cons when buying equipment. You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. Especially if it seems that it is way cheaper than buying a time-tested one.