Order to Disorder – Managing Service Entropy

Let’s start with a great definition, something I have always loved back from my Physics days, the concept of Entropy, defined as:Entropy Definition

The second definition is the one most of interest, and this thought has been triggered by our recent ‘back of the napkin’ calculation. Thirty five years ago, video and information services was based on such a limited form of technical delivery methods – analogue broadcast TV, maybe cable TV, video stores and Teletext services on a few TVs. Fast forward to the mid 90s and we have expanded to include satellite TV, DVDs, online services like Compuserve and AOL and the beginnings of the Internet, as well as early mobile phones across quite a few TVs, a PC and a mobile. Forward another ten years and we have the growth towards digital TV on cable, satellite, DTT, IPTV, and online services beginning the explosion across the Internet through the growth of the web and early video delivery, and voice services through digital mobile phone services with early smart phones and Skype/VoIP. The range of devices that we access these services on are rapidly growing with multiple mobile phone ownership.

Now today, a little over ten years later, and we have a multiplicity of video delivery methods across various cables, fibre, mobile, and over the Internet itself with a huge number of different video services as well as an incredible number of information services. The range of devices that can access these services is beyond count. In addition the forms of video that are out there have similarly increased in number and so has the consumption patterns.

The picture that this evolution paints is one of a growth in complexity, a decline into disorder. We have ‘service entropy’.

This raises challenges to any operator, in managing and determining the best path through this disorder and even putting some order back in place (although in the strictest terms that is not possible, but hey you can define and manage the disorder to make it order). You see it in the growth of different delivery technologies, the variety of video formats that you need to delivery, the number of STBs and Mobile devices that you need to support or the number of different DRMs that you need to have in your multi-DRM setup.

Putting some order back requires deep expertise that you may not have in house, or that you need to get in house and this is where we come in – through the breadth and depth of our experience, we work at the cutting edge of video and device technology strategy to provide what you need to manage your service entropy.

Fairmile West is a Consulting company focused on working in the Consumer Device and Video arena. We work with clients on technology strategy and product delivery through key practices in Consumer Devices and Video Services. If you are interested in learning more about what we do, please do get in touch via our website – Contact us. You can also keep track with what interests us in the industry by following our Link blog at TV Tech News, and you can specifically follow news on Ultra HD via the following link – Ultra HD News.