TV Distribution Systems - Cable, OTT, DTT, IP TV

In todays TV distribution scene, we are experiencing access to multiple ways of receiving information and entertainment. Surprisingly, Satellite TV is still growing and delivering much greater opportunities! 

tv distribution OTT, Terrestrial, IP
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How we get TV channels 

Majority of us do enjoy TV information and entertainment  but do you know how you receive network TV channels on your screen at home, in a restaurant, office, banking hall or hotel room? There are three main types of TV distribution delivery models, namely:

  • Satellite Direct-to-Home (DTH)
  • Terrestrial networks (e.g. Cable, IP and DTT distribution)
  • Over-the-Top (OTT)

Terrestrial Networks - Cable, IP and DTT distribution

As per operation, terrestrial networks receive channels at a device called a network headend then redistribute the received TV signal to their subscribers. These channels are sent to the headend via a satellite also known as headend feeding. Below are the three main types of terrestrial networks:

  • Cable - Video delivery is through coaxial cable connection
  • IP -  Video delivery is over the internet protocol through a privately managed network
  • Digital terrestrial - Video delivery is made through radio waves received through a digital set-top box, or a TV gateway

Key points to note:
  1.  Availability of reach and content. Since terrestrial networks rely on local infrastructure development, in remote and rural areas the  infrastructure is not sufficient or too expensive to deploy for a broadcaster. As a result, poor coverage areas or rural areas often experience less content/ channels. Often broadcasters mitigate this by using satellites thus increase their reach.
  2. Bandwidth availability will challenge the performance of the terrestrial networks. Poor bandwidth leads to poor content availability and streaming quality. The opposite is true.
  3. With successful deployments viewers enjoy easy access and reliable TV content streaming

ott tv streaming kenya

Over The Top (OTT) Terrestrial networks

OTT describes video delivery over internet. Thus any content that is transmitted over the internet like Video on Demand, so users can watch content at any time like live sports or live streaming. Any content type that is provided over the internet is called an OTT service. The content is accessed on a computer directly. Often the content is watched on a internet enabled TV or device like Apple TV, connected to a conventional TV.

Over the Top Terrestrial network is generally cheaper than IPTV and requires zero installation. The quality of the transmission heavily relies on internet quality thus with low bandwidth the direct result is low quality content viewing.

Advantages of OTT
  • Relatively cheap price point for viewers especially with the number of accessible content/ channels
  • On-demand service availability 
  • Transmission via latest internet media like smart phones, tablets, smart TVs and laptop

iptv vs OTT


IPTV, short for Internet Protocol Television, is a  type of content delivery system that transmits content over the internet to a managed, dedicated network i.e. a set-top box. a set-top box. a set-top box. a set-top box. a set-top box that requires a broadband connection for streaming. IPTV method provides users premium channels like sports and access to other premium content. Major differences between IPTV and OTT lie in the cost, transmission quality, the set-up and how the content is delivered. As discussed earlier, content on OTT is transmitted via the internet while IPTV content is delivered via a dedicated and managed network to a set-top box. OTT transmission quality depends your internet quality, while IPTV transmission quality depends on a dedicated broadband connection.

MATV Systems

Master Antenna Television systems for Housing, Hotel & Hospitals

MATV means Master Antenna Television. With a MATV system, TV and FM signals -Audio Visual - are distributed to several TV receivers . This is better than sending individual antennas for each TV. The application is best suited for multiple user environments like Hotels, Motels, Hospitals, MDUs for residential use etc. Multiple antennas tend to be untidy and may cause signal disruption.

Simply in context, MATV system comprises a network of cables designed to process and amplify TV signals, then distribute these signals from one central location. The systems are divided into two parts, The Distribution System and the Head End. Talinda East Africa designs and installs the system in best industry standards ensuring video and audio signals are well distributed with minimal quality loss.

In the past premises that need a large number of TVs will require to  install and maintain a satellite dish or antenna for each TV. This results in an unsightly and expensive venture for any multiuser environment. Moreover, maintenance costs skyrocket while the TV signal quality for each user declines due to the numerous antennas interfering with each other and causing signal issues.

Multiuser commercial premises like hotels, hospitals, hostels, utilize MATV system to supply programming channels and information services to their clients. The system can transmit digital TV signals via a satellite dish (free-to-air and subscription TV channels) or aerial.

How a typical MATV system functions:

  • A  dish or UHF TV aerial is positioned to receive digital TV signals.
  • Signals received are then processed by the Headend.
  • Through a distribution network, the TV signals are delivered to a socket outlet in each room/area. In addition, splitters are used where there is more than one TV per outlet. 

Talinda East Africa offers MATV  (Master Antenna Television) solution which is quick and simple to deploy.

This solution uses coaxial cables to pass the signal to the TV Screens. The Solution doesn’t require IP addressing scheme, making it easy to deploy.

Suitable for Hospital rooms, Real Estate apartments and Hotel Guest Rooms to give your clients a home away from home experience. Bringing comfort to your doorstep.