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Linear Broadcasting

Published Date: 31 March 2023

What is Linear Broadcasting?

Linear Broadcasting is the kind of broadcasting where a set of predetermined programs or video content are streamed continuously on a single channel.

Traditional television channels and radio stations have used this type of broadcasting for years.

How Does Linear Broadcasting Work?

Linear streaming also refers to terrestrial broadcast TV. This type of streaming depends on media such as cable and satellite for delivering curated content directly to the viewers.

The term ‘linear’ denotes the operational flow of the broadcast, as shows are streamed continuously according to a predetermined schedule and order. Unlike on-demand video streaming, users who subscribe to linear broadcasting don’t have a say in the content they can watch at a particular time. What digital asset is streaming at a point will depend completely on the channel’s predetermined schedule.

Linear Broadcasting vs. OTT Streaming

Linear Broadcasting:

  • It is the more traditional method of delivering content to viewers.
  • Since linear broadcasting has been around for a long time, the infrastructure supporting it is quite well-developed.
  • A lot of major players still use linear broadcasting.
  • No probability of facing any data privacy issues for broadcasters.

OTT Streaming

  • It is the modern method of delivering content to viewers.
  • The infrastructure supporting OTT streaming is well-developed, but only for the major OTT players in the market.
  • Many major players are investing in OTT to diversify their market mix.
  • Headaches like data privacy issues remain predominant in this sort of streaming.

Benefits of Linear TV

  • Linear television is still the major broadcaster of live content such as major sporting events, concerts, and so on.
  • Traditional players in linear broadcasting are more trustworthy in terms of quality of service and value of money.
  • The better infrastructure supports linear broadcasting. As such, there are hardly any maintenance issues.

Related Terms

Live Streaming

Live streaming refers to real-time video content streaming to multiple users over the internet. Live streams aren't recorded or stored; they are broadcast directly using video conferencing software that operates on real-time communication (RTC) protocols.

Live captions

Live captions are speech and non-speech audio content that appears in text form on your TV screens and mobile devices to improve the viewing experience with additional interpretive information.

Low Latency Streaming

Low latency streaming refers to the process of delivering live video or audio content with minimal delay between the time it is captured and the time it reaches the viewer's device.

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