If the article Shift From PCs To Tablets In Full Swing by Angela Moscaritolo is any indication, streaming to tablets will be more important than ever for online content publishers.
Angela gives some impressive numbers in how the user adoption is migrating quickly from desktops and laptops to tablets: The shipment of desktops and laptops to decrease by 7.6 percent to 315 million units this year while the shipment of tablets to increase by 69.8 percent to 197 million units. She also mentions the user pattern change that seems to drive this massive attraction toward tablets. ‘”While there will be some individuals who retain both a personal PC and a tablet, especially those who use either or both for work and play, most will be satisfied with the experience they get from a tablet as their main computing device,” Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, said in a statement.’
Although streaming to tablets is a no brainer, it’s not easy to execute. Because the popular tablets run on multiple operating systems, you must consider all of them carefully. The iPads run on iOS; the Samsung Galaxy Tabs and Amazon Kindles run on Android, which in and of itself has many versions with varied video capabilities; and the Microsoft Surfaces run on Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro. And of course, there are dozens of other tablets that utilize the various tweaked versions of Android since it’s open-source.
To deliver correctly to these operating systems, proper encoding is imperative, sometimes into multiple video formats (e.g. H.264 and WebM), resolutions (e.g.176×144 px and 480×360 px), frame rates (e.g. 12 fps and 30 fps), bitrates (e.g. 56 Kbps and 500 Kbps), etc. At the same time, proper server setup is just as important since these tablets are exposed to various connectivities, such as WiFi, 3G, 4G and LTE. Proper server scalability would also play a big role since including these tablets into your streaming offerings can greatly increase the overall viewership, thus increasing the bandwidth.
Because tablet streaming involves so many of these parameters, you may find it best to work with streaming experts who know the ins and outs of encoding and media server networks. This way, you get to concentrate your resources on the most important thing: Creating compelling content.
The proliferation of tablets has definitely begun, and more and more online content is being consumed. But to take advantage of this market trend and be successful, you must become a mobile streaming expert, whether all by yourself, or with the help of your streaming partner.